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Dynamic Seascapes is Judith Yates' first book with Search Press. Judith has developed a career as a professional artists since completing her fine-art painting degree course, and regularly runs painting workshops from her home studio as well as tutoring on art holidays. We caught up with Judith to find out a bit more about her new book, her travels and her Search Press journey!

How are you Judith?

This last year has certainly been a challenge, most of us have explored new ways of communicating and keeping in touch with friends and family.

I know that many artists, myself included have investigated new approaches to art and teaching, turning to the internet to keep in touch with fellow artists and art lovers through the varied aspects of social media  including the ever-popular Zoom meetings!

Personally, I have found that creating artwork over the last year has helped me stay upbeat and positive – painting is so totally absorbing, it keeps the mind calm.

I was of course lucky enough to have a project to work on, thanks to Search Press! During the first lockdown, along with creating new paintings, I completed writing my book entitled: Dynamic Seascapes. In between times I enjoyed the sensory and practical aspects of the garden. I have to say my borders have never looked so neat and tidy – I think we have all appreciated nature that little bit more.

Writing my first was book was both scary and wonderful, often at the same time! I do think there are many benefits to working out of your comfort zone, the process certainly challenged me as an individual. I learnt much about myself, for example: I can paint at any time of the day without a hitch, but I write best first thing in the morning, usually after three cups of strong coffee!

Search Press looked after me from start to finish. My editor Edward Ralph, was so encouraging, working with patience, putting any of my concerns to rest. Initially we had a long, detailed planning meeting to discuss my ideas for the content and format of the book, consequently Edward sent me a flat plan to follow, this proved invaluable as I knew what to include page by page. I loved putting all my seascapes together along with my processes, techniques and painting tips in one dedicated book.

Can you tell us a little about the book?

I was keen to fill the book with ideas and inspiration for artists searching for new and dynamic ways to depict the coast in all its glorious moods.

In response to those individuals longing to paint seascapes, but unsure where to start or how to go about it, I demonstrate a loose experimental approach, using watercolours, acrylics and acrylic inks. I have included all my favourite techniques in the book, along with many painting basics to help those just starting out.

I have packed the book with images of my seascapes, showing different aspects of painting the coast, so that everyone from the total beginner to the more experienced practitioner can be inspired to tackle their own seascapes using a lively experimental approach.

 

What is it about painting seascapes that you like the most?

Trying to capture the feeling of excitement, the constant movement, the depth and reflective qualities of the ocean is never going to be easy  seascapes are beautiful but a very tricky subject to paint. Maybe this is the reason why so many are drawn to paint the sea, but are also a little daunted by the subject. I think it is the challenge that really appeals to me.

I am constantly exploring new ways to express how being by the ocean makes me feel and each time it results in something different, something new, it is a subject that has, and will, keep me fascinated.

  

What are your favourite sections from the book?

I am really pleased with the format of the two step-by-step projects. Although it is inspiring to view a finished artwork, being able to see a painting progress through a variety of stages and layers of paint, including the decisions made at each stage, is extremely helpful.The three-day photo shoot at the Search Press studios really was exceptional, nurtured by my editor Edward and the creative photographer Mark Davidson.

  

Photographs were taken at each stage of the painting process, with the finished result going beyond my expectations. I really love the detailed images complemented by the written descriptions.

Do you have any tips and advice for anyone who wishes to create their own seascapes?

I suggest you start by becoming familiar with the variety of art materials and equipment at your disposal; you should be unconcerned about creating a complete, finished artwork. Using several of the techniques mentioned in the book, try experimenting with paint to simply see what happens, enjoy the paint and the process, at this stage there is no need for canvas or expensive papers, sketch books, spare paper or card are more than adequate. In fact this will help with the loosening up process and heighten the discovery of new possibilities before you move onto the finished artwork.

 

Before COVID-19, did you often travel for your art?

I visit the coast as often as possible, I am especially fond of Cornwall and the craggy, wild coastline of Penwith. I also have a soft spot for the Welsh coast where the light is so dramatic throughout the whole year.

I had literally just returned from a wonderfully inspiring trip to Cape Town in South Africa when the first lockdown started. Fortunately, I returned home armed with hundreds of reference photographs of the Atlantic coast especially around Chapman's Peak, which incorporates a wild, dramatic ocean with beautiful light, falling on wide expanses of idyllic white sands.

Although my reference shots are invaluable as a source of inspiration. I really miss the experience and contact with the coast, I long to return to the real thing, to experience nature and the elements at first hand.

  


Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

My most exciting plan has to be meeting up with close family and friends – it will be a marvellous reunion after such a long time!

As you would expect I will definitely visit the coast as soon as possible, I’m longing to walk in the surf, to feel the breeze in my hair and the sand between my toes  won't that be bliss?

I have also missed being able to give my face-to-face art workshops and demonstrations along with opening my studio to the general public and I plan to get back to those as soon as possible. Meanwhile I will keep painting and enjoying the creative life, that is one plan that rarely changes.



Dynamic Seascapes is available from Search Press, RRP £15.99


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