Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wintering Around Our Beach... place and purposing much like a canvas to paint

Seaside inspirations from a thrift-shoppe' bargain painting...
And...the reality of our beach...ahh, a serene canvas indeed!

Almost anytime is great for some good ole' "beach time" that's for sure and so this week I headed out to both our tiny island's beach and also to a state park's beach just 15 minutes away.

There was a sunny, 60 degree warmth break in our unusually-for-us cold, foggy and yes actually barely snowing recent winter weather here on the coast of South Carolina and so, seizing the day Carpe' Diem spirit most enthusiastically, I headed out first to the state park's beach and then ended the day with James and our dog Kanon out on our island's small, secluded beach. Well, secluded from non-islanders but not secluded from James, our friend Robbie, his dog Cotton, our dog Kanon and me ;)

I do so value how a beach can be a neutral-canvas upon which to paint the experience you desire upon it. When I am by myself, it's definitely a canvased atmosphere much like a J. M. W. Turner painting where the focus is on sparsity and a blurred kind of self-introspection. The times I'm figuratively painting something akin to this are the beach days where I'll take one of my creative writing projects out there with me. Sometimes I even take a good book but mostly, if I'm not writing, I just want to stare out towards the ocean's horizon line and let my mind either begin to still itself or wander lazily along some proverbial trail among the sand dunes... expanding its journeying or narrowing the pathway but always going along at a leisurely pace.

Other beach times are ones in which it's me and a close girlfriend taking a picnic lunch, our beach chairs and wide-brimmed straw hats along with plenty of sunscreen. Creating a tableau of female figures, brighter pretty color tones and constantly wavering lines much like a Chagall painting. We used to bring books and magazines or even some needlework but have dropped those by the wayside at this point. We never get to these; instead we chat and chat and chat some more. Gabbing and laughing away sitting in our chairs, lying on our towels, wading into the surf and bobbing in the ocean waters.

And finally, there are the times out and about on the beach that are so "active" and busy which are either when I'm out with James, out with James and Kanon, out with James, Kanon and friends or out with a large group of friends. I've run, jumped, thrown Frisbees, played soccer, body surfed and plain ole' goofed-around during those fun days. Dogs or no dogs, we all wear ourselves completely out by the time the time's up and/or the sun sets. If we extend our evenings, we usually go back to some one's house or yard and gather 'round a fireplace, marshside fire pit or in a sunroom to linger longer together. These times seem like Tintoretto or Peter Paul Reubens paintings where everyone's busy, busy all over a larger canvas.

The painting above is one that always inspires me to get out onto our beaches here more often.

I found it at a charity thrift shop we have here in town which has a bit more upscale donations than the usual second-hand stores. I go in occasionally to peruse and at times purchase items like books, ceramic and porcelain cache pots n' vases to put orchids and bulbs in, baskets, some odd pieces of sterling when I espy it and maybe a piece of art or er, a fun piece of artistic-intent.

Sitting flat on a table was this painting which was almost covered up by other items. I picked it up, it made me smile thinking about how much it mirrors our beaches here, I turned it over and saw three dollars on its price tag...three, as in 3 dollars? I took it to the counter and asked if the price was 3 or 30 dollars since maybe there was a zero missing on the tag somewhere but no, it was three dollars and was sold- sold to me.

The photo underneath my bargain acrylic painting set in a wooden frame is from this week's beach day: a similar kind of view towards the ocean waters from a sea dunes and sea oats vantage point.

Off-season, On-season.....beach times are always good times aren't they?


  1. You have me longing for the beach! It was 4 degrees this morning when I got up, and my front door was frozen shut. 60 degrees on a beach sounds heavenly. Thanks for a beautiful description.

  2. Thanks Elizabeth! :) So glad to hear that youe enjoyed this post and ...Oh, wow...4 degrees and a frozen-shut door: reminds me of my days in Wisconsin. Hang in there!!! We're back to colder temps at the moment and in March, we'll get a cold spell again but yes, definitely not anything like wooo, 4 degrees!

    Best to you, Lachlan