Beach Paintings: land, sea, sky

Last Updated on September 2, 2023

We played in the ocean, fished in it, swam in it: dived beneath the surface and were beaten by the waves. We knew the freedom of it; the terror of it. The way it could turn on you in a second and swallow you into its depths: hold you there until – if you’re lucky – it would throw you into the sunlight and air to breathe.

The sea was our home. It wore at cliffs and ground remnants of the world into sand. It offered treasures after storms and grew kina and crayfish fat. The sea forms the bones of my paintings: the roiling boundary between earth and sky. It is familiar visual imagery: the stuff I know.

These acrylic and mixed media artworks show snippets of New Zealand East Coast beaches. They are painted by Amiria Gale – me. 

Abstract seascapes by Amiria Gale
A collection of abstract seascape paintings and composition studies by Amiria Gale. The final works are 400 x 800mm, acrylic and mixed media on board. Both were commissioned in 2005 and sold privately.

Beach paintings are the backdrop through which my story seeps. The sea washes away fallacy – leaves you exposed to the core. They are what I return to, when other avenues of exploration have run dry.

There is a desire people have to snatch a piece of seascape, to hold it, momentarily, inside our homes, to hang the memory of it upon a wall. At the heart of a busy city, there is solace in knowing that a beach scene from childhood is captured in smears of acrylic and tiny layered brushwork: an illustration of freedom, while caught in the furious wheels of ordinary life.

New Zealand is surrounded by the sea. It is no surprise that the people here turn to coastal landscape artworks: latch onto them: a reminder of the waves that lap at their core.

Composition plan art
Composition studies and media trials in preparation for mixed-media seascape paintings using acrylic, textured paper, modelling compound and gel medium.
Modern seascape painting by Amiria Gale
This is the first fragmented seascape painting that I produced. Entitled “1999”, this work cemented the direction my art was to take. This piece is 600 x 1400mm, and made from acrylic and mixed media on board, 2004. Sold at auction.
Amiria Gale art - private collection
This photo shows my artwork hanging in a private residence.
Beach paintings on canvas
A semi-abstract seascape in oil – one of the few beach paintings on canvas that I have produced (usually I paint on wood). This work was completed for a fundraising exhibition and is titled “Things I’ve forgotten”, 525 x 1210mm, 2006. This work was sold at auction.
Abstract sea art
Another of my favourite semi-abstract acrylic seascapes, is titled “Pouawa” – a painting of beach scene where I grew up. This work is 400 x 950mm, and is completed using acrylic and textured paper on board, 2005. Sold privately.
Beach paintings acrylic
Highly fragmented using horizontal and vertical line (as are many of my beach paintings are) this artwork is titled, “The way we see”. It is 640 x 800mm, acrylic and mixed media on board, 2005. Sold via private sale.
Beach scenes acrylic
These acrylic paintings are some of my earlier works. They depict beach scenes from the east coast of New Zealand. “Kaiaua” (on the left) is painted on three separate pieces of board (a triptych) 600 x 300mm, 2004. This work was sold privately. “East Coast” (on the right) is one of the first beach paintings that I completed and features a beach not far from where I grew up in Whangara, Gisborne, New Zealand. 900 x 1200mm, acrylic on board, 2003. Collection of the Artist (Amiria Gale).
Seascape art by Amiria Gale
One of my more recent pieces of seascape art, this work is called “Memory” and is 500 x 500mm, acrylic and mixed media on board, 2010. This work hangs in a private collection in Australia. Sold via private sale.
Abstract seascapes by Amiria Gale
Semi-abstract seascapes by Amiria Gale: “East Coast II” 800 x 800mm, acrylic, textured paper and modelling compound on board, 2010. It is a little beach not far from Tolaga Bay. Sold via private sale.
Seascape print for sale by Amiria Gale

If you enjoyed this collection of work, you may also like to view my Shell Paintings.