In order to see familiar places from unfamiliar perspectives I decided to paint a series of vertical paintings from the cliff tops of the coast of Cornwall. Mullion Cove is depicted in evening light that accentuates the structure of the harbour, built between 1893 and 1895 with money from Lord Robartes of Lanhydrock, who wanted to compensate the Mullion fishermen after several bad pilchard harvests. Kynance Cove became popular in the early Victorian era, with its many distinguished visitors including Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I focused on the rocks of green and red serpentine, polished by the sea over thousands of years, which are distinctive to Kynance and the Lizard Peninsula. I also watched the breakers rolling in on the Porthtowan coast, providing the inspiration for the small painting of the Atlantic Coast (Arvor).

To make the Arvor paintings, I tore vertical strips from large sheets of cotton rag paper. I then painted the surface, using washes and areas of thick impasto to further embellish the surface. The initial colours were poured freely onto the paper, each layer being allowed to dry before the next one was applied. I used interlocking foreground and background elements: a larger foreground shape to give a sense of space, a contrasting colour to create a sense of atmosphere.

Every painting I made along the coast of Cornwall in 2007 conveys a sense of atmosphere and weather, trying to harness the character of each season by exaggerating shapes, forms and colour. A landscape never looks the same on different days and the weather is a powerful factor in providing a mood, provoking responses in us.

Jeremy Gardiner