‘Paint Fit’ was a course that I invented in February 2021. The idea grew out of a realisation that many artists have the time, a studio space but sometimes lack the self belief, a routine and momentum to really push on with their work through the difficult stages. The support of like minded people helps, but having a Paint Fit ‘coach’ to get them going and not allow them to lose their focus and ambition seemed to be the missing ingrediant.

For an hour each morning, online, over 2 weeks I talked, motivated, demonstrated and gave them tools and processes to help them use the resources that they already had. I unpacked the process and stages of making a body of work. After the hour together we were warmed up and ready to spend the rest of the day in our studios working in a focused, positive way. We had made the commitment to be uncompromising and playful; open to the new possibilities of what might come up as we worked.

In February 2022 I taught Paint Fit again and worked with some wonderful artists who were very open and excited to be part of a group that shared and supported one another. This online exhibition shows how the course inspired them and has continued to feed their practise and help them make the paintings that they wanted to do. We still meet and encourage each other to be brave, bold and ambitious with our painting.

I will be teaching another 2 week Paint Fit course from October 31st – November 4th and November 7th – 11th 2022. Further details can be found here.

Emily Ball August 2022

Heather Byrne

Floating Island

This is a series of small studies on paper called Floating Island. It is about my daily swim in The Monk’s Pool, a sea lagoon at Castlerock Beach.

My swim connects me to this place, my native landscape: nearly drowning in a deep rock pool as a toddler, learning to swim in these waters as a child, watching my father, a strong swimmer, help rescue another man who had been pulled out of his depth by strong currents. This Monk’s Pool becomes my metaphor for belonging, home, my place, deep-rooted, history.

But it is foremost about the sheer physicality of the swim. Cold water on skin, the shock as it runs into me instantly, submerging further into the deep, treading water far from shore, meeting incoming waves, bobbing, and floating, carried along, cocooned from the sea by a wall of seaweed covered rocks.

Suspending the shapes in sparse colour arrangements is important. I painted thin translucent layers against strong flat opaque areas to create buoyant islands of colour. Colours float up, glistening, unclear what is the top or bottom. The colours jar with intent, a thin dirty burgundy hue sits under a glowing yellow and a veil of murky grey blue is flattened and held by a rich strong sea turquoise.

I have distilled marks, using gestural strokes to retain spareness and luminosity within the paint. These marks are intentionally just out of alignment, never quite fitting together, reflecting the lagoon’s shifting water lines changed daily by the tides.

The colours and marks describe both the swim and the water itself, its weight, depth, and presence. On freezing bitter days, it will be a rushed and quick dip, yet there is always a primal urge to go back the next day… pushing forward again into the cold depths.

This series is ongoing and was developed in late June during the exploration of my daily beach walk and swim in The Monk’s Pool for the summer School 2022 Walking The Land online course led by Emily Ball and Katie Sollohub. I want to look at bringing found object, beach shapes into the pieces, exploring relief layers and shadows

Friday, 12 August 2022
To receive regular updates from us with news of upcoming courses and exhibitions at Seawhite Studios, sign-up for our newsletter.



Emily Ball at Seawhite,
2 Downs View Road,
East Sussex,
BN25 4PT
Telephone: 01903 743 537
Email: admin@emilyballatseawhite.co.uk


Emily Ball at Seawhite
Seawhite Studio,
Star Road,
Partridge Green
West Sussex RH13 8RY
United Kingdom