Friday, 9 April 2010

Tea for two on Budleigh beach

Love on the beach, print by Devon artist Laura Wall

Some people come to Budleigh Salterton for the Devon cream teas at places like The Dolphin, Tittle Tattle or The Cozy Teapot.

All that Laura Wall needed to make her day was one tea bag. The Tavistock-based artist has made a start on a series of illustrations that she is doing for seaside galleries, and chose our beach for the first series.

"It is pen and ink on oil paper with a tea bag used after to give it that sepia look," she says. "I discovered this method when talking to artists on some forums and the results speak for themselves. I’m really pleased with the effects of this."

Otter estuary

Originally from Kent, Laura moved to Devon in 2001 where the burgeoning art community of the area truly inspired her. She received a scholarship for Aberystwyth University of Wales and achieved a first degree BA Honours in Fine Art and Illustration.

Following from this course Laura created her first character ‘Goose’ which has now turned into a series of cards and prints and expanded to other whimsical characters found in her series ‘Love at the Seaside’. Her work is becoming highly collectable and popular throughout the South West.

A romantic story lies behind Laura's inspiration for the Budleigh beach artwork. "I met my current partner a year ago through a friend," she explained. "I live in Tavistock, but I had to travel to Budleigh Salterton where he lived to visit him last year over the course of about five months."

"It was always so sunny and such a beautiful get-away that I believe we fell in love there! Many special and lazy days were spent walking along the beach."

As a present to her partner Laura painted her first Budleigh picture from memories there, entitling it Romance at Budleigh, and this then turned into a series. "I wanted to give the paintings a nostalgic feel and so that's where the tea bag came in!"

Budleigh Salterton continues to have a special place in Laura's affections. "I always go back to visit," she told me.

The prints come in two sizes: 15"x11" (£25) or 8"x 6" (£15). They are signed prints and also come with a mount so they are ready to frame in 20"x16" or 12"x10" frames. Alternatively, says Laura, she can frame them in beautiful white frames for an extra £20 (large or £10 (small). Two of the originals are available to buy too (Otter Estuary and Fisherman) for £95 each, or £115 framed, and they are also 8"x6".

Laura Wall exhibits at Tavistock Framing Gallery, No19 Shaldon, White Sails Dartmouth, and Knights Gallery, Paignton.

She can be contacted via her website at

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