The Sea: Beautiful oil paintings that look like blurred photographs of beach life

When you first consider The Sea, a series by South African artist Philip Barlow – featured previously – you would think they were blurred photographs rather than oil paintings of beach life.

Each artwork looks as though someone forgot to focus their camera, instead of being clever strokes of paint on canvas. Philip explains: "My depiction of the ‘seen’ landscape is simply a vehicle through which I navigate territory of another nature. A landscape less ordinary; where the line between the physical and the spiritual realm has seemingly been removed."

The paintings immediately evoke memories of being on holiday: the sound of the waves hitting the shore; children laughing and playing in the sea; someone, somewhere enjoying a little beach volleyball – it's the happy elements that we remember from being by the sea.

Philip added: "The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them. Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality."

Philip currently lives and paints in Riebeek Kasteel, near Cape Town. He is married and has two children and two dogs. Discover more at

All images courtesy of Philip Barlow


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