I have been really intrigued by the Watermarks blog; a collaboration between some fabulous artists who are all inspired by water in one form or another. The artists are Vivien Blackburn, Lindsay Olson, Katherine Tyrrell, Laura Frankstone, Gesa Helms, Jeanette Jobson, Tina Mammoser, Sarah Wimperis and Ronell van Wyk.
Stay with me through a little geography. Where we live, Patea, is on the west coast of the north island of New Zealand. Patea is built on top of 200 foot cliffs, only about a golf course width back from the edge in places. From our home, at the beach end of town, we look out across the golf course to the Tasman Sea. About 2 minutes drive away is Mana Bay and the sea walls that give the fishing boats access to the sea – being the west coast, the seas can be treacherous. The road down to the beach settlement, about 10 houses in all, is quite steep and has a couple of lookouts along the way.
At the beach itself, there is a jetty, the sea walls, two beaches separated by the Patea River which flows down from a hydro dam, a rock wall that protects the far shoreline and a beach that is really a tidal river edge. All the sand is black iron-sand; the Japanese mined here for iron-sand until the early 80s.
I love to go down there are look around; sometimes I take Mum down, just to get her out of the house for a bit. In summer the iron-sand gets incredibly burn-your-feet hot. And to that the summer colours of sunset in our clear skies, and the feeling can be one of almost overwhelming heat. Hot skies, hot sand, hot colours, hot summer air. All against the beautiful clear blue of the Tasman Sea.
I have been working small again, 4×8″ on gallery wrap canvas, and exploring how I feel about summer at the beach here. This one, Full Tide #1, is for sale on ArtFire. There’ll certainly be more to come; I love the colours, and the memories that inspire these works.