Artist profile: Eloise O'Hare
'Both my parents are artists and my grandmother was a well-known local painter too', says Eloise. 'From a very early age, it was clear I was going to follow in their footsteps.'
Born in West Runton, Eloise grew up in Ireland but came back to Cromer regularly for holidays.
'Those holidays have provided the inspiration for my most recent paintings', says Eloise. 'For me, it's about capturing childhood memories and depicting the beautiful landscape and buildings in North Norfolk.'
Since her training at Great Yarmouth Art School and a subsequent honours degree in Bradford, Eloise has worked across a wide variety of artistic mediums.
'I've always picked things up, played with them and turned them into something else', says Eloise. 'I like sculpture and even furniture-making.'
But a holiday to Cromer in 2014 led Eloise's career down a different path.
'I was visiting my family in Northrepps when I popped to Cromer one afternoon', says Eloise. 'I sat down on the beach and started to paint using dip ink pens and watercolours. I really enjoyed it and was so happy with the paintings I did that day that I decided to pop into a local gallery unannounced to see whether they might be interesting in taking them.'
The Gallery - The Gallery Norfolk on Church Street, Cromer – was so impressed they agreed to take them straight away. By the following year, Eloise had become their best-selling artist.
'It was the first time I'd ever submitted landscape paintings to a gallery so I was thrilled', says Eloise.
Since then, the relationship has continued. Last summer Eloise did a large painting of a packed Cromer beach and as soon as The Gallery framed the picture and hung it in the window, they had three buyers straight away!
'I had to paint another one quickly as one of the people wanted it was from Australia and wanted to take it home with him', says Eloise.
This month – from July 16th – Eloise has a solo exhibition in the gallery. 'I've submitted roughly 100 paintings of varying sizes and prices – of sights from Cromer all the way to Wells – with small ones starting from just £10', says Eloise. 'They are all originals as I don't make prints, so anyone who likes my work should pop along to see what's on offer.'
Readers may recognise Eloise's name as a prize-winner in the prestigious Paint Out Norwich competition.
'Last year I won third prize in the competition which was a great honour', says Eloise. 'I painted a picture of the chocolate shop in the Royal Arcade in the city centre. One of the judges remarked that my work was similar to the famous artist Duffy which was a great compliment. I see it more as a cross between Cotman and Quentin Blake – lively and colourful works that capture the essence of Norfolk.'