Sunday, July 29, 2007

Seaside Creativity

I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore,
With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar.
-Emerson
We took our annual vacation on the Washington coast. The ocean is wonderfully restorative and sets the creative wheels churning. I'm always inspired to pick up sand dollars, seaweed, clever driftwood and razor clam shells and to try to fashion a wonderful work of art out of them. Won't this perfect razor clam shell make great angel wings? Hey-I could paint a face on this sand dollar! How about seaweed hair? These ideas always work in my imagination but not in my hands. Also, I hate the seashell creations seen in the ubiquitous coastal gift shops-the tacky clam man with glued on googlie eyes holding a driftwood banjo, the seashell mosaics, you know what I mean. I truly believe that normally sensible creative people fall under a kind of artistic mind fog when they get their first whiff of salt air. They either believe they are capable of creating genuine works of art out of flotsam and jetsam or they think such finished pieces are irresistible and lay down good money for them. Five miles inland on their way home they look at what they made or bought and shake their heads with regret. "What the heck was I thinking?" they wonder. I'm telling you, this is a genuine undiagnosed psychiatric condition. I know because I suffer from it. At least I come to my senses when I get home. People who live in seaside towns are never cured.
I was better this year. Yes, I collected a whole bag full of small pieces of driftwood that looked like body parts so I could fashion an art doll out of them. I couldn't complete this thought, though as I had no way to hold the parts together. I had wire but no holes through which to secure it. After a few minutes trying to chip holes in the wood with a pocket knife then a metal skewer from the kitchen drawer I decided I was wasting my time.
So this year I redirected my attention to the camera . I loved how the water trails through the wet grey sand looked like bare winter trees so I snapped a couple photos.

Also, here is Sandy the mermaid when completed then the next day after the wind had drifted dry sand over her. I love the contrast.

I guess we just can't improve upon Mother Nature, right? But next year I'm thinking maybe a pressed seaweed collage would really be cool if I did it right...

Coming soon: Dolls! Finally!

5 comments:

Storybook Woods said...

Ohh cool pictures. Hey Angie if anyone can make something from all the things at the beach and have it NOT be tacky, it is you. Glad you had a wonderful time !!! xoxoxox

jbrealtor said...

I love the "tree" photo. And that mermaid is just too perfect. What talent you have!

Janet

Mary said...

I love the Emerson. It's perfect and so true.

Such lovely photos once again, Angie. It made me long for the ocean.

Glad you're home!

countrymouse said...

I think the sea-findings crafts have the problem of context. They're lovely where you find them, but take them away from their environment and they're just wierd : )

LOVELY photos! And the mermaid is amazing : )

Gumbo Lily said...

Beautiful pictures. I've only been to the Oregon Coast once, and I was infatuated! I didn't buy any seashell men, but I took home lots of shells and rocks.

Jody