COASTAL landmarks and nature are the inspiration behind artist Duffy Tomei's exhibition which has inadvertently unearthed a love for the sea.

Fifteen of Duffy's works will be on show this month at Frinton Library as the former performing arts lecturer turns her hand to being a professional artist.

The exhibition, Here, There and Everywhere, is one of three as Duffy's paintings are also being shown at Brightlingsea's Christine Storey gallery until March 2, and Caxton Books.

The ex-dance school boss said: "I moved to the area relatively recently and in familiarising myself with Frinton and Walton, I noticed how beautiful they were.

"I was born in south London but have lived in Hull and Suffolk, so all over the place, but never by the sea.

"I was quite scared of it at first but now I'm overawed by it.

"The only thing is the sea is so grey here. You want to paint it blue but you know it's not."


Another natural beauty Duffy has painted

Frinton Free Church and the clock tower, Frinton Yacht Club and cobblestones are the types of paintings the public can expect.

It was just two years ago Duffy began taking painting seriously, around the time she began volunteering at an art gallery looking after other artists' work.

Doing so triggered an unmet teenage aspiration of being an artist herself.

She said: "I've attended as many workshops and classes as possible to develop painting skills in a variety of mediums.

"Dawn Hall, who's a really big name in the area, told me my work was brilliant and that I need to continue so that encouraged me. Also Lesley Lord has taught me all I know.

"She's a very sought after pet portrait artist with a special talent and shares her knowledge generously."


This painting of a rock jetty has taken pride of place in someone's home

For Duffy, this year is all about developing her medium and style so she is keen for people to share their opinions in comment books left at the venues.

One of her paintings has already sold for more than £200 but getting them exhibited, as for most artists, is a constant challenge.

"There are lots of artists in Frinton and art groups, but not enough outlets to show our work," she added.

"I take part in other exhibitions at Needham Market and Little Bentley, for example, so there lots of things around but you have to go out of town for them."

Here, There and Everywhere runs until the end of February.