Nature has a habit of being erratic and unpredictable, so how can you capture the true essence of the outdoors in an era of laser printing precision? Simplicity is key. Local Welsh artist Sian McGill’s unique style embodies the natural world and its processes by utilising straightforward creative principles.
On first thought, her favoured palette knife appears to be a rather blunt instrument to work with. However, when you consider that the flat surface allows a landscape to form layers much as the earth would, the process begins to make sense.
To allow her textures to flourish, Sian uses a limited palette of striking colours. She has also incorporated multiple methods to express her favourite local topography. Sometimes Sian uses brushes, on other occasions fingers, whatever she feels most appropriate to create the desired texture.
One glance at “Surfs up”, and your eye will be instantly drawn inwards by the swell. The densely layered wash of pale blue and white effortlessly conveys the awesome destructive power of the ocean. Meanwhile, linear pale flashes add to the effect by erupting against Caswell Bay’s bedrock.
Throughout the frenzy of movement created by the ocean’s texture stands a lone surfer, board in hand. It’s unclear whether they’ve recently enjoyed a dip or are assessing the waves, perhaps intimidated by their ferocity.
What’s undeniable, though, is how spiritedly animated this painting is. Surfs up showcases Sian’s rich textural composition producing a distinctive three-dimensional feel when inspected closely.
The Old Rectory
For anyone who hasn’t been a long-time admirer of Sian’s work, it’s a rarity to find examples of hers without an ocean presence, “The Old Rectory” is a unique gem in this respect. What remains are Sian’s powerful strokes which create messy intersections that breathe life into this landscape.
Meanwhile, embedded in the foreground sits The Old Rectory. The historic white manor cuts a lonely figure as the only structure on Rhossili Bay, yet it is an idyllic location for a moment of peaceful reflection.
If someone asked you to imagine the perfect beach setting, this view of “Brandy Cove” would probably come to mind. Begin to peer out across this secluded hideaway, and you’ll feel a sense of tranquillity wash over you.
Instead of simply replicating landscapes, Sian prefers to “reflect a sense of place, rather than just representation,” and Brandy Cove is no exception. This painting evokes memories of precious trips to isolated bays, a welcome hiatus neighbouring bustling beaches and their hordes of sunseekers.
Sian’s captivatingly unique depictions of the Welsh coastline, particularly the Gower Peninsula, are available to browse in Gower Gallery. Across nine originals, two of which have already sold, Sian explores some of your favourite local settings, in her distinctive style.
Visit our website, gowergallery.co.uk/collections/paintings, to see original artwork from Sian McGill and other local Welsh artists. Alternatively, call the gallery on 01792368669 to inquire about relocating Sian’s work from our gallery to your home.
Available through the Welsh Art Council’s collector plan in interest-free instalments.