Grande Grève, Sark

I wanted sunny colours and Grande Grève came to mind. I wanted hot sun, the aromatic rock samphire and the cry of gulls. Acrylics on paper 51 x 41 cm.


Grande Grève is a beach in Sark, Channel Islands, adjacent to the famous Coupée, the narrow isthmus that connects Sark and Little Sark. It is a beautiful and mostly unspoiled island, without pollution and traffic, and this is one of my favourite views.

There is really no preparation for the Coupée. One minute you are walking a path through fields, then you plunge briefly into a sandy gorge before stepping out into the light and the most extraordinary view. On your left is the terrifying drop into the Convanche Chasm. To your right is the only slightly less perilous drop to Grande Grève. No wonder that many tourists try not to look down, preferring to carry on to the safety of Little Sark and the charms of tea at La Sablonnerie (and those charms are great indeed).

I painted this after finishing a much larger piece that had taken weeks and I wanted to splash out with sunny colours. The view down to Grande Grève immediately came to mind. I wanted to conjure the hot sun, the aromatic scent of rock samphire and the cry of gulls. Perhaps I succeeded. Other people seemed to think so: this painting was longlisted for Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020.

If you like this painting you might also enjoy this painting in a similar style of Guernsey cliffs.