Year: 2020

Cornwall Art Film – the making

In July with film maker Charlie Key, we made an art film in Cornwall.

With the year turned upside down by a Pandemic and  my plans for my brilliant 60th birthday all out of the window, it was time to reassess my year. Instead of stepping back from my art to travel and party, I threw myself into my art and decided a film which encompassed all I was thinking and living through my art would be the perfect thing.

The film’s release at the end of September was the most perfect timing with the arrival of our first grandchild, Stevie Elvenny. ( I painted a sparkling seascape called Elvenny ten years ago . Elvenny is sparkle in the Cornish language.) What a lovely legacy for her.

Charlie Key is a friend of my sons, and I had seen a film he made about a local surfer. Full of soul and emotion, I knew he would understand what I was wanting to protray.

Charlie was just inspirational and an absolute joy to work with. With so many ideas, I let him lead it totally and trusted his instincts to make a beautiful film…. and he did.

I loved painting in the studio and walking around the farm. I spent an hour in the cupboard in the dark answering Charlie’s questions to get the audio and speaking parts. But the evening on the beach and finally filming in the sea was the most memorable.

It was nearly dark and the tide low. No one was around and it was still warm in mid July. The sun was setting and the colour of the water changed dramatically. The resulting shots were just mesmerising.

Light on the Water – The Autumn Equinox

I have lived outside for most of the summer, either in the garden, on the beach or in the van. I am a summer person and love the feeling of the sun on my skin. My soul is fed by the infinite views of beach and coast that form my paintings. I spend as much time as possible in the sea, jumping waves, diving under or with my bellyboard shredding some waves and green water and washing right up onto the sand. My skin is shiny, fed by minerals in the sea and I glow.

So as we come to the change in the seasons, as I get older I feel them even more. I have more awareness. I don’t ever remember thinking about the weather and how it affected me when I was younger. I discovered a celtic word for the autumn equinox ‘Alban Elfed’. The direct translation means ‘light on the water’. I fell in love with this when my son pointed out the druids used this to read the seasons. Standing on the beach in September, the light sparkles and glistens and washes everything in gold and silver. The sun lower in the sky creates the most beautiful seascapes.

The equinox and big tides and big weather have created chaos in my mind. Loss of focus, ideas, being indoors, but it’s only out of chaos we find order.

So my mindset is shifting. The seasons are not static. The resistance is lessening. We hear the word ‘ embrace’ and that is what I want to do. I will dress appropriately, walk in the rain. Water after all is the key to life. I may even swim into November.  Wanna join me?


In the Sea, September Waves, Bude

The Cornish Scene comes to the Studio

I have long been a fan of Emily Barlow’s writing on ‘The Cornish Scene’ and she is a great photographer too so when she asked to come to the studio to do a piece on me I was thrilled. Read more about it here.

Sue Read in her art studio