Contemporary Passions: Cherry Lyons

Contemporary Passions poster

Cherry Lyons is one of the nine SHAF artists whose work will be on show at Harbour House for the Contemporary Passions exhibition.

  • Teresa Barlow
  • Nick Cotter
  • Jane Davarian
  • Crystel Dauth
  • Brett Hornby
  • Cherry Lyons
  • Jane Mahood
  • Elaine Sibley
  • myself, Stephen Thomas

In this series of blogs, some of them share their process. You can read about Elaine Sibley here and Jane Mahood here and me here.


Cherry Lyons in her studio

With a passion for making and sharing art, nature – in all its glory – provides me with endless painting opportunities,  particularly sketching and painting en plein air come rain or shine.

As an experimental mixed media artist, seeing magnificent colour-drenched textures through ever-changing light and climatic conditions is particularly motivating. I am constantly challenged to capture such fleeting atmospheric moments-in-time in my sketchbooks.

Back home, in the studio, the fun begins when subjects are uniquely painted with originality, whatever media is chosen.

Found objects, watercolour, acrylics, oils, pastels, printmaking and the ancient art of encaustic wax are significant media choices for my artwork.

For Contemporary Passions, my focus is mainly on the ancient art of encaustic wax, used decoratively for over 2000 years.  This captivating art-form involves melting beeswax with damar resin and fusing molten wax in pigmented layers with intense heat. 

Responding to the elements of air, water, fire and earth, my new encaustic paintings have a raw elemental feel.  Imagining how our earth was formed and how it may evolve in the future were in my thoughts as I built up the many layers of coloured and pure wax, carefully fusing each with a blow-torch, adding found objects and minerals, watching closely as metamorphosis transpired.

 I feel a bit like an alchemist and my studio sometimes resembles a science lab where I am often found with blow torch in hand, looking like an extra from a Star Wars movie!”

Here are three of the pieces that can be seen in the exhibition.

Silvered Shoreline by Cherry Lyons
Silvered Shoreline
Fissure and Fire by Cherry Lyons
Fissure and Fire
Flowers Flourish in our Future
Flowers Flourish in our Future


Cherry Lyons exhibits widely, and enjoys membership of South Hams Art Forum, Devon Artist Network, several art societies and is Vice-President of the Devon Art Society.

Cherry says: It was incredibly refreshing to take part in Devon Open Studios and the SHAF Arts Trail.  I appeared in the televised Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2018 and was a finalist in the Devon Life Landscape Painter of the Year and these have been exciting achievements.

You can contact Cherry Lyons by email and see more of her work on her website

Commissions are welcomed and, as a qualified educator and demonstrator, Cherry shares her knowledge and techniques through inspiring workshops and demonstrations.


As ever, we are at Harbour House, Kingsbridge TQ7 1JD.

And the exhibition runs from Tuesday 16 July until Sunday 28 July.



Come along to meet the artists and see their interpretation of our theme: Elements.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

Contemporary Passions at Harbour House

This year’s Contemporary Passions exhibition, at Harbour House, Kingsbridge, will be open to the public 16-28 July.

Contemporary Passions poster

New works by members of SHAF

As a member of SHAF (South Hams Art Forum), I’m exhibiting along with eight other artists.

  • Teresa Barlow
  • Nick Cotter
  • Jane Davarian
  • Crystel Dauth
  • Brett Hornby
  • Cherry Lyons
  • Jane Mahood
  • Elaine Sibley

The theme for 2019

The theme for the contemporary Passions exhibition, this year, is ELEMENTS. This can be interpreted in many ways.

  • A small but significant amount of feeling or quality
  • An essential or characteristic part of something abstract
  • Each of more than 100 substances that cannot be chemically converted or broken down
  • The fundamental constituents of the world in ancient philosophy: earth, air, water and fire
  • Strong winds, heavy rain or other kinds of bad weather
  • A person’s or animal’s natural or preferred environment – in their element

Water is colourless and yet …

My take on this theme is, unsurprisingly, water. In particular, I’m focusing on the fact that water is colourless, and yet

Of the 140+ paintings I have produced in the past decade or so, the water has never been colourless.

You might think it would be blue, but I’ve witnessed every colour (almost!) under the sun, and then tried to capture that in my images.

So, the paintings I have selected for this exhibition will aim to show the variety of colours that colourless water takes on.

Meet the Artists: 6-8pm Tuesday 16 July

There will be an opportunity to meet all the artists – and to see the Contemporary Passions exhibition, and to discuss with them their individual interpretations of the theme ELEMENT – on Tuesday 16 July: 6-8pm.

I hope to see you there.

Salcombe-Art blog: Featuring the artists

I will be featuring some of my fellow artists in the coming weeks. Each exhibitor will explain the process they use in creating their art, and you’ll get to see examples of the work that will be on show in the Contemporary Passions exhibition ahead of time.

SHAF Arts Trail: Elen Claire Williams

Elen Claire WilliamsFine Artist, Elen Claire Williams MA is one of 60 artists opening their studios for the SHAF Arts Trail.



This year, the SHAF Arts Trail runs from October 14th to October 29th. Two whole weeks, including half-term week.

The South Hams Arts Forum (SHAF) is a lively, actively engaged association of artists and craftspeople from across the region.

SHAF membership is extremely diverse, so while some artists create in purpose-built studios, others produce their work at the kitchen table. Consequently, the Arts Trail will lead visitors to some artists working in their home studios – as is the case for Elen – and to others exhibiting in galleries and exhibition halls.

At each venue, visitors will find artists happy to discuss their art-form, explain the processes involved and provide the opportunity to view, appreciate and buy unique pieces of work.

Elen is exhibiting at Art Space, with two other SHAF artists: Cherry Lyons and Lee Pover.

Art Space


Sunday Sailing off Westcombe Pinnacles

Meet Elen Claire Williams

Elen is a Walking Artist, recording and interpreting her local South Devon landscape, principally between the moor and the sea, using a variety of mediums and visual languages. Beginning with rural walks ‘The Art of Slow Walking’ is where the content is more important than duration. The artist commonly selects popular places at those solitary times where isolation from modern life encourages imagination, self-discovery and inner peace.

“I have succeeded in my aim when the glory of creation encourages people to engage to celebrate and conserve the vanishing natural world on our personal doorsteps.”

Beyond the decorative aspect of making art, the key issues of our times, i.e. environmental issues and spiritual poverty, have become essential deeper elements in the artist’s work. The artist seeks to raise the audiences’ awareness of the fragility of the environment and the need to actively become a participant in its conservation. An interest in local history, local tradition, and personal faith are reflected in the narrative of specific series of artwork.


More about Elen Claire Williams

Erme out-going tide

Elen Claire Williams’ creative training began at Exeter College of Art and Design in 1967, continuing at Falmouth School of Art, Plymouth College of Art and Design, and Cornwall College. Elen has  Bachelor of Arts degrees in (2 & 3D) Design (1995) and Fine Art (2010) at the University of Plymouth; Open University Master of Arts degree (2012).

“I believe that the outcome of Fine Art creativity becomes authenticated by all of life’s experiences that enrich the deeper purpose of my practice.”

Elen Claire Williams’ emergent career as an independent artist follows a portfolio of employment that enabled the artist to develop transferable skills and creativity in differing circumstances, from business applications to applying creativity to most aspects of the National Curriculum. A believer in life-long learning, the artist sacrificially continued to undertake art classes and workshops led by professional artists that enhanced and continues to enhance her visual languages and technical skills.

Elen Claire Williams is a qualified Early Years Teacher with 10 years of experience teaching children aged from 3 to 11 years.

“As a member of Devon Artist Network, Devon Artists, South Hams Art Forum, Kingsbridge and South Hams Art Club and Salcombe Art Club, I have found a platform for professional development and exhibition opportunities”.



Elen Claire Williams SHAFSHAF Arts Trail brochures are available in libraries, information centres and many other places in the South Hams. There are 18 SHAF Arts Trail venues, each with one or more artists displaying their work and available for you to see them at work, and to answer your questions.

In case you can’t get you hands on a copy, here are the details for Elen’s venue in Art Space, Aveton Gifford – and her opening times.



You can contact Elen Claire Williams by email at or call her on 01548 559396 or visit her website or her Facebook page.



Visit the SHAF website for more details.