I was fifteen years old when I painted this and I submitted it for my GCSE Art coursework. Unfortunately over the years it suffered with water damage and the damp when my art folder was stuck in the storeroom and so I have had to dispose of it, but took the photo before it went.
Yesterday evening as the sun was setting we went for a drive to Largo. It was where we spent a lovely Christmas & New Year in a rented cottage after the roof came in up here. I have fond memories of us all three, running along the beach. Kato skipping over the huge rocks like a mountain goat, when in other places he could trip on a pebble. My partner and I hand in hand walking along the sand.
I have a photo I took of them when I wrote Happy New Year in the sand on the beach when the tide was out. Yesterday was different, I wrote a tribute to our Kato in the sand as the sun had gone down and the houses in the background were lit up like Christmas. We still walked hand in hand and combed the beach for driftwood. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but I felt like being creative.
So this afternoon, with a couple of hours to spare, I decided that I would make beach combed sculptures. You know the type that rely upon gravity to hold them into place. Inspired by the stone sculptures held together just by their position in river beds, with the water gushing past.
We have a wonderful brook alongside our house, my partner built it for me and lined it with stones, so that Kato could play safely in the water of what was once a mosquito infested ditch. It is now a pretty stream thanks to his efforts.
So I set about positioning the driftwood and a few beach pebbles that we collected yesterday, I also found a few interesting shells.
I wondered how I would leave them, but knew that I would have to photograph them. The mantelpiece seemed like the perfect place. It is a stained hardwood top with a rough plastered white painted chimney breast behind it, which I thought might make a good backdrop. Unfortunately I didn’t do this until the evening, so the only light in here is from an overhead bulb which created some shadows which I wasn’t always grateful for. However generally I was pleased with the end result.
The one thing that was unexpected was that it got the imagination going, I could the shapes like animals in the wood, an alligator, a sheep, a whale, a Dragon, can you see any of them too?
I thought I saw a wolf, a man showing you something inside a hole and some strange sea creature.
I saw a strange lizard and there is a shell, which has almost worn away, which has a small pebble firmly lodged inside it.
I left the sand on the shells and the logs, the logs were still damp from the beach and were drying out when I brought them back. I tried to Balance some and was intrigued by the wormholes.
This was my drift pile before I assembled them, pretty uninspiring and it’s surprising what you can do when you make the effort.
The photos below were just the same one piece of driftwood.
When I came to position the stones, I hung them precariously over the edge, they did not fall, I stood a family on the top, I imagined a mother, a father and a dog, at first it looked a little like the third person, but I repositioned it to better signify our family.
I looked at the father stone, a close up of this showed a mournful face, as though crying out. It signified to me the grief Kato’s Dad has experienced in the past three months since we lost him.
It’s strange how the imagination can bring emotions to the fore. As we have almost come to the end of our break here, we are not looking forward to returning South. It has been hard to be in our house without our Little Bear here in the flesh, remembering all of the things that previously we enjoyed as a family here. But, we are planning things for our future however long or short that may be. We are planning a future in Scotland. More time spent with the friends we have made there, would be a blessing. We have met some lovely people on this trip, spent time with old friends who have been pleased to see us and made some new ones along the way.