Deborah Crofts & Sally Higgs: Out of the Blue

Dates:21 March 2014 to 26 March 2014

10am to 4pm

It has always been a topic for conversation, but now the weather has created inspiration for two Kent based artists.  Using a combination of sky, clouds and sea as starting points, artists Deborah Crofts and Sally Higgs have found freedom for their personal expression and have created these responses to the weather.

Out of the Blue’ is showing work by Deborah Crofts and Sally Higgs, who decided to collaborate after finding they were working on a similar subject matter.

Using the sky, clouds and sometimes the sea as a starting point, the result was often surprising.  From torrential rain to sudden blue sky, both artists found freedom for their personal expression in these typically British minute-by-minute changes in the weather.

Deborah’s paintings are about fleeting moments and a response to the light, colours and shapes created by cloud formations and wave patterns. Nicholette Goff, Kent based Artist and Curator, said:

“Sky, clouds, horizons, sea and waves; Deborah Crofts searches these constantly shifting elements to find something that strips back what we already know and asks us to think about things differently. A fleeting glimpse of a colour in a cloud, or a shape in a wave, is caught and held in simple, honest tension on the canvas. When I look at Deborah’s paintings I realise how much I take for granted, and I go back to look at the sea and sky in a new way.”

Sally’s paintings are influenced by new beginnings: a new life and a new journey. Often using the sunrise or sunset, she is fascinated with looking out at the sky. She has discovered that the colours of the weather often even seem to reflect her mood when she is painting.

Trish Bishop MA, said:

” In the History of Art we have seen many sunsets and sunrises depicted by painters who wished to convey their personal connection with the natural world and how that experience may be shared.

Sally Higgs paints these skyscapes as large textured images that are semi abstract using intense colours and textures to evoke the sublime. One experiences an intense glow that bathes the whole canvas, its uniqueness is akin to a reflection of a great fire.
Paint and pastel are layered over more paint, capturing time in one image, like a film on a loop.  The visual information is concentrated resulting in a powerful and passionate image.”

In addition to the paintings on show, visitors will also be able to experience a joint installation using projected imagery that they have developed together and describe as a reflective piece relating to time and tide.

Expressing their feelings about their forthcoming show, Deborah and Sally said “Being huge fans of Turner, we are looking forward to painting the sky and clouds in Margate in the same places that he did”.

Members of the public are also invited to drop-in and take part in their own artistic responses to the sky and the artworks on a daily basis.
For a small cost of £1, blank postcards, art materials and the artists’ expertise will be provided along with the opportunity to exhibit these creations during the exhibition. At the end of the show, there is also the option for participants to have the completed postcards posted to their home address.

Both the artists have Creative Foundation studios based in the heart of the Creative Quarter at The Stables in Folkestone.

Deborah Crofts 

Deborah studied a BA in Fine Art at the University of East London (UEL) and has regularly been exhibiting in Kent for the last 7 years. She says the following about her arts practice: I moved to the coast in 2006 and have not looked back, I love it, there is so much inspiration in the surrounding environment and it provides me with most of the raw material for my current subject matter. It is this passion for the natural world that really drives me to paint. The main body of work includes bold acrylic canvases, small and large-scale pieces.

Deborah can be contacted at: Studio 9, The Stables, 35-37 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1JT. Alternatively email or phone her at deborah.crofts@ 07977 227 590.

Sally Higgs  

I studied HND in Fine Art and a BA Hons in Visual Art and Communication at Canterbury College, the University of Kent.  I have a studio in the Creative Quarter in Folkestone and work at ARRCC as an art tutor with adults who have physical disabilities.  For many years I have been inspired by landscape and nature and recently my mixed media paintings on canvas reflect some of our more colourful and fascinating skyscapes.  The weather conditions provide an abundance of exciting subject matter and I enjoy collaborating with other artists to create new and thought provoking artworks.

Sally can be contacted at Studio 8, The Stables, 35-37 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1JT or by email at and phone at 07835706197.