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Residences: Meet Maggie Cochran

Written by Eve Hunter-Mann

Q&A With Maggie Cochran

Meet the artist

Cornwall based, Maggie is a landscape painter who likes to work in a slightly abstracted fashion while still retaining a sense of place. Capturing light and the fragility and transience of our natural landscape is important to her practice. Maggie believes that painting is all about capturing the feeling of being by the sea – a place that always makes her feel most alive. Painting is a way to record how she feels sitting on a Cornish beach on a stormy day, watching the waves crash, listening to the sounds around her, catching the light reflecting off the wet sands and the distant headlands. She says that it forces her to really look and to absorb the memory. Her paintings are about the experience of being in that landscape.

As a coastal artist, her paintings are reminiscent of the elements around her and ultimately captivate the experience of being in the moment with nature. Specialising in coastal art and Cornish seascape paintings, Maggie is particularly inspired by the west coast of Cornwall which seems to imbue her work with a rawness not achieved elsewhere. She also enjoys painting her local Solent coast alongside local wonders. Maggie has exhibited widely and her original art is held in private collections around the world.

What inspires you and your art?

My art is all about my love affair with the Cornish coast. I am inspired by being by the sea and I particularly love the reflections on wet sand and the marks left by the outgoing tide. I am also inspired by coastal skies, especially in stormy weather.

What colours and materials represent your work the most?

Blues and teals and turquoises definitely represent my work the most. I enjoy working with both acrylics and oils and will continue to during my residency at Bedruthan.

Do you have a favourite location that inspires your work?

St Ives has been a favourite for a while but also more recently the rockier beaches of Falmouth. I also love the headlands and sands at Mawgan Porth and other nearby beaches on the north coast. And Sennen Cove. Cornwall, basically!

Who is your biggest inspiration in terms of artists?

Peter Lanyon for his sense of place, Barbara Rae for her use of colour, Turner for his skies, Richard Diebenkorn for his abstracted landscapes and sense of spatial awareness, Ivon Hitchens for his subtle colour palettes, Joan Eardley for how she captures light, and many more - the list could go on for pages….

What will you be working on during your residency?

During my residency, I'll be trying to capture a sense of how it feels to be at Mawgan Porth - the view from the hotel and a sense of being on the beach and watching the ocean and the sky.

What is your favourite season to paint?

I love them all for different reasons. I love the soft blues of summer, the rich hues of autumn, the winter skies and stormy seas and the warm pinks of spring.

Meet Maggie and watch her work come to life on her latest pieces in the Lanai at Bedruthan 8th - 13th May 2022.