David Atkins says of his paintings:
In this new series of paintings, I return to the subjects that so inspired me when I first visited Norfolk back in 1989.
In particular, I remember walking across the sands and standing on the beach at Holkham looking out over the North Sea.
The evening was approaching, and the tide was coming in, the colours in the sky were turning towards violets and pinks, and the sea was a deep Prussian blue. The space was vast, and the sky so big. I was moved by the sheer beauty and simplicity of what I was looking at and experiencing. Just sky, sea and sand. It was jewel-like, and I wanted to paint it there and then.
Over the years the North Sea and the landscapes that lie along its Norfolk coast continue to inspire my ideas and approaches to painting and drawing.
The poet John Donohue said, ‘We feel most alive in the presence of beauty’.I know when I am painting on the edge of the beach, I am alive to it all and trying to convey the essence of this beautiful North Norfolk coast.
David Atkins 2020
‘In my recent paintings, I have revisited and explored the landscape of the Ashdown Forest and the Dorset coastline. Throughout the Spring and Summer, I have explored the light, colour and drama that has unfolded along the coastline. Fisherman and sailors heading out to sea, walkers along a beach on a blustery day, high tides, blue summer mornings and harbour lights in the evening. As Summer moved into Autumn, I explored the forest landscape and its fine views observing the colours as they started to deepen. The blue smoke from distant bonfires, grazing sheep, pink and purple heather, horseriders and ramblers all became part the view from the Ashdown’.
Painting on the Ashdown Forest.
I’ve lost count of the numerous times I have visited and painted the Ashdown Forest. It has become part of my history and the paintings I make there is a reflection of my deeply held feelings for the place. I have worn a path to a few locations in the forest that have continued to inspire my interests as a painter.
With each visit comes a new determination to find fresh ways of conveying my encounter with a familiar place. There is a feeling of scale, light and beauty in this landscape and that perhaps is the reason that keeps me going back.
Painting Winchelsea, Rye, Dungeness and Camber Sands.
I had the opportunity to make a series of paintings on Winchelsea beach, which previously had been impossible due to adverse weather conditions. At low tide the old wooden breakwaters become visible, looking like skeletal remains still defiant against the sea. There reflections remain in muddy pools for a short time before the tide returns and the beach once again becomes a long stretch of shingle.
The beach at Camber feels enormous in scale with its sweep of sandy dunes leading on to a swathe of multi-coloured layers of fine sand. Capturing some sense of the space here in the bright month of June was both a challenge and a joy.
In all the places I have visited and painted for this show, there has been time invested in looking, making and responding. Paint is applied in bold gestures of oil and colour that map out each thought, decision and correction. What results has to convey something of the essence of each encounter and done so in the language of painting. David Atkins 2019
David Atkins has selected a hand-finished contemporary white frame to offset the compositions. The beauty of the original paintings is the rich textural qualities of the oil, which tends to look flat in reproductions.
David Atkins has exhibited with the Fairfax Gallery since its opening exhibition in 1995 at its gallery on The Pantiles