The waves of Cornwall poured in paint on canvas are now increasingly adorning the walls of homes in London and Northern cities thanks to a Newquay artist and photographer’s whose work is gaining in popularity.
Philly Stokes started experimenting with the paint pouring technique a year ago but it is during the coronavirus lockdown that she found how to make it work.
Her paintings, which are in vogue mainly with landlocked city dwellers wanting a reminder of what Cornwall is about, depict those perfect, curling tube like glorious waves dappled in sunlight and luminous in blue and green.
“I first experimented with it about a year ago. I wasn’t doing waves in particular. I just poured the paint on the canvas to see what it would do. I couldn’t really control it. It would go everywhere and made a mess.
“I left it but during the lockdown I thought I’d give it another go. This time I started turning the canvas round and shaping the paint on it and let it take the shapes I wanted,” the 27-year-old from Newquay said.
“I’m obsessed with the ocean and the water and now I had waves on my canvas. I thought it would be great to create these beautiful imaginary waves. They have been really popular.”
A photographer by trade and consummate surfer, Philly, originally from Hampshire, did an arts diploma at Falmouth University before embarking on a career in photography. At first in the fashion industry then as a freelancer.
It is only in recent years that she started painting and the ocean has continued to be her inspiration.
Philly who also teaches yoga said: “I’m down on the beach every day to surf and to take pictures. Being married to a pro surfer, I spend a lot of time in the sea. Our life revolves around the ocean. So I guess it was always going to transfer over into my art.”
Like many people Philly and her family used to holiday in Cornwall. She used to tag along with her parents when they went travelling and would always take snaps of anything and everything. At 17 she too went travelling armed with her camera.
“I had to live by the sea,” She said. “Coming back to Cornwall was a good reason to be by the ocean. I didn’t want to go to uni. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but the pull of the ocean was too strong and a photography and arts degree was as good a reason as any.
“I used to send in pictures to National Geographic when I was younger. I never got anything published because my pictures were terrible. But then again I was only a child.”
From wedding to surf photography and brand photography, her work as involved the sea, nature and the environment in one way or another.
“I love capturing nature and people in nature. Travelling was amazing for that. I guess my art is an extension of that.”
Philly sells her paintings online but has plans to exhibit some of her photography and artwork at a gallery in Newquay. Some of her work will also be part of the North Coast Asylum collective.
“I have sold quite a few of my waves to people in London. Not just in the big cities but in Devon and Cornwall too. People like a reminder of the sea, of Cornwall.
“They need that connection to the ocean in their home I guess.”
Philly can be contacted via her website at www.phillystokes.com/