In the sixth instalment of Painting the North, Ant Cosgrove, the man behind The Northern Art Page on Facebook, shares striking works of art, sketches and drawings from around The North of England. As the weeks progress, Ant will bring you his image of the week from the popular social media page. This week it’s Adam Ralston’s Blackpool Beach.

Ant says: “Adam Ralston’s plein air landscapes of Blackpool burst onto the North-West art scene just a couple of year ago. Born in Lytham St. Anne’s in 1970, Ralston studied at Blackpool College and then in Canterbury. More recently, he has been able to devote himself full-time to painting. His work is mainly based on the day-to-day scenes around Blackpool. This is in no way an attempt to create any type of nostalgia that might be predisposed within the viewer towards the famous sea-side resort, rather, that the artist is simply painting the landscape and environment that he knows so well.

Ralston recently won first place in this year’s Pintar Rapido in London for his work, Piccadilly Circus, Rain. This follows successfully showing in the capital at The New English Art Club Exhibition and at The Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition. Earlier this year, Ralston also became a member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Art (MAFA).

In my opinion, Ralston’s work is excellent value, and it comes as no surprise that several galleries in The North are now selling his paintings and including his work in their mixed exhibitions.”

Below is an artist statement from Adam Ralston (courtesy of Todmorden Fine Art):

“Although I love to paint still life, I’d class myself as a plein air painter. I prefer to paint out of doors, as much as possible. I was originally influenced by the work of Euan Uglow, having been taught measured drawing at Foundation Level, and more recently, by the work of contemporary artists such as Peter Brown.

I did a Foundation Course at the Blackpool College of Art, and trained at the Canterbury College of Art (1990 – 1993), where I gained an Honours Degree in Fine Art. My hometown is Blackpool, and this is what I mostly paint, as Blackpool presents a great variety of subjects to capture my interest, such as the beaches, the promenade, the piers and even the Illuminations. Using oils and painting from life, I try to capture what lies before me.

I’m attempting to capture the atmosphere of what I am seeing by searching the correct tonal values and colours, whist always being conscious of the drawing. If I get these three things right, then the painting should look convincing. I love trying to capture light and dark in painting, especially on sunny days, but one has to be quick. I prefer to complete a painting in one go ‘alla prima’ if possible, but, more often than not, multiple sessions are needed.”

Blackpool Beach, Adam Ralston

By Ant Cosgrove, The Northern Art Page