Gower beaches

The ever changing landscape

I am very lucky to live close to the sea. I can never get over my excitement at seeing the sea, even when I live so close to it. I would say that all of the Welsh coast is pretty special. The coast along Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and the Llyn Peninsula are spectacular however, the Gower peninsula is the coast I visit most often as it’s the easiest to get to for to get to and its paintings of the Gower peninsula that work on most often.

swanseaGower has some incredible coastlines and fabulous beaches. I have always wanted to walk its length but never got my act together to do it. I made plans to do so in 2016 but being made redundant from my teaching job in that year, sort of threw everything out of kilter for me.

The best beaches always involve a bit of a hike but its always worth it. From an artist’s point of view its always different. Whether its high tide, low tide, summer, spring or a blustery winter’s day. What’s the main difference between the seasons? The light. Whether the sun is high or low in the sky, the angle of the rays, the quality of the light. Is it sharp or is it hazy?

Drifting Clouds on Three Cliffs

Floating Clouds over Three Cliffs

I have painted Three Cliffs Bay quite a few times. I am find it interesting to reflect on the different ways I have approached what is in some ways the same subject matter. In winter the sea is a grayed jade the wet sands are pinkish, the dry sand different shades of yellow. The colour of foliage is very muted; the grass on the clifftops is more yellow than green and the bracken is brown. The cliffs are warm grey in direct sunlight, a cooler grey in shadow.


Even on brighter days when the sea has more violet the colours of the cliff tops is more yellow ochre than orange.

Coloured Sands at Three Cliffs

Coloured Sands at Three Cliffs Bay

Three Cliffs Bay at High Tide

Three Cliffs Bay at High TideWhat surprised me when I compare these winter paintings with some that I had done in the summer is that the wet and dry sand is the same ruby/pink/yellow tones, although it seems obvious that it would be now I think about it. What is different, is the sky and the colour of the grass and bracken on the cliffs. The sky is a lighter turquoise and the sea is has more jade and turquoise. The clouds reflections in the surf is still violet. The grass is wonderfully verdant, a sharp green.


This is the oldest painting and it was done in high summer when the grass is a deeper green.

Pobbles and Three Cliffs

Of course, looking through these paintings, I immediately wish I had done some autumn paintings when the bracken is a rusty red. I have painted Rhossili Bay in autumn but not Three Cliff. I can’t think why not. Of course, last autumn I was focusing on my “Hollowed Community Project” and painting houses. I hope that I will be able to come back and paint Three Cliffs again this autumn.






24 replies »

    • Thank you, Ceri. I always think that West Wales starts at the Gower. It has the same wild, wind-blown feel you get in Pembrokeshire. All fantastic places to visit.

    • It’s a fact that we take for granted in the UK – no place is further than 50 miles from the coast, mind you I think it gives us a false sense of safty too.

    • It’s a fact that we take for granted in the UK – no place is further than 50 miles from the coast, mind you I think it gives us a false sense of safety too.

    • Thank you, Jo. It is true that Gower landscape is wonderful. There are few places where there isn’t some lovely countryside or coastline to work with nearby (even big cities like London has their charms), you just have to look for it (and travel).

    • The weather makes a difference, if we get weeks of overcast weather like we are having at the moment it puts me off. I don’t like gloomy paintings. I like sunshine!

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