“My recent paintings are inspired by my first year of wild swimming. This has given me a new perspective and access to the sea year round.
One of my favourite places to swim is Porthminster Point, St Ives, which is usually isolated and it takes a bit clambering over the rocks to get to the sea, the rocks are covered in small barnacles and ochre coloured seaweed, at low tide the colours are at their best.
I love the sense of isolation, entering the cold water helps focus on the present and there is a sense of achievement as your body adjusts to this watery world. Bobbing with the swell, taking in the clouds, the odd seal, and the smell of the seaweed on the rocks gives me plenty of inspiration and afterwards there is a deep sense of calm as your body core temperature is cooled down.
Back in the studio I prefer to paint in the evenings I feel I can immerse myself in the painting process. Using acrylic paints I combine many layers and experimental mark making techniques which I find offers me the freedom to explore the energy and movement of the sea which has become the predominant influence in my work.”
Heather lives and works in St Ives