St Mary’s seals


Oil on Italian linen, approx. 112cm x 105cm

As part of the Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award, given to me in 2015, I learnt to scuba dive and I produced a series of sketches and paintings from the experience.

My dives were centred along the north east coast of Northumberland in or near a proposed new Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). Atlantic or grey seals are commonly found along this stretch of coast and were encountered on several ocassions. They are very inquisitive of divers and often approach extremely close, even touching with their flippers. A particular game they seem to enjoy is to playfully tug at divers’ swimming fins, which can be a little off-putting!

I sketched these seals off St Mary’s Island, just north of Newcastle.


Select an original below

  • Redshank
  • Jewels of sunlight
  • Grey wagtail
  • Shallow waters
  • Snow charm
  • Snowy birches and ermine
  • Avocet
  • Moorhen and bulrushes
  • Melting away (snipe)
  • At the waterline
  • Winter fox
  • St Mary’s seals
  • The Gathering
  • Short-eared owl
  • Abernethy Forest pool
  • Redshank alarm
  • Evening pools – wigeon
  • Silver light
  • Aberlady Bay
  • Fishing in the flow tide – Little egret
  • Long-eared owl
  • Shrimping
  • Purple sandpipers
  • Morecambe Bay waders
  • Storm surge – gannets at Bamburgh
  • Sandpiper flight
  • Lindisfarne Bay
  • Heading north – migrating dunlin
  • Redshank
  • Against the light
  • Spring tide
  • Marsh grass
  • Warming up
  • Snow petrel
  • Smiling at the sun (rock martins at Abu Simbel)
  • Salt marsh sentinel
  • Making waves
  • Log pile
  • The sand martin and the jellyfish
  • Humpbacks in the Gerlache Strait
  • Dipper
  • Beachcombers
  • Run-off

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