Drawing Parallels

Six-and-a half years ago I had the privilege of visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. Antoni Gaudi had captured my attention during my London City&Guilds art training in early 2000. His approach of looking to nature for inspiration was nothing new. However, his innovative approach of identifying key aspects in nature, translating these and applying them in his architectural creations truly pushed the boundaries then and continue to so now.

I am always intrigued by the ancient landscape I am exploring close to home these days. Stumbling across a quote by Antoni Gaudi last week gave me reason to pause and reflect: “The great open book that one must strive to read is the book of nature: all the other books are extracted from it and contain man’s erroneous interpretations. There are two revelations: one, doctrinaire, with Morals and Religion; the other, guided by facts, enclosed in the Great Book of Nature.” – A. Gaudi

My walk at Blu Sac Road in Five Islands near Parrsboro at low tide yesterday afternoon reminded me of how important it is to not only look at the larger picture, the landscape as a whole, but to also make time and pay close attention to the individual parts.

The ancient sea bed comprised of sandstone was created by the sheer power and weight of the last ice age. Walking on these outcroppings is a humbling experience. The air was still, the tide not quite at its lowest point. The sound of a distant ATV travelling along the red cliffs drowned out the laughter of the seagulls hunting for tasty morsels left behind by the receding tide. Soon the wind and sea bird sounds was all we heard.

My proclivity to seek details on the ocean floor soon drew my attention to this section in the sandstone. Like a painting Mother Nature was presenting a moment in time with a beautifully balanced composition using tiny snails and dried sea lettuce. Colour, line quality and subtle textural nuances made me stop and take a closer look with the understanding that the next high tide will completely alter this presentation.

How about another Gaudi quote? “Paintings, through the use of pigments, and sculptures turning to forms, express existing organisms: figures, trees and fruits… describing the interiors through the exteriors. Architecture creates the organism and that is what makes it adopt a law harmonious with those of nature; those architects that do not comply with the draw doodles instead of works of art. – A Gaudi

The image above fits the quote appropriately, or vice versa… what do you think?

I am freely admitting that the sequence of images presented here constituted the highlight of yesterday’s beach exploration. I don’t know how I could have missed this during my last time here… and yet, this natural composition could have just taken place yesterday. Such is the incredible power of the changing tides in the Bay of Fundy.

Linda and I took our time during our leisurely beach saunter. Sitting on a driftwood log, sipping our water and munching on a humble snack we witnessed five majestic bald eagles taking turns between soaring high above the red cliffs taking advantage of the thermal and searching for food in the shallow waters. Filled with gratitude for what we experienced we slowly ascended the hill back to the car. Sharing such wonderful experiences with a friend truly make them more special!

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed our amazing beach exploration. Warm wishes, Anna

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