Nick Potter’s Bright and Colourful Costal Paintings

Born in Derbyshire in 1959, Nick Potter has been painting professionally for over 25 years. His inspiration has always been the landscape especially wild landscapes and the coast. Nick spent some time teaching and he and his wife also ran their own Art Gallery for a while. “I prefer painting to running a gallery” say Nick. His work is collected nationwide. Nicks love of wild coastal scenery has led him to paint the coastlines of Scotland, Wales, Northumberland ans Cornwall.

“I love wild landscapes. It is so easy to take the landscape for granted but open spaces are becoming more and more precious as man puts pressure on the earth’s resources. I love all landscapes from the flatlands of Norfolk to the wild coasts of Cornwall, Pembrokeshire and Northumberland; but I particularly love wild mountain landscapes as found in Scotland and The Lake District.

My harbour paintings are a result of my love of everything coastal. I naturally gravitate to these places whenever the opportunity arises, no matter how remote. They still depict the balance between the influence of man and the powers of nature. When it comes to the sea, nature wins every time.

Tide's Going Out by Nick Potter

Tide’s Going Out by Nick Potter

“Wild landscapes are my inspiration. My pictures are amalgamations or distillations of remembered landscapes.”

“I paint in my garden studio. This is my space. I do not need natural light and usually have the blinds drawn and door shut. I like privacy when painting.”

“I used to paint to music or the radio. Currently I paint to books on tape or CD which I borrow from the library. These are unabridged and can last up to 17 hours. I am so attuned to this way of working that I cannot paint without them. They are as much a part of the painting process as the paint or canvas. My compositions are unusual in that all the detail occurs in a quarter or a fifth of the picture. Having decided on the composition in a sketchbook I carefully but quickly sketch in the detail. All this planning is often covered by the first coat of paint.”

Detail taken from Tide's Going Out by Nick Potter

Detail taken from Tide’s Going Out by Nick Potter

“I then decide on a ‘mood’ colour which will unify the painting; however the first coat of paint may be the exact opposite. I generally paint with acrylics. I find them versatile and like the quick drying properties. I am too impatient to wait for oils to dry. I like to use texture in my work. This can take different forms: impasto paint, gesso applied with a knife, texture paint, decorator’s filler or smoother internal wall plaster. I sometimes use a crackle glaze between coats of paint which produces fissures in the surface of the paint. I sometimes use ‘negative texture’ where I scrape back paint to the surface of the canvas.”

“I often like to dribble or squirt paint or ink using a pipette and then disperse the dribbles with a fine water spray. This can be very unpredictable but exciting. I also use a large variety of tools for paint application. I will use the largest brush I can get away with as this prevents fiddling; these are often house painters brushes. I also use artist’s brushes, stencil brushes for spattering, palette knives, scrapers, spatulas and trowels. I squirt paint with syringes and pipettes and can call on a collection of rollers, sponges, quills, sticks and tissues for blotting.”

Down By The Harbour by Nick Potter

Down By The Harbour by Nick Potter 

“Most of the texture is in the foreground. I use it sparingly in the background as it tends to pull it forward and can ruin the balance of the picture. The paintings evolve and develop during the process. Nothing is written in stone. I like to leave the paintings around the studio for a few weeks until the temptation to make minor changes abates. Once photographed the pictures are signed, varnished and packed away.”

“Although I reuse similar subject matter, each new work is an exciting adventure; like setting off on a journey with no proper map just a few vague directions. I can never totally predict where I will arrive but after a few directional changes it will be somewhere close to my desired destination.”

Detail taken from Down By The Harbour by Nick Potter

Detail taken from Down By The Harbour by Nick Potter

For more information about Nick Potter and his work please visit

Nick Potter at Artworx Gallery

Alternatively please ring 01952 820397 or email
Artworx Gallery, 67 High Street, Newport, Shropshire TF10 7AU

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