Underwater jigsaw — meet the artist behind Living Sea Therapy

Catherine Forshall artist and Living Sea Therapy

Marine life artist, Catherine Forshall, talks about her obsession with movement, sea creatures and Cornwall’s special light, and how it inspired her to create our jigsaw under the waves.

There’s something moving and shimmering beneath the surface of our logo and packaging. Time to give you the bigger picture.

Two years ago, we tried to understand how to capture the essence of Living Sea Therapy. We gave the matter a great deal of thought and looked at the concept from all angles, before realising that one of our great local artists, Catherine Forshall, embodied the essence of the Ocean in her beautiful marine paintings.  Jump forwards two years and we now have a sublime piece of art in acrylic on linen canvas, which we commissioned from Catherine. The real thing measures 160cm x 80cm and has taken pride of place in the Living Sea Therapy HQ.

But that’s not the full story.

This masterpiece has been broken into a virtual jigsaw, and tiny bits of grace the packaging of our 12 products and sit behind our logo. Can you spot which bits go where?Catherine Forshall artist and Living Sea Therapy

Inspired by Cornwall
The inspiration for the painting came from Catherine’s love of movement, the Cornish sea and the county’s special light. “I am sort of obsessed with creatures of the water,” she says. “I was inspired by movement and I was thinking of Cornwall when I painted it. I was trying to get those colours that you only get in Cornwall — turquoise, cobalt blues and greens. You haven’t got a lot of trees to absorb the light, that’s why you get such strong colours particular to that area of the world.”

Catherine grew up on the north shore of Loch Lomond in Scotland, where her father used to take her mackerel fishing. She studied art in Florence under renowned Italian artist and teacher, Nerina Simi. A mum to three creative daughters, Catherine spends part of the year painting in her studio in Lot, rural southwestern France, and the rest of the year in rural Devon, on the edge of Dartmoor near the Teign valley. Today, she exhibits in The Oliver Contemporary and The Flying Colours galleries in London, but she rarely does commercial commissions for branded products.

“I like to paint freely,” she says. “I don’t really do any design work. But when the Living Sea Therapy team approached me for this commission it just seemed right — a sustainable, young company doing all the right things. And all that inspiration from the sea, the light, the marine life, the salt and seaweed, I couldn’t say no.”

View from beneath the waves

The painting, which is yet to be named, shows an underwater view, looking up to the Cornish sky, with mackerel playing in the broken water above some Cornish seaweed. “Which is ironic as I’m not that good underwater,” says Catherine. The seaweed pictured in the bottom corners of the painting came from near Falmouth, where Living Sea Therapy resides. Catherine also used some seaweed she collected from Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth. The mackerel are Cornish too, naturally.

You can see Catherine’s coastal, Cornish inspiration in her other paintings of lobster, thrifts, shrimps, spider crabs, oysters; and with titles like Nansidwell (named after the small beach near Falmouth), Tideline and Caught in the Wave. Catherine adds: “I truly loved working with Living Sea Therapy on this. Such a lovely team. And it’s a pleasure to see my work being put to more than one use.”