Title: Sea Shore (after Joan Eardley)
Size: 110cm x 110cm framed size
Medium: Mixed Media on Board

Additional Information
Inspired piece: Joan Eardley (1921-63) - Sea Shore, Pastel on Paper, 10cm x 12.6cm

Link here to the piece in the National Galleries of Scotland collection.

"I’ve always been intrigued and frustrated by the almost unattainable ability to capture the rawness and immediacy of a sketch within a larger ‘finished’ painting. How do you recreate that magic of spontaneity in a twenty second sketch onto a large work? How do you capture the way one throws caution to the wind in a small sketch onto a larger work? In a sketch one is largely unconcerned by accurately representing composition, place or landscapes. You don’t care if colours smudge into one another or water pools in your paper. You complete a sketch in one sitting without any reworking to ruin the immediacy, looseness, and joy. The sketch is all the better for it.

Numerous artists, such as Franz Kline, are masters at recreating the rawness of a sketch within larger-scale works. But, in my view, one of the greatest is Joan Eardley.

Eardley was one of the most original and admired British artists of her generation.  Although she died in 1963 (at the tragically young age of 42) her work is constantly rediscovered and admired by a new generation of fans.  Irrespective of whether her subjects were fidgeting children or roaring seascapes Eardley created a unique visual language routinely described as ‘raw’, ‘loose’ and ‘expressive.’ Standing in front of one of her 2m long ‘finished’ paintings you can almost feel the spit and howl from the crashing waves. You can only wonder at how she created the finished work with such spontaneity, rushing down to the shore when she heard a storm was coming. I get the same excitement from marvelling at Eardley’s smaller sketches such as ‘Approaching Storm’ or ‘Sea Shore’.  She somehow managed to capture emotion in everything she did whether it was a sketchbook or a larger painting – a remarkable feat.

Being a painter in East Lothian there is almost an expectation to create an accurate representation of a beach, a seascape, or the Bass Rock. But when I paint, the challenge I set myself is to attempt to recreate a sense of place whilst maintaining the rawness of a sketch. That is why I throw paint across the canvas, scrawl words amongst the work, rip the paper apart or take a chisel to the board.

I doubt before Eardley darted down the steep, slippery Catterline slopes she stopped to pack a colour wheel, a suite of complementary colours and a spirit level. Although she undoubtedly knew this art theory capturing the immediacy of the moment was surely more important – just like she so successfully did in her paintings and sketches of various sizes." Andy Heald


About the Artist

Andy Heald

I paint seascapes or landscapes inspired by moments in East Lothian, but you’d struggle to recognise landmarks or gain a geographical hook. I’m not attempting to create an accurate representation of a beach or a hill, instead I try to capture that fleeting emotion you or I felt when walking the landscape. Happiness. Sadness. Coldness. Warmness. Walking with friends. Walking alone to get away from life. I attempt to capture these emotions by creating large sketches: painting rapidly; sanding away, drawing over with pencils, splattering paint. I scrawl personal notes as a diary of what was being thought or listened to; the jumbled words, stolen lyrics, forming the titles of the work. No one forgets how they felt in a particular moment, in a particular landscape. Spilling our guts on a canvas.

I capture the images across East Lothian (Gullane, Yellowcraigs, Longniddry, Aberlady, Belhaven, North Berwick) with sketchbooks and photos.

Sometimes I paint outside but usually I work on the large sketches in the studio.

I regularly exhibit in galleries across Scotland, primarily in and around Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders. My work is held in private and corporate collections across the UK.