Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Mike Tilling
Arts Correspondent
1:30 AM 6th June 2023

East Coast Open Wendy Tate - Receding Tide

For obvious reasons, Scarborough Art Gallery has not held an East Coast Open since 2019. However, the current exhibition has attracted over one hundred artists. The works submitted include textiles, paintings, prints, mixed media and photography. While this is not a competition, there will be a public vote to identify the most popular work. This is a profile of just one of the artists.

Wendy Tate - Receding Tide
Wendy Tate - Receding Tide
East Coast Open: Wendy Tate - Receding Tide

I meet Wendy Tate in the foyer of Scarborough Art Gallery on an unseasonably cold day in June. As we walk into the gallery where her work, Receding Tide, is prominently displayed, she immediately explains how she tries to inject transcendence into her work.

So what confronts us?

In a combination of pen and ink, acrylic and charcoal we have a darkly atmospheric seascape. It occurs to me that this may actually be the same lighting and wave formation as on Scarborough beach on this foggy day. The flecks of white Wendy uses are allowed through from the paper underneath. The emptiness draws us into the seascape and we are alone with the wind and the waves.

Wendy Tate was born in Leicester, but her parents soon moved to a small village just outside Middlesbrough. She started painting in her late twenties and has a BA and a Masters in fine art. She continued painting as her own family was growing and became a professional artist in 2002. For a while, she managed Scarborough’s St James’ Community Arts Centre. In the early days, she found it challenging to balance her role as an artist with her life as a mother. I am sure that many women out there will know exactly what she is talking about.

When asked about influences, Wendy does not accept the glib suggestions that I propose. For example, there may be a superficial similarity to some of the works of Paul Nash. Wendy acknowledges this, but feels there is a stronger connection with Celia Paul and local artists Clive Head and Steve Whitehead (whose work is also represented in the East Cost Open).

In addition, Wendy cites husband Robert Moore whose influence prompts her to go deeper.

When asked what advice she would give to a novice, Wendy is quite clear: do not wait for the Muse of Inspiration to materialise: do something yourself to fill the blankness of an empty page or canvas. The longer that void is left: the more it will drive out creativity. In addition, in learning from others, look for the spiritual dimension of his or her work.

Where next?

Wendy feels that she should simplify her work. Combining several images, as she has done in past, was becoming too complicated and now she is working to keep her preference for Realistic images, but viewed from different points of view, perhaps varying angles. Also, she would like to contribute to the success of the North Yorkshire Open Studios event (further information available at In addition, Wendy is starting intensive courses for artists.

East Coast Open runs until September
North Yorkshire Open Studious: 3/4th & 10/11th June, 10 – 5pm.
More information here