Jo Bemis & Christie Bird

Inspired by the Sea
30 November 2018

Two Isle of Wight artists will be exhibiting at The Minster Gallery in Winchester throughout December. Inspired By The Sea showcases paintings of giant waves crashing on beaches by Jo Bemis and Christie Bird’s paintings celebrating life on the island’s coast.

Jo Bemis was born on the Isle of Wight in 1969 and studied at Portsmouth College of Art and Leeds Metropolitan University. After returning from living in the United States in 2001, she settled back on the island and began painting full time in 2003. Her paintings are in collections worldwide. 

She says of her oil paintings and chalk pastel sketches of waves: ‘I am drawn to more wild, atmospheric places. Abstract shapes and the force and power of waves continue to be a great inspiration for me. This collection of paintings has been inspired by some of my favourite beaches across north Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.’

Christie Bird was born in 1970 in the British Virgin Islands. After attending the School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, U.S.A., she moved to London where she has exhibited regularly, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2008. She was Elected Associate member of the Royal Watercolour Society, March 2018 (ARWS).

Now living on the Isle Of Wight, she says: ‘This body of work is a celebration of everyday life on the island’s coast. This coastline is intrinsic to my work, while my paintings are also laced with memories of a West Indian island childhood.’

Painting to the sounds of the sea, Christie uses a limited palette of lime whites of the nearby cliffs, gentle greys of softened pebbles and flat blues of the Bay. She explains: ‘To achieve the chalky texture, I alternately paint, scratch and sand acrylic paint.’