Guernsey cliffs

A celebration of high summer on the south cliffs, Guernsey. Waves of lapis lazuli roll in and break hard against dark rocks. Acrylics on paper 15 x 26 cm.


Here’s a view out to sea from the beautiful Guernsey cliffs. I painted a view of Sark as a response to a long difficult paint, and this view of Guernsey cliffs had a similar birth. After something painstaking and detailed I wanted something fresh and bright. I know of no other places with such hard brilliant light as the Channel Islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. Of course, there are sometimes dull days in Guernsey. But even then there is a brightness that one does not get on the mainland. I have often noticed that Herm’s Shell Beach glows, even on a dull day, perhaps because of all the minute particles of silica.

In this celebration of high summer by the sea, waves of lapis lazuli roll in and break hard against dark rocks. In the foreground, there is desiccated gorse (furze) and the seed spikes of sorrel and dock. Imagine the cry of gulls, the sound of the waves and the drone of passing insects. The south cliffs of Guernsey have very different moods, each half-mile has a unique temperament. It is one of the best walks you could hope to take.

I wanted to keep the painting fresh and luminous, without the concentration of detail. I think this is splendidly bright, and the sea reminds me happily of the real thing.

You might also like a view of Guernsey rocks in different weather, or here is a more intimate view of the rocks.