Featured Artists

George Kan

The crab paintings began over six years ago and were very much influenced by many crab shells collected from aroubd the world over the years in the family bathroom. They were some of the first works I sold professionally, whilst studying in London, and I've been selling them in Seaview since 2012. I love the ritual of beachcombing and the sharing of its treasures. Artists, like Paul Nash and the British surrealists in the 1930s were looking at bits of driftwood, imagining them alive as sea creatures and so on. But I think this is a much older British tradition, as shown by Queen Victoria's collection of seashells at Osborne house. 
 
Although crabs are not the only thing I paint, they have grown to become my favourite subject. This year the series for Seaview Art Gallery is entirely crabs. I have also found myself returning to the Edible crab the most. I enjoy the bumps and grooves of its shell, and it is the most familiar to me as its common here on the isle of Wight. The only exception is the one painting of two blue-shell or "swimming" crabs, these are certainly not local - they can be found around the world but our shells came from some years of my childhood spent living in New Jersey. 
 
Having a subject matter that is so familiar and well known to you liberates your use of colour and paint. Almost all of my paintings are completed entirely without a brush. Some of the under-painting aside, the crabs themselves especially are done with my finger (there is only one exception in the gallery this year, "Holiday"). I have never thought of it as unique, it just seems the best way for me to manipulate the paint and follow the contours of the crabs shells. I was thrilled to be invited to take part in this exhibition, as it gave me scope create a whole new series of paintings, and experiment further with colours, styles and techniques.