I have been an artist all my life, and ten years ago moved to Kingsbridge in the South Hams, Devon, to live and to paint. Since then I’ve developed a deep affinity with the land and the sea, the beaches and coves (where I also swim), the rock formations, the headlands and the dramatic South West Coast Path.
I’ve painted the coastline from Bigbury-on- Sea to Blackpool Sands, via Hope Cove, Salcombe, Torcross and Start Bay. I am most at one with my subject when I’m painting or drawing en plein air on a beach or a cliff top. Here I can immerse myself in the elements, the ebb and flow of the tide, the dramatic skies. I can respond dynamically to the nuances of colour and tone, and the changing light. There is something about the immediate sensual experience of working en plein air that I want to capture.
I especially love the places where the rock formations meet the sea in this magical area. I have become aware of how these rocks were formed - the earliest during the Devonian epoch, 480 million years ago. I know I will find this wild and dramatic area an endless source of inspiration.
Helen Petit - Artist