n her home, on the edge of the Seasalter Marshes, Estelle Jourd sits down next to a strong pot of tea and some chocolate biscuits. Her eponymous seascapes cover the walls of her home, displaying colour and texture from every wall and bringing stormy and thrashing foam to the bright and airy room.
“ Estelle’s works can be found throughout Southeast Kent and beyond, with her abstract oil paintings displayed proudly on walls throughout Whitstable. . .]
For the artist, the paintings are manifestations of her emotions and experiences at the time. These emotional responses transfer themselves onto the canvas in the form of sultry clouds, crashing waves and sunset colours, combined into pieces where it’s difficult to spot where the sea ends and the sky begins. Estelle doesn’t need to sit on the beach to gain inspiration, instead drawing on her years of experience sailing the Thames Estuary and days at the seashore.
The influences that her surroundings create come to the fore when you discover that she is only able to create her seascapes when she is at home in Whitstable. During her regular visits to Portugal, Estelle’s work takes on new colours and abstract forms with vibrant reds jumping out from the canvas; markedly different to her usual style. Her Portugal pieces are rare and more personal; with one gracing the wall of a London home; bought whilst still wet on an easel.
However, her passion hasn’t always been about putting oil on canvas. Her initial draw into the art world was sculpture and the experience and feeling of working with tactile surfaces. Whether making giant chairs made of ice or bringing the beach into her living room for an Artist Open House event, Estelle loves the idea of making art inclusive. During one Biennale, she colour coded the beach, inviting volunteers to come and help her coordinate the stones into uniform stripes of colour. Over 1500 people came and participated, bringing art to the masses and creating a piece that would eventually change with the tide, much like the town that the art was created in.
So what next for this well known local artist ? Some experimentation to allow her to work with new materials whilst still continuing to create her well-known imagery. Estelle is practicing layering, by mixing her oil paints with cold wax; providing her with a surface that she can scratch back and enabling her to create an extra, tactile depth to her work. Whilst walking in the area she has also been known to create small sculptures, using the materials around her.
If you’re lucky, you might spot one on a walk along the beach at Seasalter; otherwise lookout for her work in galleries throughout the area.