Nel Whatmore

Nel Whatmore

Over the past few years I have travelled to various locations around the UK and abroad, from the far Outer Hebrides, Devon and Cornwall to the Cinque Terra in Italy. The elemental nature of studying the sea has had me fascinated for years but in the last three years particularly. From watching the roaring cauldron of the sea, while being buffeted by 50 mile an hour winds at the Butt of Lewis, in the Highlands, to being transfixed by waves crashing on to the steep side of Chesil Beach in Dorset. Every wave and coastline is different in palette and atmosphere. I am not interested so much in the places or the land but simply fascinated by the water and how marks convey movement, and tone, drama and depth.

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I work in pastels predominantly although more and more I do an underpainting first to help create the fluidity needed with colourfix primers and then work in layers over the top with sponges and stick pastels. The thing that fascinates me most about water is creating depth and also seeking to convey the emotions I felt when watching the water.
Was I battling to stand up and nearly being blown away or just wanting to dip my toe in??
Water, draws me as an artist, which is at times a scary thing as I have been in gale force 8’s but it also soothes and endlessly engages me creatively. I have sat for hours watching waves roll in an effort to try to absorb all those fleeting moments in order to distill them into one wave that says everything. It is a life long pursuit .

Nel's process