Tuesday, 5 April 2011

So close

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." Jacques Cousteau

I live about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK. Admittedly, in the grand scheme of things it's actually not that far. A couple of hours drive should see me there, but it's still rather an effort. When the sun shines of course, that couple of hours drive gets doubled as everyone with a pair of sandles and knotted hanky to their name heads for the coast ready for a day of sand blasting and seagulls nicking your chips.

Yesterday took me coast bound for work. I was about as close as you can get without getting sand in my sandwiches but never got a glimpse. Too busy readers. I was up to my eyeballs in brocolli and cauliflower - I bet your mind is boggling.

After a day of meetings, examining seedlings in fields and understanding packing processes I was homeward bound. The brilliant blue sky of morning had been replaced by mizzling rain and time was racing. There wasn't a moment to spare to gaze at seascapes and even the pull of a sign post enticingly reading 'Sea's End' wasn't enough to keep me from my homebound journey.

I miss the sea though. I'm rather fond of our British coastline with its rock pools, shingle banks and sandy dunes. Put me on a beach and I just want to run - not necessarily into the sea, this being the UK and all that... But I love charging about in the sea breezes and letting go, crinkling my toes in the sand and crashing through pebbles.

A trip to the seaside is never complete without returning with a pocketful of pretty shells and interesting pebbles. My son has inherited this little habit of mine. Between us we'll have collected enough for a whole beach in the back garden soon.

Do other countries enjoy the coastal fashion that is the knotted hanky I wonder? I very much doubt that the French or Italians would ever be seen dead in such an item. I can almost feel their shudder of distaste from here.

So, Monday was the day that I nearly got to see the sea. Still, not too long before I'll be dipping my toes in the Aegean... Ah bliss....

Here's a seascape I painted a year or so ago. I actually sold this one! Think I'll take the paints to Greece with me this year.


  1. Ooo hon..that is beautiful!! I love your work..all that texture! I swear I can almost smell the sea! Thank you..I so needed that!

    Uhmmmm no knotted hankies..more like floppy hats here LOL!

    We are several hours from the coast..maybe six or so...way toooo far for me..I adore the beach..sunny tidepools to play in and watch critters..and catch and release..take photos.

    Our whole family are rock hounds and pebble puppies..we are also huge sea shell and sea glass collectors. Sigh...now I wanna go to the beach..maybe I need to paint a few sea gardens again..hmmmmmm...
    Hugs, Sarah

  2. Such a beautiful painting, so creamy and lush....I know this is not arty terminology but that is how it feels to me. Wonderful work. Annette x

  3. Love the painting Lisa! Brocolli and cauliflower by the sea... Hmmm

  4. What in the world do you do with a knotted hankie? I shudder to think. You don't wear it, do you?

    Oh, I just noticed the James Gandolfini lookalike with the ice cream! Hilarious! Here, it's baseball caps.

    I love this painting...definitely take your paints to Greece!

    When I lived in California, I lived and worked about 5 miles from the ocean. Sometimes, for weeks, I wouldn't even glimpse the water. I would always say, I should get down to the beach more often. If I'd known I would be living in landlocked western Pennsylvania for 15 years (and counting), I would have been there every day!

  5. That's a wonderful painting and makes me feel like I'm standing enjoying the sea breeze. Of course, Greece has wonderfully warm water. What is the world is a knotted hanky? Must be a scarf that you tie your hair up in but I've never heard that term. We call them headbands I guess although you don't see many people wearing them to our beaches.

  6. Glad to hear you are up and back at work! this is good!

    Now. You are off to GREECE again this year???

    I want to come too! :-)
    I hope you get the chance to paint another seascape as this one is wonderful - you captured a lot of motion in your waves, hard to do I always think!

    Hmmmm....with all those plants you could have been here in the skagit Valley, near the sea, but full of farmlands with just those things planted out - we have a huge seed production company here too.

    Smiles and hugs,

  7. Lisa - I have finally settled in to my own studio - and to my astonishment filled many of the large drawers in my cupboard with the pebbles and shells I had brought back from NZ,, Australia, Corsica, France etc etc over the last 15 years. And still I can't stop. Now the children are addicted. What is to become of us???

  8. Oh, you're not the only. I'm just about 30 mins drive to the closest beach bit I haven't been there for years. And I kept telling people that I miss water ... ;)

    I remember that painting and it'll be great if you paint another one.

  9. The sea is in my soul. We get seagulls here in Tooting and when I hear them I shut my eyes and pretend! great pic! x

  10. Our New England coast line is very similar to yours with all the nooks and crannies and cold waters. Still, it is the beach and the ocean waves that fill me up !
    My Mom and Dad used to put cloth diapers (nappies, right ?), clean of course, on our heads tied in that fashion when we were kid ! We have the old pics of that somewhere...
    The Aegean...how wonderful ! I have never been but the warmth and the blue are sure to fill up your sea-longing heart !

  11. Oh girl I love the beach as well. Sorry for the ignorance but I do not know what a knotted hankie is..?? All I can think of is a large scarf or wrap worn as a swimsuit coverup. And I'm sure the French and Italians would die if they walked along the Texas beach lol!
    I'm sure your beach is completely different from mine, but I know we get the same wonderful experience.


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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