There is nothing in the world like being surrounded by water, particularly sea water, and waterside locations have been a source of inspiration that I’ve drawn on nearly all my life. I don’t believe a location exists in the world that couldn’t benefit from a coastline.
The Café Del Mar bar on the island of Ibiza is a fine example. The individual elements – the music, the architecture and the fine sangria – are in themselves characteristic enough.
But the magic for me is in the way the three are infused by the coastline. It transforms the bar from a stylish watering hole for tourists into an idiosyncratic venue, oozing a charisma that will force the best of us to submit to its chilled bohemian pace.
For similar reasons, I’m inspired by my home grounds in Torbay, South Devon, where I wake to miles of wallowing, blue sea. I like to think that I feel some of the same inspiration that drove JMW Turner through most of his career, from his early engravings of the Devon coast right through to his tactile piece Sunrise with Sea Monsters. The name alone makes the painting an extraordinary work of art.
Turner’s painted emotions were based on a lifetime of accumulative feelings and experiences, but the work was evoked by the sea. And, like Turner, when a storm is rolling across this coastline, I too see all manner of things just below the waves.