Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Photo by SFD

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Greyday

A Grey Day by William Vaughn Moody

Grey drizzling mists the moorlands drape,
Rain whitens the dead sea,
From headland dim to sullen cape
Grey sails creep wearily.
I know not how that merchantman
Has found the heart; but 'tis her plan
Seaward her endless course to shape.

Unreal as insects that appall
A drunkard's peevish brain,
O'er the grey deep the dories crawl,
Four-legged, with rowers twain:
Midgets and minims of the earth,
Across old ocean's vasty girth
Toiling--heroic, comical!

I wonder how that merchant's crew
Have ever found the will!
I wonder what the fishers do
To keep them toiling still!
I wonder how the heart of man
Has patience to live out its span,
Or wait until its dreams come true.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Inspiration: The sea

The Amazing Flying Blennies by Susan Carlson

Lately, there's been a bit of an ocean theme around here. In part, that's probably because it's summer and I'm spending a lot of time on and in the water, and in part because I've always loved the sea. This summer it started innocently enough with a few kayak trips, and a few seafood dinners, and now has infiltrated all of my art projects as well. And now, the inspiration posts seem to overflow with saltiness and finned creatures. Which brings me to these intricate quilts by Susan Carlson. I'm not a fabric artist, but if I were, I'd want to quilt the sea like this...

Age of Aqua-Wrasse by Susan Carlson

Check out more of her quilts here.

Eider Twilight

Photo by SFD


The quiet stars came out, one after one;

The holy twilight fell upon the sea,

The summer day was done."

- Celia Thaxter

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Going Coastal

I'm lucky enough to live close to the ocean, though the shores near me tend to be wooded slopes and seaweed encrusted rock rather than sandy beaches. I went north today, lured by the bright sky and the thought of wide blue seas. Today, cold New England resembled something out of the tropics, with deep blue and turquoise waters that rushed and frothed at the opening to the channel. My mother and I walked along a sandy spit, right to the edges of the sea. But the water was tropical in color only; average water temps are still in the high 40s/low 50s.

I love the way these rocks get tumbled smooth by the waves. There is something comforting about holding a sun-warmed rock in my hand, and running my fingers around its edges, smooth and round as eggs.

These gorgeous quahog shells were all over the beach. This one was larger than my hand. We left it there for others to enjoy...

After exploring the rest of the estuary, we headed home. Now, I'm back in my study, refreshed and ready to work on some more drawings. I have a lot of photos that will make great material for paintings and sketches, and I'm feeling energized by my exposure to the sea. Sometimes I think I have a bit of mermaid, or more likely selkie, in me. I'm never as happy as when I have salt on my skin and sand beneath my fingernails. I managed both today, and am ready to bring it to life on paper...