As has been stated and showcased many times before in your favourite CommunityAd magazine something about the Marsh inspires creativity, whether it be poets like Derek Jarman, writers such as HG Wells, singing sisters such as The Two Harps, filmmakers such as Ewan Golder or painters such as Zoe Beardsley, who delights us all on Facebook with her page Greatstone Art.
CommunityAd had the chance to ask the artist behind Greatstone Art a few questions.
So, Zoe how long have you called the Romney Marsh home?
I have lived in Greatstone since 2002, when my daughters were only 1 and 3 years old, but have a longer connection with the area back to the mid 70’s when I holidayed in Littlestone every year.
What makes it such an inspiring place to live as a creative person like yourself?
The sense of light and space on the Marsh creates an amazing place to paint and photograph. The flatness of the reclaimed marshland lends itself to the most incredible sunrises and sunsets and ‘big skies’, with ever-changing views of coast and countryside. This together with the unique history of smuggling, the unusual landmarks such as the Power Station, Mulberry harbour and numerous Martello Towers dotted along the coastline, and the contrasting natural landscape of sheep, flora and fauna all lend themselves to creating something unique and colourful, and hopefully interesting to my followers.
We absolutely love all your local-inspired pieces, you use watercolours and acrylics, what is it about these techniques that appeals to your artistic nature?
I started off many years ago using watercolours, but over the years have moved over to acrylic paint as the vibrant colours are more in tune with my style of artwork. I have also dabbled in oil paint over the last couple of years, but prefer the versatility of acrylic, especially the drying times!
Why would you recommend drawing and painting, generally just trying a creative process for our readers? It’s a great way to spend nights indoors, very therapeutic and good for one’s mental health, isn’t it?
I can’t imagine my life if I wasn’t painting or doing something creative. As well as a fantastic way of expressing yourself, the time spent doing something for you and learning different techniques as you go, helps to create a balance in your life and an escape from the day to day worries and anxieties. I would actively encourage anybody to give it a go, whether you are artistic or not, as the sense of achievement and inner peace it can bring is second to none!
What is your favourite season? Some of your wintry scenes are stunning, so we’re looking forward to seeing what spring brings.
I think each season has its merits, as the ever-changing coastline lends itself to so many different contrasts of light. The bleakness of the winter days on the beach are often a godsend when you don’t want to be surrounded by people. The low level of light in the autumn is absolutely stunning, together with the warmth that we generally have after the summer temperatures have warmed the sea. The hustle and bustle of the summer months with families enjoying their days out or holidays (in normal times!), but for me spring has always been my favourite and most inspiring time of year, with the gorgeous spring flowers popping up everywhere, the new life of the lambs in the fields and the birdsong on the reserve, who could want to live anywhere else?