Belvoir Bay, Herm

Belvoir Bay is a sandy cove on the East coast of the tiny Channel island of Herm. Original painting – acrylics on gesso board – 28 x 36 cm. Sold unframed.


Belvoir Bay is a sandy cove on the East coast of the tiny Channel island of Herm. Dark rocks hold the bay and protect it from three directions. Currents in the Big Russel (the sea passage between Herm and Sark, the latter lying low on the horizon to the right) are fierce even in calm weather and here a stiff breeze has whipped up the waves and they crash onto the fine sand of the beach. Herm itself is sacred: the north of the island has the remains of multiple megalithic chamber tombs and, to this day, it is a place of ghosts and secrets, to be approached with reverence. Writing this description makes my heart ache for this special place.

Herm is also the ‘holiday island’ for Guernsey. Locals love to catch the ferry and spend the day in the Mermaid Tavern or on the beach, preferably both. The last ferry back to Guernsey is not a pretty sight! It is perhaps surprising that the island keeps its mysteries, and its peculiar energy, in spite of the summer traffic.

Belvoir Bay is a favourite place of mine. I set out to capture the contrast between light and shade that is so often a feature of this area – dark rocks, almost black against the bright island light, an ominous sky and sun-kissed white horses galloping towards the beach in a constant thunder. The surface is gesso board, a robust choice that allows the paint to slide about in a manner that’s not always friendly, but which offers luminance missing from canvas. As always, I use a limited palette – but I still ended up using eight colours.

You might also like this view of Sark from a different direction.