Having enjoyed drawing and painting for as long as I can remember, and spent many hours swimming in the clear waters of our home island of Guernsey, I was delighted when Kim suggested we join forces to start our underwater art business.
As I married John, a teacher and career Diving Instructor, I naturally became involved in the world of divers and, eventually, all three of our children took up the sport and became proficient divers.
We have visited many diving destinations over the years, from the Maldives to the Caribbean with groups of friends (more recently known as the Silvertips) where I snorkelled at every opportunity, enthralled with the colour and life in the sea.
Kim and I endeavour to produce paintings which will be enjoyed by everyone, and when exhibiting at shows we love talking to people about our art work and always have a ‘work in progress’ which creates a lot of interest. People ask if I am distracted by being watched but I can lose myself in the new painting and not notice anyone around me. At times, as our styles are so similar, we are able to exchange places and Kim will continue with it much to the amusement of onlookers. We are delighted to say that our work also appeals to non-divers as the paintings are full of colour and fascinating detail and include many creatures from the tiniest pygmy seahorse to the magnificent whale shark. Each time you look you see something new!
We are now entering the world of abstract art, still keeping the underwater theme, which has resulted in a startling difference in our styles. I love painting these free expressive works, usually on canvas, and do not know which direction they will take or how they will turn out. It is exciting and I can’t wait to get back to my easel each day!
We are also happy to quote for special commissioned paintings, using your own photographs, and have produced a brand new set of art cards – each one a gem!
Our intention has been to capture the underwater world through our art and celebrate the adventures we have been privileged to experience.
Inspired by the sheer explosion of colour and teeming life encountered whilst diving in Australia in the 1980’s I attempted to photograph the sea life with disposable cameras, but with little success. My underwater photos were disappointing, but I loved the fantastic bright paintings I saw which were produced by Artists in Queensland.
On returning to the UK, I completed a two year course at Plymouth College of Art and Design, and then decided that Kay and I should attempt to produce our own paintings. We could use my many uninspiring photographs to produce paintings of much more satisfying underwater images, with favourable conditions of light, composition and excellent visibility.
Even more exciting to us was the idea of painting our home waters of Plymouth and Guernsey, and to show off the great marine life we have here too! My first dive was off the steps at Portelet harbour in Guernsey with my father, JV, a 1st class BSAC diving instructor, when I was 14 years old. In my painting ‘Cuttlefish Gully’ I was keen to depict the wonderful gullies of the Channel Islands. We had also begun exploring the sea off Plymouth and so ‘Beneath the Sound’ and ‘Cuttlefish Gully’ were amongst our first works. ‘Deep Impressions’ was formed!
We travelled to the Red Sea regularly over the years, as it is home to some of the best and closest tropical reefs to us. The fantastic spectrum of colours on a Red Sea reef is very distinctive, and the dark blue hues on the deep walls clashing with the orange Antheas, which are ever present, are a joy to paint. ‘The Wall’, ‘Coral Garden’,‘Between the Reefs’ and ‘The Cave’ are early examples of our work inspired by our dives and snorkels there.
As we ventured further afield, our photographs (and cameras) improved and my partner Mike, a marine biologist, was also able to contribute with a critical eye and much improved photographs. We have been lucky to dive and snorkel in locations such as the Galapagos, Micronesia, the Maldives, many areas of Indonesia, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and Australia.
Although we normally work on our own, Kay and I do contribute to each other’s work in the form of advice and helpful criticism. Kay paints overlooking her lovely garden whereas I paint at home on board my catamaran motor boat. Whilst demonstrating at shows, I can pick up the brush and continue Kay’s painting and vice versa. The main difference in our work is the colours we choose, Kay’s being a lot more subtle than my stronger palette.
We have now progressed to experimenting with a variety of art techniques and mediums to produce more abstract artwork (whilst still producing our traditional highly detailed paintings). It has been a most surprising development that we have produced vastly different abstract work from each other. Our underwater journey continues.