As two girls who used to spend a lot of time at the beach when we were younger, we have spent a fair bit of time at the beach whilst I am here on this trip. It seemed the logical place for us to go here on the Sunshine Coast.
If there is a beach which we can get to and from whilst the kiddies are at school then we have made it our mission to go and see it, walk along it and go beach combing. As a consequence I have lots of sun sea and sky shots that I’ve taken whilst transfixed by the waves sights and sound of nature at its wildest doing its thing.
I have collected shells and stones which I have visions of all kinds of possibilities relating to artwork, we have found lots of beautiful things which I would love to take home with me, put on a wall and cherish.
Sure some of them have been smashed in the storms which have battled the coastline whilst I have visited here. To me these are somehow even more beautiful since although they are fragments of their former shapes and size they were resilient enough to force their way through raging waters up on to the beaches we walked along and be found by us.
The Shell, Coral and Sea Glass, shaped by their journey. These are the pieces that I would make into artwork for it signifies to me what they have gone through and the fact that their beauty still remains.
We decided on a little road trip the other day, to a place here on the Sunshine Coast called Currimundi Lake. Since the cyclone which was forecast to hit, was a no-show in this part of the world, we felt safe to take a trip to the beach again. Once we had mastered the industrial estate and the housing estate courtesy of the Sat Nav, we ended up in the right place and found a lovely cafe with the warmest welcome and bought some cool drinks to quench our thirst after a walk along the beach. There is a lake there when you get out of the car and you might be forgiven for thinking that you have only come to a lake. But it is like the starter course for a main course which is about to unfold before your eyes. As we walked around a small part of the tidal lake, which was absolutely beautiful by the way and a haven for wildlife. We came to a gap in the landscape. Turning the corner it opened up onto a blue skyline and an almost deserted beach, beautiful reddish and white sands stretched for miles. But that was not what I found so captivating. we were met with the sight of waves, so high that the sea spray covered the beach and all the passers by, at a guess I would have to say that they could have been 40 feet high as they rolled in and I bathed in their awesomeness and beauty. I could have watched them for hours.
It took our breath away as we stood watching the waves, the colours were magnificent, the sun was shining, there was hardly anyone around and we walked for what seemed like miles with my feet in soft sand, looking for sea shells. We had hoped that the storms had washed up some good finds, but most of the shells were broken, we found a few small ones which had remained intact along with some rather lovely stones. As surfing is the norm in this part of the world, despite the fierce weather warnings we half expected to see a few crazy surfers out there, but they seemed to have listened or gone taken a look and decided that it wasn’t worth the risk. The beach was almost deserted, but for a few dog walkers and puppies of all ages bounding along the beach. Another beautiful place here on my adventure.
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.