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Drawing in Dawlish

My thoughts have led me to Dawlish which is situated on the south coast of Devon. Brunel's trainline runs alongside the sea that I frequently travel on when returning to my parent's home near Totnes. The Jurassic coastline is spectacluar and strange. There are distintive red rocks that jut out into the sea and Dawlish itself epitiomises the English seaside resorts that were once so popular. In February this year the storm destroyed the railway line which is the only line linking the south west of England with the rest of the country.

I spent two days there, finding lots of inspiration. Sitting out on one of the groins :) I made some charcoal studies of the sea which I would like to develop further. Drawing the sea from life is difficult because it is constantly moving however the same shapes are made over and over again. I recently found a black and white wave shaped painting (untitled, 2006) by Sigmar Polke that has given me some ideas... The red rock along the coastline reminds me of Sir Sydney Nolan's 'Inland Austrailia', 1951. I like Nolan's idea of creating 'composite impressions'. In 1948 he toured Australia - on returning to Sydney he created what he called 'composite impressions' which combine observation with visionary imagination. In such a surreal place like Dawlish I can't help but combine the fantasitcal with the observed.

I have taken the drawings back to the studio and am using them to add to existing paintings and as inspiration for new ones.

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