Helena Tarn Art

Gathering Inspiration

Although I grew up in an incredibly beautiful part of the world in Yorkshire, England, we lived pretty far from the coast. Although Yorkshire does have a stunning coastline, we were pretty landlocked and you didn’t pop to the sea, it was a full day event. I have so many happy childhood memories spent at the beach, most notably Whitby on the Yorkshire east coast. Fishing for crabs with my cousins, hunting for fossils on the beach and spending all my pocket money on mint flavoured rock candy, whoopee cushions and firecrackers at the joke shop.

I also have one very vivid childhood memory from a school trip to Blackpool. I remember being on the beach, looking at the sea in the morning and thinking how lovely it looked. Then we went and did whatever it was that we did on the school trip (clearly, that wasn’t too memorable…), but then we returned to the exact same point on the beach and the sea was gone. As in completely gone, disappeared. If you have ever been to Blackpool, you will know just how far out the tide goes (it seems to be miles – although I’m sure it isn’t). But to me as a little girl, it was unsettling, a strange phenomenon that I just didn’t understand at the time. Obviously as time passed, I learned about tides and just how normal it is. But that memory stays with me, the earth’s movement. The gentle coming and going of the water, the pull and push of the waves. The earth’s soft breath. I think there are very few people that don’t find watching waves, from the safety of the shore, soothing. The connection to the rhythm of the ocean. The beating heart of the planet.

Now fast forward several years, living near the Irish coast, I definitely take advantage of being able to pop to the beach now and then. Whenever my husband and I have a free afternoon and we want to go for a walk in nature, more often than not, we head to the coast. The novelty has not yet worn off. And how could it, when the coastline here is so alluring?

One of my favourite parts of starting a new collection of artwork or a new series of paintings, is the gathering of ideas and interpreting a concept into something meaningful and personal. So when it came time to pick a subject for a new series of abstract art paintings, of course, the wild Irish coast was rich inspiration. Not only do I find calmness and peace in the natural world, I love the untamed wildness of the sea, the majestic elegance and fierce power. I also love the treasures that the leaving tide gifts to the beach; pretty coloured rocks, sparkling shells and glittering seaweed, only to be lost again when the tide returns.

I don’t yet know how the energy of the ocean will transpire into this next body of work, but I do know that I will have a lot of fun in the process. I have taken inspiration from some of my favourite untamed beaches, the ferocious waves battering the rocky coastline. Hours of walking the Antrim coast, the deserted golden sands of County Donegal and closer to home, the rocky coves of County Down and County Louth, have provided me with endless ideas. I want to translate the textures, movements and colours into something personal and rich with meaning.

Watch this space and follow along on my Instagram for regular updates on the paintings. And be sure to sign up to my newsletter to be the first to see any new releases of artwork and keep up to date with exclusive studio ‘behind the scenes’ news and events.

Success! You're on the list.

Until next time,

Like this post? Why not Pin it!

2 responses to “Gathering Inspiration”

  1. […] I like to work in a series or collection of paintings. This is because I love to really explore a theme. Currently I’m working on a series called Untamed, based on the glorious and wild Northern Irish coastline. I love to get out in to nature and capture the mood and the essence of the landscape. I take a sketch book and jot down notes and lines and marks that take my interest. I don’t paint very realistically. For me it’s more important to capture the emotion of a landscape, rather than the exact scene. So for that, I take my time, I write notes, I smell the air and take billions of photographs to remember the moment. I want to translate the textures, movements and colours into something personal and rich with meaning. Read about how I gathered inspiration for my latest collection here. […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: