Hope Cove Fishing Gear Contemporary PassionsHope Cove is one of several paintings I’ll be showing at the the annual Contemporary Passions exhibition.

It’s only the second study of Hope Cove. The first was Hope Cove Fishing Gear, which is currently on display at Salcombe Art Club.
The second study of Hope Cove, is of the beach – with both modern and traditional crab pots being featured in the foreground.



Yes! The village of Hope Cove and its beaches are protected by a line of dramatic rocks and sea walls, and the local fishing boats are moored to a series of chains which lead the eye to the sea. The cove is always busy with holidaymakers and fishermen.

But, fishermen and sailors are quick to notice detail. If I get something wrong, then, in their opinion, my painting loses credibility. So, before I start any new painting, I gather lots of photographic images to help me to meet with their expectations. To see how I make sure I don’t make any mistakes, read my Sketchbook notes for Hope Cove.

Contemporary passionsThe image was so popular, it was used as the backdrop for a Treasure Hunt at the 2016 Fund Raising Day for Hope Cove Lifeboat. (The date for the 2017 Fund-Raising Day is 10 August.)


What is the Contemporary Passions exhibition?

My ‘contemporary passion’ for the 2017 Contemporary Passions exhibition is ‘places other than Salcombe’.  For the past decade or so, I’ve focused on scenes within easy walking distance of my home in Salcombe, and I’ve painted over 100 of them.



Tuesday 6 June until Sunday 18 June 2017
Open daily 10 am – 5 pm (closing at 4 pm on the last day)



The Contemporary Passions exhibition will be at Harbour House, The Promenade, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 1JD



There will be an opportunity to meet the artists on Tuesday 6 June, 6-8 pm.

I will also be stewarding all day on Saturday 10 June and on the morning of Saturday 17 June.



Admission is free!

Nick Cotter's digisurrealism

Contemporary Passions Preview: Nick Cotter’s digisurrealism

Nick CotterNick Cotter has coined the term digisurrealism to describe the dreamlike qualities and the inclusion of the unexpected in his work.

Nick and I are both showing at the annual Contemporary Passions exhibition, an opportunity for members of SHAF (South Hams Art Forum) to stage a major summer show of new works in a wide range of mediums and styles.

The exhibition provides a snapshot of the artists’ current work, interests and creative passions.

The featured image above is one of several images that Nick will have on show. It’s called ‘Salcombe Boatyard Dreams – If a building could dream’.


Nick Cotter’s digisurrealism
Dreaming of Seasons

Dreaming of Seasons

Nick says: I am interested in how our mental filters, both conscious and unconscious, influence our perceptions of ‘reality’. What any of us see and feel from a view in the landscape, a journey, or past events, is processed by these filters, of which we are often unaware.

I am inspired by the dream-like scenes that are typical of the surrealist movement.

‘Dreaming of Seasons’ was inspired by four weeks in isolation in hospital, which made the memories of the seasons past and the desires of the seasons Nick was hoping to experience, all too vivid.


How does Nick create his digital images?

Nick’s digital images are built up and layered in a process that is similar to painting on a canvas, using elements from his photographic images as his palette.

Weathered Wood

Weathered Wood

His limited edition digital prints are archival quality, professionally printed on canvas.

Regarding ‘Weathered Wood’, Nick says: The grain of a weathered piece of wood helps to define a landscape into which it will return to nurture the new woodlands.

In ‘Warm Sky Cold Ground’ (below), the simplification and unnatural colours serve to highlight the complex reality of what is a tree

In ‘Burgh Island SUPing’ (far below), Nick asks: What if one of the most sublime local scenes was corrupted by man’s environmental destruction?

You can see more of his work on Nick’s website.


Nick Cotter's Warm Sky Cold Ground

Warm Sky Cold Ground

The Contemporary Passions exhibition will be at Harbour House, The Promenade, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 1JD.

It’s open daily 10 am – 5 pm (closing at 4 pm on the last day): Tuesday 6 June until Sunday 18 June 2017



There will be an opportunity to meet all the artists on Tuesday 6 June, 6-8 pm.

You might also call in when Nick or I are stewarding.

Nick will be stewarding all day on Thursday 8 June. I will be stewarding all day on Saturday 10 June and on the morning of Saturday 17 June.


Burgh Island SUPing

Burgh Island SUPing


Admission is free!


Postcard from Niagara-on-the-Lake: Me and My Girl!

Anyone who visits Canada is bound to visit Niagara – but we also made a special trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake and enjoyed Me and My Girl at the Shaw Festival Theatre.

ShawThe town is delightful and was bathed in sunshine. We resisted the option of a ride around in a pony and trap (see featured image above), and walked instead from our hotel to the theatre.


The Shaw Festival

According to their website: In 1962, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, lawyer and playwright Brian Doherty parlayed his love for the work of Irish playwright Bernard Shaw into a summer theatre festival, producing eight performances of Don Juan in Hell and Candida in the Court House auditorium.  In this singular act of passion for theatre and culture, the Shaw Festival was born.

The grounds of the theatre include a beautiful garden with occasional statues. It’s the perfect place for a stroll before a show, in the intermission, or afterward.

Shaw Festival gardens

There are more works of art inside the theatre. At the top of a sweeping staircase, under a magnificent chandelier, this selection of ‘busts’ caught our eye.


The show: Me and My Girl

The show was spectacular. As well as the wonderful costumes, the energetic choreography and clever set, the cast entertained us throughout – clearly enjoying every moment themselves.

George Bernard Shaw’s wit shone through with some lovely one liners, and had us laughing out loud.

Niagara-on-the-lake Me and my girlThe following morning, while tucking in to pancakes and maple syrup, we happened to see the star of the show Michael Therriault.

We had the opportunity to thank him for a wonderful performance, and to congratulate him on his Cockney accent.

He recognised immediately that we hailed from the UK and it turned out he, like us, once lived in Surrey.

Small world?



Where is The Shaw Festival?

The Shaw Festival theatre is located at 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0 CANADA

If you’d like to see the show Me and My Girl, it’s on until 15 October. You have plenty of time to book your seats!

This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling. It’s the second one for this particular trip. Watch this space!