Considering Nigel Wade’s two beach scenes of Brittany and the Sussex Coast, one is immediately struck by the intense luminosity of his work as well the incredible attention to detail. The marriage of these two elements conveys a powerful sense of elemental atmosphere.
Such detail draws the viewer into closer inspection revealing minute textural detail, reminiscent of Ruskin’s Pre-Raphaelite principles where the artist ‘rejects nothing and selects nothing’. Such accuracy of form does not, however become stilted or contrived.
There is a clarity and freshness to both works which allows the viewer into the moment, as if standing beside the artist while he considers the scene before him. His ability to portray and combine the constantly fluctuating elements of light, sand, sea and sky is a tribute to his competence and ambition as a draftsman.
The same principles and techniques are applied to the bustling Brighton Sea Front at dusk. Painting an urban nocturne with the medium of watercolour is undoubtedly challenging, and in this instance has been largely successful. The well-judged perspective of the buildings, street and railings, along with their intrinsic detail, draws the eye through the painting. While the foreground has a slightly heavy palette the sun setting behind the ruins of Brighton Pier is beautifully observed and rendered.