St.Mawes from an artists perspective

St Mawes for me is a rather special place. It is a long drive from Penzance and I must cross the King Harry ferry to get there. It takes about and hour and a bit but is well worth it. It is a popular rather expensive piece of real estate but has charm and quietness and a feeling all its own,and surprisingly is not expensive for things like tea and sandwhiches etc. It sits on the huge vast estuary that Ferry’s from Falmouth come and go and it overlooks the Roseland Peninsula again a very pricy place to live.

The car parks are good and I like to either go on the beach as you approach the town which is a bit of a sun trap and overlooks the town or I like to go to a little place I discovered which is the first pub on the left as you drive in which has a garden and seats again overlooking just about everything, the harbour and the Estuary. So, spoilt for choice. In high season there is a pontoon which people swim out to again a good subject.

You must get her before mid-day otherwise the sun is so fierce it whitewashes everything, and you want contrast.

Also, around the harbour area is good. I like to take my camper seat with me which unfolds with a tray for putting my water on and paint in gouache on paper. I like to paint oils from the beach.

Lots of plein air painters like to use easels and paint small. But if I can I like to use the biggest canvas I can mange and I like to sit down with the canvas in one hand and my bushes in another. I use latex gloves, so I don’t get paint on my hands and then on to my clothes.

The other wonderful thing about St Mawes for me is that when mid-day comes and if the sun is out and I can’t paint any more I like to go for a swim. The water is always cold, but I feel great when I get out and there is no tide. It is very benign.

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View more fine artwork from Alan Furneaux


Alan is a lifelong artist with a passion for landscapes and outdoor painting. He is based in Penzance, Cornwall where he dedicates his life to his work and capturing the unique beauty of Cornwall.