Gerry Halpin: Painting Coastal Landscapes


Gerry Halpin MBE PPMAFA NAPA is a landscape painter utilizing a variety of media. His function is fundamentally interpretive, intuitive and pushes to abstraction, specifically his coastally influenced paintings. Represented by a amount of non-public galleries Gerry’s operate is bought greatly by clientele and collectors in Britain and overseas. In this posting Gerry presents us a fascinating insight into what evokes him, his functioning approaches and his materials of choice.

Image of Gerry painting

“…an artist must imagine, the eye is not more than enough, it demands to think as well” – Paul Cezanne Aix-En-Provence,  France (1839 -1906)

My apply

Arriving at the studio every single early morning is the starting of a marvellous and privileged prospect to paint. To make seen those people photographs which have been maturing in my brain from the sketches, I produced after walking the moors and beaches wherever I obtain my resources of inspiration.

Working in an interpretive, expressive model, I am a landscape painter who, right after rambling about individuals inspiring places and generating on web page ‘aide memoire’ sketches, prefers to paint in the studio somewhat than ‘plein air’.

For me, it is essential that I engage thoroughly with the landscape. Recording individuals images which initial caught my eye and which fired my creativity. Then returning to the studio wherever the devices I need to have to finish the portray is to hand.

Image of Gerry's sketchbook

The value of sketches

First sketches for that reason are vitally important to my observe. I just can’t emphasise ample how much I depend on them in the studio. My sketches are not in depth drawings, they just history the essence of what I seen and remind me of that when I start out to paint. I stay clear of unneeded detail which would distract me from people feelings and sensations integral to a unique picture. They assure that my head also gets to be included in the course of action of portray. 

I wholly concur with Cezanne, the eye is not more than enough, the thoughts also desires to ‘see’. This results in a private and therefore distinctive portray. Paintings which soon after time and with consistency of technique, have come to be determined as the operate of a certain artist.

Image of Gerry's sketchbook

Sketching in the clouds

Prior to Lockdown, when air journey was out there, I was fascinated by looking down on the landscape from an plane. No matter whether that was holiday break flights or from occasional trips in a two seater piloted by a buddy. I would attract promptly recording the marks revealed from on the lookout down on the landscape. Recording marks geographically pure and marks built by gentleman. The benefits, devoid of such as a horizon, have been linear and the important drawing pace additional to a feeling of abstraction. I was mindful that they could possibly lean to ‘pattern’, but the texture and mark producing inherent in my approach prevented that sort of stylised outcome.

Gerry Halpin – Shoreline

In her autobiography, ‘Out Of This Century’ Peggy Guggenheim manufactured an observation. When flying dwelling from San Francisco “the landscape below was astounding, superior than any painting”.

I may well agree with Guggenheim, but if 1 provides Cezannes’ notion to the mix, ‘seeing’ as a result of the ‘mind’ as very well as the eye and not becoming tied to the reality of the perspective, enabling emotions, sensitivity and private interpretation to enjoy their element, then the subsequent portray can be similarly incredible.

The late Peter Lanyon is a marvellous illustration of an artist who painted the landscape from higher than. Recording the ‘sensations’ and not the descriptions of the observed globe, from his many glider flights in Cornwall.

Gerry Halpin - Shoreline: Pools & Flotsam
Gerry Halpin – Shoreline: Pools & Flotsam

A new viewpoint

Given that Lockdown, I have not flown and relied on my before sketches for beginning points. I have normally been specially fascinated in the opportunities presented by the conversation of the sea on the land. Not long ago I have develop into psyched by the shoreline itself. Not from a good top but alternatively from head peak if you will. Strolling about and seeking down. Focussing on the flotsam and jetsam remaining powering by the tide, strands of fishing nets, buoys and seaweed. Disused jetties, rusted breakwaters and twisted groynes alongside with tumbles of rocks and scatterings of pebbles and shells were being all marvellous item of intrigue.

These have been the objects of my eye. The swirl of the seawater concerning pools and the change of object triggered by the ebb and flow of the tide were extra concerns. Sensations of the head, to be incorporated by some means in the painting.

My coastal shoreline paintings are interpretive re-presentations of both objects and sensations. They are as a result rather uniquely summary and gestural is effective.

Remains: Tide In
Gerry Halpin – Continues to be: Tide In

My components of decision

I have just lately returned to acrylics, getting used the exceptional Michael Harding oil paints on many of the before paintings. My primary components are Liquitex hefty overall body paint along with Liquitex adaptable modelling paste for rough texture spots. I depart it to dry for a working day at least right before commencing to paint. I also use Liquitex Liquithick additive to system up the paint, it is excellent in not paling out the colour. These all perform completely nicely on possibly canvas, excess primed or paper primed with a gesso primer. Arches or Saunders Waterford 300lb paper is splendid to use which I BluTack it to a board.

The gains of portray with acrylics

Becoming a restless painter, I find the swift drying of acrylics suits my method of portray properly. It will allow me to scratch and scrape with all method of implements to reach rugged textural outcome. The dry surface readily accepts pastel and charcoal marks that I will need to include. Overpainting is obtained immediately and alterations can be built effortlessly as a end result of people critical moments of contemplative sitting and seeking from the ‘minds eye’.

Gerry Halpin is a Member, a previous Trustee and the instant Past President of Manchester Academy of High-quality Arts (MAFA) and he has exhibited extensively since his election to Membership in 2001. Appointed MBE in 2009 for his function in Art and Charities. In 2022 he was invited to grow to be a member of the National Acrylic Painters Association (NAPA). His paintings have been exhibited with the ROI, RSMA and RI in the Shopping mall Galleries, London. In the 2014 ROI exhibition, he was awarded the Menina Joy Schwabe prize for an superb operate.

You can see much more of Gerry’s get the job done on his site. A choice of his paintings can be seen in an exhibition at the Technically Amazing Gallery, Warrington, until mid June and completely at Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester.


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