It all starts with a walk

New drawings by Essex-based painter Simon Carter
27 December, 2022
Simon Carter in his studio
Simon Carter in his studio
There are several regular routes Simon walks, usually along the seawalls. He always carries an A4 sketch pad and a small tin of graphite sticks and crayons.
Almost all the landscape he paints are within a few miles of his studio on the Essex coast. It is a landscape of creeks, quays and seawalls, of beaches, saltings and mudflats. It is the last of the Essex marshes before you cross the Stour and head north into Suffolk.
Simon wants to respond quickly to things seen, often returning to the same spot month after month, enjoying the quiet, seeing what comes to light, hoping for the unexpected. In the studio the drawings become source material for the paintings. The drawings are examined and dissected and, in a real sense, they become the subject of the paintings. Painting is a long process of improvised try-outs, putting something up for examination, scraping it out or covering it over, repeating, waiting for the moment that something happens and starts to speak.
The first sketch below was done in preparation for the painting shown here: "Below Quay House, 2019"











About the author

Paul Vater, Director of Contemporary and Country

Paul Vater

Paul conducts studio visits to maintain strong relationships with artists, designers and craftspeople who show their work with us. He manages the main C&C website and has developed the online shop where selected works are presented for sale.


Paul established his design company, Sugarfree, in 1990 and quickly gained a reputation for delivering fresh, effective marketing campaigns and brand identities for clients including Save the Children Fund, United Nations Association and UNHCR. Over the years those added to the roster include IPC Magazines, Arts Council England, The Roundhouse, Barbican Centre, Arts Marketing Association, Look Ahead Housing and Care, Paddington Waterside, BBC Worldwide, Commonwealth Foundation, Prestel, City of London Corporation, Baker Street Quarter, Victoria BID and the University of East Anglia.