Cold Water Surfing

"Surf and Rocks at Mey" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm

"Riding the Surf" - watercolour 18 x 26 cm

It's surfing time again at Thurso. The UK Pro Surf Tour is coming to town for the Thurso Surfing Championships.

We're not talking here about bronzed bodies and blue skies. Well the sky might be blue, with a bit of luck, but the surfers will be wearing wetsuits with sea temperatures of below 10 degrees C at the moment. This was a revelation to me when I first came here, but cold water surfing is actually very popular with its own professional circuit.

It seems that the surfing at Thurso is particularly good. I've heard of people who have moved to the area and taken whatever work they can find, just so that they can surf here. I don't know much about surfing, but as an artist I certainly find lots of inspiration for dramatic seascapes here.

To coincide with the competition there is also the 'Wave North Festival' of arts and events. I am entering a few paintings and these are two of them. I don't usually paint human activity but I had some sketches of surfers and it was a perfect subject for the occasion.

Link to Wave North Festival

Link to UK Pro Surf Tour


  1. I love to watch the surfers when I'm down in Cornwall. I think in another life I'd like to be a surf dude!

  2. Hi there Keith!... Two "cool" paintings.... Dude!!! HA HA!!

    "Hangin' ten"... on a wave with 10c temperatures is not my cup o' tea! But hey!... Painting en plein air at -25C is likely viewed to be just as crazy!HA HA!

    Passion is passion... and it seems always crosses the boundaries of common sense! Love that human element in your picture . It really adds something new to your grand and panoramic landscape views!

    Well done Keith!
    Good surfin'... and painting!
    Warmest regards,

  3. I really like both of these Keith. It's so unusual to see a figure in your paintings but I guess "Riding the Surf" wouldn't work without a surfer. ;-)

  4. Have you tried it, Steven. If not, perhaps you should.

  5. Ha ha! Bruce. Yes to each his own.

    I don't think I will be including figures very often; they are such a powerful focus for the attention.

    All the best,

  6. Thanks John. As I said to Bruce, I'm wary of including figures. The difference here is that it's all about the action instead of the landscape.

  7. To be perfectly honest, I had never equated surfing with your part of the world. I assume that 'surfing' includes both board and body surfing? I agree with you about figures, they do tend to dominate, but, at times, that is okay. Lovely images - the second of the two probably has more of the feeling of 'surf'...

  8. I've only seen people board surfing here Diane.


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