Erin Ward: January Featured Artist at Beside The Wave Gallery

A spotlight on Acrylic painter Erin Ward. Erin’s paintings are inspired from visits to coastal regions, particularly the East Coast, Cornwall, and Norfolk, spending time walking the coastal paths. Areas where the sea meets the land and rivers, where salt water meets fresh water are a fascination, as well as hard rock against water, the meeting of two extremes.

Erin paints in an energetic, semi-abstract way using a limited palette; often mixing the colours directly onto the canvas, using rags, palette knives and sometimes her fingers, building up the paint from transparent washes to thick impasto in focal areas. We caught up with Erin to find out more about the collection.

Your paintings are full of energy and movement, how do you capture that emotion within your work from memory?

My energetic mark-making is my style which has developed over the years and I find if I am remembering a place, it’s usually from a sense of atmosphere or the weather so it usually works out fine.

What started your connection with Cornwall? Did you visit as a child?

I first visited Cornwall as a child on a family holiday and that memory stayed with me, but it wasn’t until my early twenties when I went on my own and walked the coastal paths did my love for Cornwall really start to develop. I have since returned as often as I can to walk and sketch and soak up the wonderful light and landscape.

What draws you to using acrylic paint in your work?

Acrylics are hugely versatile but are also non-toxic and the artist quality paints use lightfast pigments. They are fantastic to use to create thick impasto areas which still dry quickly but their versatility means that you can also use them in thin layers to give a watercolour effect and also to build up glazes.

They do dry quickly but I also work fairly quickly and it’s a good challenge to get those lovely impasto marks down in one go.

Light Overhead

Light Overhead, Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 61 cms, £1,400 – view online

What do you want the viewer to feel from your paintings?

I would love viewers to connect to a sense of atmosphere, and a sense of place in my paintings but mainly I would want them to take away an emotional response.

Do you have a favourite painting within the collection at Beside The Wave Gallery?

That is a difficult question! Each of the pieces in the collection means something different to me but if I could choose two, it would be ‘Empty Beach’ for it’s quiet, calming atmosphere and then ‘Rolling In’ for the dynamic marks, colour and energy, so they are complete opposites!

Rolling InRolling In, Acrylic on canvas, 76.2 x 76.2 cms, £1,950 – view online

Who have been your influences whilst developing your artistic career?

Turner had a very early influence on me. I remember pouring over his watercolour studies for a project in school.

More recently I have been looking at the work of women painters of the Abstract Expressionism movement, in particular, Joan Mitchell, whose work I adore. I think I’m attracted to her energy and movement which plays a big part in my own work.

I also love the work of David Tress, whom I think is one of Britan’s best contemporary landscape artists.

How has your work developed over the years and what direction do you see your work going for the future?

My creative journey has been long and varied and it is only in the past 12 years that I feel my work is going in a direction that I am happy with, although there are still many ups and downs! I tried using acrylics, loved their versatility and ease of use, and as I became comfortable using them as my main medium (I still work in watercolours and oils) my painting flourished. Seascapes, landscape and the weather have always been my main inspiration and this doesn’t show any signs of changing, but I’m finding that my style has become more abstract and my once very limited palette has started to include brighter, richer colours which I’m finding very exciting. I also want to try to capture the energy and motion in my work onto larger canvases and so I have started practising on large pieces of paper first.

Tide Rushing In

Tide Rushing In, Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 61 cms, £1,400 – view online

View the full collection of paintings online here.

Benjamin Warner: Influences for Abstract painting collection

Kenneth Warner, Benjamin’s father was a huge influence on his decision to approach abstract work, what started as a collaboration of surfaces has flourished into a huge part of Benjamin’s own artistic practice. In February 2018, Beside the Wave exhibited a collection of abstract paintings by Warner for the very first time across both gallery spaces; the collection received much admiration from collectors old and new.

Benjamin Warner’s abstract paintings are a powerful combination of highly worked surfaces and clever composition which both indicate an almost Abstract Expressionist intention, as well as a constructivist understanding of shape and form. With an innate comprehension of the visual identity of how a painting works, these abstract paintings masterfully adhere to the golden ration. The Golden Ratio has been used as a powerful composition tool for centuries, hailed as ‘the perfect number’, it can assist in creating images that have a strong effect. Benjamin uses this tool as a way of allowing compositional components to speak for themselves and push geometric shapes in and out of focus for the viewer. By using geometric forms but slightly blurring their edges and keeping shapes loose, Benjamin achieves a sense of these floating forms existing across the picture plane. Judging when a piece is finished is a balancing act in the studio for Benjamin, he often leaves paintings for months before returning and finishing them. By achieving what he calls a ‘sense of rhythm and belonging’ this is the marker Benjamin strives for when finishing a piece.

Dance, 30.5 x 46 cm, oil on board, £1,050
Dance, Oil on board, 30.5 x 46 cms, £1,050 – view online

In terms of visual influences, Benjamin takes inspiration from his surroundings whether that is shapes he sees on television programmes or how something is pulled together in landscape. His starting points are incredibly varied but there is always a moment where the painting begins to dictate itself and move away from the original starting point. Not only do their elemental construction reference a formalist approach to painting, Benjamin’s abstracts take influence from the St. Ives artists working through the 1930s- especially Roger Hilton with his palette and then Patrick Heron with his shapes. With an emphasis on materiality, simple line and accentuated forms, both the St. Ives painters and Warner prioritise the construction of a painting as very much on show, there is no illusion and the painting becomes its own visual history with densely built layers of oils.

Click Clack, 30.5 x 43.5 cm, oil on board, £995
Click Clack, Oil on Board, 30.5 x 43.5 cms, £995 – view online

The roughened quality of not only the paint application but also surface material, allows Benjamin to produce paintings where there is a unification between artist and artwork. There is an implication that Warner works with the surface instead of dictatorially working on the surface which exposes a truly intuitive handling of medium. With both the act of painting and unpainting (removing), Warner’s work insists on a sense of longevity and timelessness which allows the viewer to experience the painting as an autonomous object- existing with its own essence. By often scraping layers of paint back, Benjamin’s work carries a trace or a ghost of what has gone before it therefore giving it a more impactful final effect. With the lack of concrete subject matter, the paintings could be deemed a surface level, modern creation; however, Warner does not disregard the historical codes and conventions of the painting model. In fact, he uses many tools such as impasto, colour theory and traditional application which reveal his complex understanding of the painting world. Through adapting these methods and tools slightly to his own approach and the removal of an obvious subject matter, Benjamin’s abstracts allow for a more sublime, emotional response. This is then often emphasised by the titling of the work, both constructed before and after a painting is made, the language Benjamin uses is both poetic and descriptive. Either derived from real place names or from an emotional experience, the titles act as a nudge in the right direction for the viewer rather than explicitly signposting-they give them an identity without dictating a prescriptive viewing.

Balance and tension are both present in these abstract pieces, with sliding forms buffering against one in another in slight tonal differences, the paintings ask the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own imagination and experience. Colour, although not vivid or primary, plays a strong role in Benjamin’s work as it acts as a vehicle to reference things in our surrounding world. By splitting composition through colour and line, Warner’s work also holds a textile quality, sharing characteristics with artists such as Sandra Blow with her woven like compositions in similar colours that profoundly blurred the lines between object and painting. Both Warner and Blow, use colour as a way of producing abstract, geometric pictures which emphasise patterns, tones and shapes found in the elemental world. Benjamin’s work shows a substantial comprehension of the need for varied pigmentation and saturation within a painting, he does this by using umbers and ochres across the background and middle ground which is then often dramatically altered with the interruption of a blue or orange gesture. With this combination of muted earth tones and an occasional vibrant insertion, Benjamin’s work can speak of the landscape he exists in, both urban and natural. There is also a balance between Warner’s abstract and representational work, each practice informs the other and allows Benjamin to move forward with both sets of paintings. The abstract work allows for a more in-depth experimentation and learning curve in terms of material and surface which then can be translated into the representational works, they keep each other fresh and exciting.

Spatial I (Green)

Spatial I (Green), Oil on board, 15 x 14 cms, £395 – view online

The idea that a piece of art can both reference the visual world we live in through abstract forms which we recognise, but also can avoid being too indicative of specificities and box viewers in, is not a new revelation. However, we believe abstract art has become even more relevant in our ever-changing world. With the over stimulation of visual imagery and an instantaneous culture, abstract art acts as the reminder that we can exist in a slower and more indefinite manner. Benjamin Warner’s work is an intense yet generous dialogue between colour and form, both of which are always rooted in him as a person and what he visually encounters in his everyday life. He is an artist of our time that is saving abstraction from a clinical or remote dynamic and is instead lurching it towards association and emotion.

View the full collection of Benjamin Warner Abstract Paintings available at Beside The Wave Gallery online here.

Richard Tuff: Celebrating 30 years at Beside The Wave Gallery

Richard Tuff 30th Anniversary collection ‘Travelling through the decades’

Pont des Arts to Notre Dame. 54.5 x 63 cm, gouache on paper (2)

Richard Tuff has been represented by Beside The Wave since 1989 and we’re delighted to present his 30th anniversary solo exhibition here in the Gallery.

For this landmark show ‘Travelling through the decades’ celebrating the 30 years of work, Richard has looked back over his travels in Italy, France, Spain and Morocco. Each place evokes a new tapestry of rich colours for him to explore and subject matters varying from Parisian Cafes to Spice Souks in Marrakesh.

Richard Tuff has gained a reputation as one of the most sought-after and admired landscape painters currently working in the county. Although most well-known for his paintings of Cornwall, foreign travel has been a regular theme in Richard Tuff’s exhibitions at the gallery over the last 30 years. Spain, Italy, Morocco and France have all provided Tuff with a new perspective.

His ability to penetrate the real climate of a place is unrelenting, whether this is reflected in his black and white ink studies or his large-scale silk screens. Richard’s handling of colour consistently reflects a talent for observation which is often underrated in a painter’s arsenal.

Richard’s work is an escape for the viewer-transporting you seamlessly to the place that lies within the painterly plane. So on the 30th anniversary of his work being represented by Beside The Wave, we caught up with Richard to find out more about his successful career as a landscape painter.

This collection is a true celebration of your work over the last 30 years. How would you describe it to someone who has never seen your work before?
The work in this collection is focused on travel painting, which has played a big part in my interests and work over my career. It is different painting somewhere that one is visiting briefly or traveling through, to an area (Cornwall) that your relationship evolves with over time.

What does 30 years at Beside The Wave mean to you?
It has been good and reassuring to have stability through a changing career, although of course you only know this when looking back. It was not something that I knew would happen when I was starting out, but something I am very proud of.

You were very young when you first exhibited with Beside The Wave. What would your advice be to new artists starting their career?

When you are younger, I think it is easier to follow your own path. Although I did know a little art history, I was not really influenced by other artists, so my style, such as it is, came quite naturally.

Although there must be advantages in coming to art practice in later life, experience and knowledge is certainly a plus or minus thing.

What is it about Cornwall that inspires you so much? Is there a particular place in Cornwall that you feel the most creative?
When I started out, I used to paint all over Cornwall almost ticking off the places and trying to find subjects off the beaten track.

With time I have tended to return more and more to the subjects and places that we have got to know as a family and things that work for me.

What do you want the viewer to feel from your paintings?
Everyone likes to be liked, but actually, I think in painting, you cannot worry too much about the viewer because it gets in the way of the process.

What’s next for your work?
Some of the paintings in this show are focused more on an atmosphere than structural subject. I would like to and am trying to bring some of that approach to my Cornish work.

All of the available work from the collection can be seen here.


20 years of Cornish artist, Andrew Tozer at Beside The Wave Gallery

On the twentieth anniversary of Andrew Tozer’s first show at Beside The Wave, Erin Sawyer goes to meet him and find out more about what motivates him and how he has found success as an outstanding contemporary impressionist.

July Light, Helford, £2,250
Why do you paint? And what drives you?

Why do I paint? Lots of reasons: one is problem solving and working out how you do things; that’s a constant challenge and conundrum was a student I used to cycle from Kilburn to my job in Ikea – all along the way there were these really complicated housing lines and roof lines and I thought how on earth could you make pictures of that? I had this idea that you could sort of take photographs and then – if you had a big sheet of acetate you could draw the outlines of them and I think it was just the challenge of it – working out how best to capture something.

Is that how you work now? Do you stumble across interesting landscapes and think how could I paint that?

I think it’s all about the longer you do it; when you first start of you make mistakes. I did. And you don’t really know what you’re doing. You have all these different methods that you use, and they become a part of your process. So, you ditch the ones that don’t work, keep the ones that do. And then you just keep building on that. For example, in a collection of 10 paintings, initially I might see a part of one painting and think – that’s amazing – and the rest of them I can’t yet stand. As you keep working on them you keep getting these little rewards and then over time, they build up into something – and just keep getting better and that becomes kind of addictive.

I teach at the Newlyn School of Art and I perform painting demonstrations with students. We go to places and analyse it – working out how to make the thing work. What I’ve learnt is the pitfalls of certain practices – so my thoughts are along the lines of is that part of the composition too complicated to get down in the time? Is the light going to change? So, I advise students to choose something simple, because their instinct is to pick something really huge and it always ends badly because you need a direction. The process of each painting differs for me but I am always looking for strategies for each painting to work with.

When you start it’s really difficult and you make lots of mistakes and I think I was lucky because I was painting full time when I was quite young. When I moved back from London I worked with my dad on the farm, but I still managed to paint for most of the day. We were on the farm early in the morning and late in the evening so I found the more time you can spend doing it the better and it was fun!

What do you want the viewer of your paintings to feel? Does it vary?

It’s really interesting and that really is the whole thing. I wanted paintings to say exactly what I felt at that time. I think I’ve found ways to do that. My paintings are subjective up to a point, everyone interprets them in their own way. However, I had to have some form of way of working or style that I could convey what I felt and that was really important.

I start with sketches, as I’ve found it’s a lot easier than painting outside. Some are quite accurate. Back in 2000, (and I know I sound like a dinosaur!) photographs were hard to do, and if you took a film camera out it was complicated. Photographs never worked for me when painting a landscape because I felt figures looked wooden, so I had to draw figures from life to help the paintings have movement – I think all of my style came from drawing – which is instantaneous.

Do you paint one painting at a time?

It depends what it is. With small paintings (and I haven’t worked on small scale in a long time) can be completed in one session. Larger works, I keep returning to. I like to finish smaller paintings in one go, and to bring them to a conclusion. If you’re working towards an exhibition, you have time to think about things a bit more, but I never like things to be over worked.

Having grown up in Cornwall do you feel your relationship to this place has changed? Is there an immunity to the charm of the place?

I don’t think so. If you’ve got away from Cornwall for a while you realise that (well, in my experience anyway) London can be so grotty and it opens your eyes – but without this there’s a tendency to take Cornwall for granted. If you’re trapped in suburbia there’s only so much inspiration you can get.

I longed for the Cornish landscape. I always appreciate Cornwall now and I love being outside with my paints. It feels so indulgent and I just never seem to lose that feeling. Being down at Port Navas at eleven in the morning, painting away, and you think this is just amazing and such a privilege. I just love it.

What is your favourite place in Cornwall to paint?

I prefer the South to North Coast. I always feel like a bit of a visitor on the North Coast! Falmouth is so soft and lovely – I love the light. I have a friend who’s a painter say something interesting to me recently: she observed that if you look at the South Coast painters their palette is always quite silvery, because generally for most of the day they are looking into the light. If you’re on the North Coast, it’s normally behind you – I found that interesting. Ken Howard, Scott-Tuke, Charles Napier Hemy (who’s very own paint box I have) – and I – all love all the creeks of the South Coast.

20 years of Beside The Wave, what does that mean?

I suppose it’s scary on a level because you wonder where the 20 years have gone – and I still remember the first day I had my work at the gallery. When I was taken on that was fantastic – my friend Mike Hindle was working down there and he told me to take my paintings in, so we arranged a meeting, the team liked it and they took it! So, I floated around for a few days on that one! And then I remember coming back from the top fields and on walking in, mum told me that the gallery had sold four of my paintings, and they wanted some more! I thought wow! I had friends still up in London doing their dissertations and I had managed to move home and start actually selling my work!

I suppose I’ve sort of grown up with Beside The Wave, and the Gallery has helped me a lot really over the years. Beside The Wave has always had such high standards when it comes to the people that work there and Ingrid was always very encouraging and inspiring me to do different things – for me to push myself.

That was very good. I think if you’re a professional painter, and do it every day, you have to produce a lot of paintings, but you also have to keep things interesting and keep your inspiration levels up – for yourself and for your collectors who are the people who have invested their money in you over the years. You owe it to them to keep doing what you’re doing, and I feel Beside the Wave has allowed me to do that over the years.

You can view the remaining paintings from Andrew’s 20th Anniversary collection available exclusively at Beside The Wave here and the rest of his available artwork here.

Breakers at Gyllyngvase Beach £1,495

Works on Paper: 20th April – 3rd May 2018

We have a selection of new Andrew Tozer drawings in especially for this exhibition

This new group show celebrates the varying ways in which artists present works on paper. Featuring copper etchings, pen and inks, mixed media and an imposing charcoal completed on the spot!

Artists’ work displayed includes Nigel Chamberlain, Nancy Crewe, Miles Heseltine, Sarah Woods, Andrew Tozer and Richard Tuff.

Some new Sarah Woods etchings can also be seen in this show.

We are delighted to be introducing new gallery artist Hugo Jones. Hugo grew up in Cornwall, where he developed a deep love for the landscape and its inhabitants. The people in the portraits are friends, family and himself; he enjoys trying to capture expression and movement, whilst also being true to human form.

He is always looking to improve his knowledge of anatomy, by studying from books and attending life drawing classes. His work tries to bridge the gap between traditional methods, and more modern expressive ideas.

To see Hugo’s work visit our website here 


This exhibition is open until the 3rd May, don’t miss it!

Sarah Wimperis wins the CASS Art prize

Sarah Collecting her prize at the Royal Institute 

We are excited to announce that gallery artist Sarah Wimperis has won the CASS Art Prize at the Royal Institute of watercolour painters with her painting ‘One Hundred to One from the Shard’ showing a london night scene as seen from a skyscraper (seen above). We would like to say a big congratulations on this amazing achievement. You can read an interview with Sarah from the night of the award ceremony here on the CASS ART website . 

Sarah has also been involved in the newest Cancer Research Uk advert in which she paints a famous Vincent Van Gogh picture to convey a strong message on donations to the charity. View the video through the link below:

Sarah’s work is also on show in our Spring Exhibition don’t miss these incredible new pieces! 


New Artist | Jonathan Koetsier

Spaghetti, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Onion, Garlic and Pot
30.5 x 40.6 cms
£1,200 by Jonathan Koetsier 

In our current Spring Exhibition we are introducing a new artist to the gallery, Jonathan Koetsier. Jonathan is based in St. Andrews, Scotland and graduated from Falmouth University in 2017 with an MA in Illustration having also graduated a year before from BA in Drawing also at Falmouth University.

For our Spring exhibition we are featuring his dramatic still life works

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Jonathan’s work can be seen in the gallery for our Spring Exhibition 

“I notice an object that is beautiful to me, I begin to remember all my experiences of that object, and I am reminded of being six. I think about how interesting it is that patterns of light can be read in such a way. I am fascinated by the differences I find between the way that I see something and the way that somebody else see it.

I arrange and select three plums, a jam jar, and a butter knife. I love jam and have many fond memories of picking fruit to make homemade jam, or simply having jam on toast after a long day in the studio. Visually, I am drawn to the beautiful purples and reds of the fruit, and the red and white of the lid on the jam jar. I take my subjects into the studio, and I position a makeshift light on my still life stage as a theatre director. I don’t stop until I am in love with the setup, drawing out the visual aspects in my subjects that I am attracted to, and building an effective composition. I continue to arrange and rearrange until I am excited to paint.

I draw my arrangement, measuring, and carefully marking the parameters of each object. I begin to mix colour, forgetting everything but the visual of my subject, seeing not a plum, but patterns of light and colour. The work becomes abstract in process, no longer seeing objects but patches of light, which I carefully observe, mixing and placing shapes of paint on the panel. I am finished when the first sensation that compelled me to paint has been expressed.

As I look back on my work I see three aspects in conversation, paint on a surface that is visually beautiful in it’s own right, marks that record actions of painting and all my thoughts that go with that, and a seen in subject with all it’s individual associations. All three aspects come together to form the experience of seeing one of my paintings.” – Jonathan Koetsier March 2018

Jam, Plums and Butter Knife
22.9 x 30.5 cms
£950 by Jonathan Koetsier


All of Jonathan’s work can be seen on our website here:

Beside The Wave Annual Spring Show 2018

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Our Spring window display featuring new ceramics by Emily Doran 

Our annual Spring Show is now open!

This exhibition features brand new work by Lizzy Bridges, Anne-Marie Butlin, Richard Tuff and Sarah Wimperis. We are also thrilled to introduce the work of recent graduate Jonathan Koetsier to the gallery!

There’s another opportunity to view some of Benjamin Warner’s abstract collection from earlier in the year. We also couldn’t resist including some contemporary impressionists, Andrew Tozer and Robert Jones. Prints and etchings by Jamie Medlin and Sarah Woods complete the collection.

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Striking new paintings by Lizzy Bridges 
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New work by our newest gallery artist Jonathan Koetsier now in the gallery 

Our newest gallery artist Jonathan Koetsier is based in St. Andrews, Scotland and graduated from Falmouth University in 2017 with an MA in Illustration having also graduated a year before from BA in Drawing also at Falmouth University.

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New Anne-Marie Butlin paintings providing the gallery with some spring florals. 
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Martha Holmes wonderful still life paintings

From all of us at Beside The Wave we’d like to wish you a very happy Easter weekend, we are open as usual!

*New Exhibition* W: A Group Show 8th – 29th March 2018


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Our new window display featuring work by our female artists

Our new show: W is now open and will run until 29th March. This show celebrates our incredibly talented female gallery artists, coinciding with International Women’s Day.

We are also excited to introduce new artist Martha Holmes to this exhibition where she is showcasing some of her delightful still lifes.

Take a sneak peak of the paintings and artists you can see in this show in our images below!

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Work by new gallery artist Martha Holmes can be seen in the gallery.

For this show we are welcoming a new female artist to the gallery. Martha Holmes is currently in the final year of her degree at Falmouth University and we just love her little studies, perfect for the start of spring.

“I am a painter based in Falmouth. My work takes inspiration from the rich colours and light found within the Cornish coast and landscape, working both en plein air as well as still life from my studio space.
The nature of my work allows me to explore and travel around the coast, seeking spots to paint and record the changing lanscape. The abstract and expressive nature of my landscape work has influenced my still life painting, using a similar method to document the structure of colour and light within the compositions. I always work from life, with foliage often picked from different places along the coast or close to where I paint in Falmouth. Process and the space I work in has always been important to me – working directly within the landscape or with the subject matter of a still life allows me to fully engage with my work.” – Martha Holmes February 2018

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Etchings by Sarah Woods

Recent graduate Sarah Woods is also featured in this exhibition and we are so excited to have some of her original paintings in for this show too. Other Artists included are Amy Albright, Emma Dunbar, Nancy Crewe, Helen Jones, Siobhan Purdy, Erin Ward and Sarah Wimperis.

To see more information on all the pieces featured in this exhibition visit our website here: