WHARFEDALE artist Tony Dexter enjoys days spent painting vibrant canvases of Filey coble fishing boats, Whitby trawlers, fish, crabs, the seashore, seaweed and beach rocks.

This explains the title of his imminent Scarborough exhibition: Beside The Seaside, on show in the Stephen Joseph Theatre gallery from July 13 to August 26.

Tony, who lives near Ilkley, trained in fine art and sculpture at art college in the 1960s and then had a commercial career in advertising and marketing, but the creative bug was unrelenting, so he has taken up painting full time since his retirement.

He has since exhibited and sold paintings at the Great North Art Show in Ripon Cathedral and several times at Art In The Pen in Skipton, as well as at Neil’s Gallery in Filey and The Flying Duck in Ilkley.

York Press:

Seashore scene, acrylic, by Tony Dexter

He favours working with acrylic on canvas. "I love acrylic paint. It’s quick drying and when applied to the canvas impasto – where the paint is applied thickly – and varnished, the finished results are fantastically colourful and bold," he says. "My work is generally on block canvas, which means they don’t need framing and the majority are sized at 30 inches by 30 inches, a dimension ideal for today’s contemporary home."

For many years, Tony's family has taken regular holidays at Filey, leading to East Coast imagery being so prominent in his portfolio. "Sadly, in this time, we have seen a decline in the fishing activity, so I thought I would try and capture some of the essence of these boats by undertaking a series of coble boat pictures," he says.

The subject matter of his work stretches beyond God's Own Coast. "Holiday visits to Uig, on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, have inspired me to paint a series of rock and beach scenes and boats," says Tony.

York Press:

Fishing Boat, acrylic, by Tony Dexter

Summing up his Beside The Seaside show, he concludes: “While my subjects are varied, my paintings are bold and contemporary and often portray the differences between tranquillity and mobility. I’m also interested in looking at a subject from another perspective or angle, so rather than create a photographic image, I like to encourage the audience to have some emotional attraction and involvement.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to bring my work to Scarborough because it echoes many happy family days and holidays we have enjoyed along the coast.”

Tony Dexter's exhibition, Beside The Seaside, runs at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from July 13 to August 26, open from 10am to 6pm, Mondays to Saturdays, except during show times. Entry is free.