‘Miss Cleethorpes’, (2012) Oil on Linen, 66.2 x 102 cm2012
A beauty queen and a dog parade along the promenade at the seaside resort of Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire with a pier in the background. I visited this place and played on the beach many times during my childhood and teenage years. Females in swimsuits, of course, were a key attraction of the seafront. Beauty queen contests in Cleethorpes date back, I believe, to the 1930s. I recall seeing one at an open air pool during the 1950s. Such contests enabled good looking local girls to display their bodies and to enjoy a period of fame. The painting is intended as a tribute to female beauty and popular culture (beauty queen contests but also seaside travel posters with their beach scenes and intense blue skies). In terms of its colour combinations, the painting pays homage to van Gogh’s use of complementary pairs - yellow/blue, red/green. My aim was to capture the clear, strong light and heat of the summer sun on bare flesh and the freshness of the salty, ozone-filled sea air.
- All rights reserved. Exhibited on USEUM with the permission of the rights owner.