Phinney Green…

“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. “
– William Wordsworth

This quote really sums it up… no additional commentary necessary! As I walked onto Phinney Green Beach a few nights ago the feeling of the weight of the world sliding off my shoulders effortlessly came over me. A deep inhaling breath was all I needed to be transported into the moment. That moment where nothing matters, deadlines are set aside and worries no longer crowd the thoughts.

It is that exact moment where you recognize and appreciate the perfect light and at the same time realize how quickly it will dissipate if you don’t respond to it now! The sea grass-covered rocks in the temporary pool of stagnant water only required a few steps to reach. I have quickly learned not to dismiss these ordinary looking patches on the beach, left behind by the last high tide.

It never ceases to amaze me what treasures I can glean from getting close, kneeling down to examine the standing water. Strands of sea grass gently moving with the water stirred by the breeze, tiny snails hiding between the shaded sanctuary of rocks and the lush green hairlike strings. In the background waves slowly rolling in for the next high tide.

I am not feeling rushed. The sandy beach now spreading in front of me as far as I can see, I focus my attention on the kelp lying in wait for the cooling waves to wash away the grains of sand and eventually sweep it back into the open waters. The sun is at the perfect angle to create captivating patterns of light and shadow. It is a mesmerizing time as I switch back and forth between the macro lens on my camera and my iPhone framing individual images.

I move into the shaded parts of the beach, closer to a cliff overhang near accumulated driftwood when I come upon these paper-thin bleached kelp remnants. With such diversity in the way they shriveled up while drying I am drawn in and can’t help myself capturing what nature is presenting to me. All I need to do is be receptive and look. I find kelp and seaweed a constant source of inspiration for colour, texture, line and its sculptural properties. This inspiration is spilling over into my studio practice where I am dreaming up new concepts on how to integrate this malleable material into my work. I am just at the sketching stage right now…

So much to explore, discover and ponder! The richness of my environment has no bounds. When the sun sets at the end of the day I let me thoughts come to rest slowly as I find that in sleep I discover countless new ideas.

Thanks for coming along on another contemplative walk on the beach.

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