PENARTH Pier Pavilion is set to host its first fine art exhibition with a series of paintings from a local artist.

'Light' is a new exhibition by the Penarth-based artist Sheridan Ward, which compromises of over 25 paintings representing Sheridan's response to the surrounding Welsh landscape, and to Penarth itself.

Opening with a private view on Valentine's Day, Light marks the culmination of more than eight months work for Sheridan, which involved exploring the technique of painting out in the open air in order to fully capture Wales' raw natural landscape and the subtle shifts in light, colour and space.

"In the last couple of years I have discovered the joys of painting en plein air and I am embracing the challenges of this discipline – especially with the Welsh weather!

“With these studies I aim to convey the spontaneity and movement that can only truly be found when painting in the great outdoors," she said.

The result is a collection of Impressionistic Impasto paintings which draw on a rich register of influences including Lucian Freud, Chuck Close and Tom Thomson.

Big open skies, familiar local landscapes, the organic architecture of trees and the fluctuations of the seasons are all beautifully captured in flat brushstrokes and searing blocks of colour, reminiscent of 1930s Railway posters.

A painting of the Pavilion itself will also feature in the exhibition: "We're so lucky to have such a terrific arts venue by the sea and it felt right to include a painting of the new Pavilion in my show because of its breathtaking character,” said Sheridan.

“The ambience there is wonderful. The team at the Pavilion have been so supportive and enthusiastic about my work it’s an honour and a delight to be able to show my work there. I hope that visitors to the exhibition will find that viewing the show brings some much needed sunshine and warmth to the cold February weather."

The Penarth Pier Pavilion reopened in autumn 2013 following a £4m redevelopment program which includes a gallery, cinema, shop, cafe and restaurant. The gallery aims to present around 20 exhibitions every year, representing artists, designers and creatives in the fields of fine art, photography, textiles, ceramics and illustration.

"I'm delighted to be one of the first artists to have a show at the Pavilion,” added Sheridan.

“The Art Deco building is wonderful - and suits my work perfectly. There's an endearing nostalgic feel about the pier and this is something I endeavour to achieve in my paintings."

Light opens with a private view on February 14, and will run in the gallery until March 23. Work from the series will be available for purchase, prices from £325.