Bramfield painter Denise Allen once sold a painting of waves crashing on to the shore because the buyer felt it made her “want to take her shoes and socks off”.
Allen, who admits that she has become obsessed with depictions of waves on the foreshore, devotes many of her paintings to this subject. Others are studies of evening skies – another favourite theme. In painting both sea and sky she is fascinated by the effects of light and her work often focuses on the network patterns that are produced – in the sea by the foam fragmenting and in the sky by the dying light penetrating and breaking up the clouds.
In her studies of waves crashing Denise believes that the scale and shape of her canvases should match the subject matter. That is why many of the works on show are large, long and narrow. Ideally, and if they would sell, she would paint even larger pictures.
Although she has always had a passion for art and initially was attracted to painting wildlife, Denise’s love of the sea was fostered while living in Bermuda. On returning to the UK she help found the gallery Artshed, but gave up her share to concentrate on her own watercolours and oils and to establish the painting holidays she still runs in Menorca. Today, the holiday island remains an important source of inspiration, though others include the craggy coasts and wild seas of Cornwall and Northumberland.