Marine artists ‘celebrate the sea’ at Staithes

Haidee Jo Summers painting in Staithes
Haidee Jo Summers painting in Staithes

Last weekend saw members of the prestigious Royal Society of Marine Artists visit Staithes.

Continuing the village’s long and distinguished connection with art, members of the society were dotted around the village throughout the weekend.

Many had never visited the Yorkshire coast before but some, like the society’s Richard Dack, said he would definitely be back, adding: “It’s amazing. I’d like to bring my group of Norfolk painters to work here.”

The president of the society, David Howell, said the group are hoping to hold an exhibition at Staithes Gallery next spring of the paintings they are making as a result of the “inspirational” trip.

“That would be wonderful,” said Al Milnes of Staithes Gallery, who hosted the visit. “We often go down to London to see the annual RSMA exhibitions at the Mall Galleries, but it would be fabulous to see the work here.”

The tagline of the Royal Society of Marine artists is ‘Celebrating the Sea’ and the group was formed in 1939.

It is widely recognised as being the focal point for Britain’s finest marine art.

Members of the society from as far away as Cornwall, Norfolk and the south east flocked to the village to paint in the warm September light last weekend.

They met up with Yorkshire-based colleagues David Allen, from Harrogate, Bruce Mulcahy, from Dewsbury and David Curtis, who all regularly paint in Staithes.

Staithes is enjoying a huge amount of attention recently, with the Arts and Heritage festival taking place last month and national coverage in the form of the BBC’s Countryfile program, which visited the village.

Staithes has attracted artists since the 19th century, most famously the group who became known as the Staithes Group of Artists.

The group actually painted the whole of the Parish of Hinderwell cum Roxby, from the early 1880s and many of the artists trained in Paris and Antwerp.Theybrought to Staithes the use of blunt-ended brushes, plein air painting, an obsession with light and atmosphere.