• Paul Liggins

Paul Liggins

The stunning Dorset coastline has provided much of the inspiration for contemporary landscape artist, Paul Liggins’ individual compositions and collections, and for anyone who’s ever ventured to that part of the UK, then you’d certainly see the visual justification. Bodaciously bright, triumphantly cheery and infinitely charming, Liggins’ pieces follow a winning formula that’s seen him capture an almost picture postcard-esque style of coastal town and village painting that fits just about everything and anything on the canvas; yet never compromising its balance and please-ability factor in any way, shape or form. Positively ecstatic fishermen and trawlerfolk are habitually observed amid a backdrop of wide eyed, smiley faced harbours and bays, as Liggins affords his every subject matter something, no everything, to be happy about.

Liggins has an undiluted passion for natural history and combines this to perfection with his knowing sense of humour and love of coastal environs that he gets to witness daily. Add in a pinch of local knowledge scenery and the odd landmark, crank up the imagination to overload status and this ensures that each of Liggins’ paintings has a story to tell. Just like a painting should do.

The artist stays true to a mantra that is often lost on a modern, cut and thrust society, whereby Liggins stresses the lost importance of taking the time to observe life; to slow down for a few minutes, take stock of your surroundings and remind yourself of just how good life really is. Liggins explains how his compositions come about after being privy to the humour of life, the same humour that most people are too busy to note. Weymouth is the part of Dorset that’s home to Liggins, literally a hop, skip and a jump from an old harbour according to the artist, which of course gives him the keys to some of the best – and ever changing – views money can’t necessarily buy.

To add to his file marked ‘inspiration’, Liggins accounts of most weekends include journeying further along this stretch of beautiful, Jurassic coast, specifically between Swanage and Lyme Regis, inhaling the sights, sounds and smells of West Bay, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, while he’s also been known to dip his toe in still more creative waters that roll in off the Cornwall coast during (working) holidays with his family. Alfred Wallis and Ben Nicholson lend their influences to Liggins’ style of work as he readily admits when put on the spot, yet he also cites a great admiration for his every day contemporaries in the current art world, such as Kurt Jackson, McKenzie Thorpe and Doug Hyde.

Bournemouth and Poole’s College of Art was the artistic proving ground for Liggins, where he elected to study Natural History Illustration, before embarking on a career as a freelance illustrator under his own steam, gaining design and illustration contracts with clients such as English Nature and the Council for the Protection of Rural England to name but two blue chip examples.

Then came a slight departure from what had been the norm, and an elongated spell with a theme park equipment-manufacturing company in the role of Art Director, where by Liggins deployed his creative prowess in the associated arena of scenery, mural and sculpture manifestation, tasked with originating a theme for each display. It wasn’t until the early part of 2004 that Liggins took the leap of artistic faith and bode farewell to secure, full-time employment and ushered in the brave new dawn of self-employed artist. He now had the time to give his personal art his undivided all and to develop and nurture his very own brand of coastal architectural depiction.

Or contemporary landscapes to the rest of us. To date, Liggins has showcased and sold his impressive back catalogue of works both locally and regionally through obtaining gallery, exhibition and craft fair space. 

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