Contemporary Passions: Elaine Sibley

Contemporary Passions poster

Elaine Sibley is one of the nine SHAF (South Hams Art Forum) artists whose work will be on show at Harbour House for the Contemporary Passions exhibition.

  • Teresa Barlow
  • Nick Cotter
  • Jane Davarian
  • Crystel Dauth
  • Brett Hornby
  • Cherry Lyons
  • Jane Mahood
  • Elaine Sibley
  • myself, Stephen Thomas

In this series of blogs, some of them share their process. You can read about Cherry Lyons here and Jane Mahood here and me here.

What’s your process, Elaine?

View across Dartmoor

I live on the edge of Dartmoor. It’s just across the road and up the lane. The weather and landscape are a wealth of inspiration and the colours can change very quickly. I am usually looking for something dramatic which I can translate into a semi-abstract painting.

I use a camera or sketchbook to record anything of interest such as stormy skies or the sun highlighting a particular part of the landscape.

Elaine Sibley sketchbook

These are some of my sketches of the moors. If I’m not on the moor, then I’m off to the sea. My favourite places are Mothecombe or South Milton Sands – they both have excellent cafes!

Sketches by Elaine sibley

Then it’s back to the studio where I do a lot of sitting and looking and wondering where to start. I often go back to paintings and rework them which is why I like to use acrylic.

This one is just finished; it’s called ‘Morning Light over Dartmoor’.

Morning Light over Dartmoor

And here are two more of my creations:

From Mothecombe to wonwell
From Mothecombe to Wonwell
A walk from Spurrells Cross
A Walk from Spurrells Cross

More about Elaine Sibley

Elaine lives and works on the edge of Dartmoor. She studied at Plymouth College of Art and then the College of St Mark & St John where she gained a PGCE. She taught Design and Technology for twenty years while designing and making silver jewellery which she continues to sell through local galleries and open studios. Since retiring from teaching in 2016, she has found time to experiment and expand her work and has developed a passion for painting.

Her contemporary landscapes emerge from natural surroundings; namely Dartmoor and the local coastline. She is aware of the ever changing weather conditions on Dartmoor and attempts to capture the effect this has on light and colour in her paintings. She walks, sketches and takes photographs. Back in the studio, she is currently enjoying the immediacy of acrylics and uses texture and a variety of tools to try to convey the mood and atmosphere of the place rather than a true representation.

You can see more of Elaine’s work on her Facebook page, and you can contact Elaine  by email at or call her on 01752 895134.

When is the Contemporary Passions exhibition?

As ever, we are at Harbour House, Kingsbridge TQ7 1JD.

And the exhibition runs from Tuesday 16 July until Sunday 28 July.

Meet the artists!

6-8pm Tuesday 16 July

Come along to meet the artists and see their interpretation of our theme: Elements.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

Class of Michael Hill: Exhibition 17-29 June

michael hill
Michael Hill

I’ve been attending Michael Hill’s classes ever since we moved to Devon, over ten years ago. Michael is an experienced and highly accomplished painter in both acrylic and watercolour.

As soon as the Summer Exhibition is taken down, the Loft Studio reverts to a teaching area and, every day, there is some form of art going on.

In his Tuesday classes at Salcombe Art Club, Michael demonstrates both mediums in all his classes, taking in a drawing, painting techniques, and composition.

It’s a friendly and informal class which welcomes beginners and more experienced painters. Michael’s classes are very popular, so much so that there is a waiting list for places for each term. To attend Michael’s classes, you need to be a member of Salcombe Art Club. Click here for details of how to join.

Each year, there’s also an exhibition for two weeks in the Little Studio (a corner of the Loft Studio), showing the work of Michael’s students, myself included.

When is the Class of Michael Hill Exhibition?

This year, it’s 17-29 June. Some of my work will be on show, and I’ll be stewarding on the final day, Saturday 29 June, 2-5pm.

Make a note in your diary to come along.

As well as our class exhibition, you can see works by other members of the club. In this photo, two of mine are on the right beside the display table (Schooner Sunset and Walking Back from Hope Cove) and one in the far distance (Merlin on the Run).


Little Studio in the Loft Gallery, Salcombe Art Club, Victoria Quay, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8DA

Open daily, 11am-5pm

For more information about Michael Hill, consult this month’s Devon Life. There is a two page spread on Michael and his art.

Great gift ideas

The new range of affordable art items is proving popular, not just to have my art in the home, but also as gift ideas.

This photo, taken at Salcombe Yacht Club on Sunday 19 May, shows Martin Smout with his wife Pam. Martin has been Commodore of Salcombe Yacht Club for the past two years and these personalised place mats were presented to him (plus some other items, too) to show the club’s appreciation.

Martin’s wife, Pam, chose the four designs; and overprinted on them is the name of their boat: Enjoy Life. This was a complete – and delightful – surprise for Martin.

This additional service – the overprinting – can be arranged to suit any requirement: a birthday, a special anniversary, or as a thank you to someone special.

New to the affordable range: pill boxes

These handy-sized pill boxes offer a neat way of carrying medication, with the added bonus of one of my images on the lid.

I do hold a small stock of affordable items at Beacon House Gallery, partly to provide for stock for the outlets carrying these items but also in readiness for a number of charity events that Anne and I will be supporting during the coming months.

I hope to see you at some of these events.

  • Thursday 11 July: A pop-up sale at Salcombe Yacht Club
  • Monday 5 August: In Whitestrand, supporting Salcombe Regatta
  • Thursday 8 August: Supporting the Hope Cove Fundraising Day at the Cottage Hotel
  • Tuesday 10 September: a coffee morning at Burton Farm in aid of Triangle

For full details of the entire affordable art range, click here.

Where are the affordable art items being stocked?

You could come to Beacon House for a private viewing. Contact me to arrange a mutually convenient time. Alternatively, you’ll find affordable art in a number of shops and other outlets in the Salcombe area.

Malborough Post Office stocks the full range of fine art greetings cards, plus wooden coasters, purses, fridge magnets and key rings.

Bonnington‘s, the newsagent in Salcombe, have a range of cards plus fridge magnets and key rings.

At Avon Mill – in the Gallery – there is a range of cards plus fridge magnets and key rings.

The Project Galley in Noss Mayo have cards, wooden coasters, key rings, fridge magnets and glass chopping boards.

Salcombe Yacht Club and the Salcombe Information Centre both have cards – and a display of affordable art items.

Ashby’s also have some of my cards.

If you would like to stock my affordable art range, do contact me.