The ever-changing Dorset coastline is immortalised in the artwork of Caz Scott, who brings to life local landscapes in her canvas oil paintings. Laura Hanton finds out more


Eype will come alive with the art of two painters in an exhibition opening on July 16.

Caz Scott, from Dorchester, and Rita Brown, from Frampton, will be showing their finest pieces of work at the Eype Centre for the Arts near Bridport, as part of a summer of art inspired by Dorset’s rich and varied landscape.

The pair frequently exhibit their work together at venues across the county.

An award-winning artist who has pursued a long career in art, Rita’s work reflects her continued fascination with the changing light and impact of the weather on the landscape, sea and sky. She also explores the ancient eroded surfaces and evidence of what was once there. Although Caz’s work is more realistic and figurative than Rita’s, the pieces complement each other, providing audiences with an interesting and contrastive experience.

Nestled in the back garden of her Dorchester home, Caz Scott’s studio is light and bright and idyllic, with framed canvases of her works decorating the walls and an easel displaying her current work in progress.

Caz creates literal paintings that reflect the strength and structure of the land without trying to embellish it, allowing her audiences to appreciate the landscape the way it is. She almost exclusively paints the Jurassic Coast since she relocated to Dorset 25 years ago.

“Before I moved down here, I was very much into sculpting and wanted to work with clay, but I found that quite restricting,” she says. “Being in this area, with this landscape, is inspiring.”

Following a meticulous process to create her masterpieces, Caz makes detailed sketches of the landscape during her many walks along the Dorset coastline. Never without a sketchbook, she concentrates on specific aspects of the view that catch her eye, from the light and the shadows, the seasons and the intensity of the vegetation.

“It doesn’t get boring,” Caz says. “I always think it will. I wander up the same path, yet again, to paint the same view, but then I get there and I’m just amazed.

"Different light, different tides, different reflections. Each painting is quite different.”

Caz has painted since she was young, always being inspired by the landscapes and scenery around her. She couples this interest with a passion for geography and geology, which she studied at The Open University. It is only in the last two decades that Caz has begun to paint seriously, and she studied fine art at Arts University Bournemouth.

“I had a family and I had to make a living, so I chose a career in geography instead,” Caz explains. “But as soon as I could, I came back to the art. I finally had the time, and the focus, to develop my paintings, and to say what I wanted to say about the landscape.”

Strikingly beautiful and showing the magnificent layers of land and sea, Caz insists her paintings have a purpose.

“It’s hard because we always talk about abstract art and meaningful art, but I just want people to look,” she explains. “That’s the message: just look. People don’t treasure what they have.”

Caz uses oils to create her masterpieces, priming her canvases with raw umber underpainting to provide a depth of colour that cannot be achieved on a white background. It takes about three weeks to complete one painting, and although she takes photographs for reference, she prefers to conjure up the image in her mind.

“It’s been an absolute godsend having a mobile phone, but I would never use the photo as a basis for the art,” Caz says.

Looking around her studio, many of her painted landscapes are recognisable to Dorset residents and visitors from across the country alike, such as Golden Cap, Ringstead and White Nothe. Caz’s personal favourites include Old Harry, Durdle Door, and Kimmeridge Bay.

Caz speaks of 'the edge', or the coastline, as one of her greatest inspirations. “At the edge, the power of nature is so clear,” she says. “Standing at the sea’s edge, you know that the landscape has been shaped by 500 million years of history, yet it looks and feels so permanent and unchanging.

At the edge, I can see so clearly. The light takes on a different quality.”

*The artwork of Caz Scott is regularly sold and displayed in cafes and galleries across Dorset. Visit her website for more information or head to Eype Centre for the Arts at Eype, near Bridport, between July 16 and July 21 to see her exhibition.

Eype Centre for the Arts, St Peter's Church, Mount Lane, Bridport 01308 814480