Ocean Observations :: Day Five


I walked to the end of the island and on around the point to where the breakers can be seen from behind. I can’t recall having ever seen waves from any other vantage point other than straight on. They looked like horses racing toward an unseen finish line, their white manes flying in the wind of their speed, sweat spewing off their heads as they lunged toward the finish.

What delight there is in gaining a new perspective. Not that this alters the realities of Breaker Living, for truly this too is an apt depiction of our daily lives. Galloping at top speeds, nostrils flared, hair and sweat flying as we dash toward invisible goals, pushing through neck deep waters…yes this is everyday life. At least it is for me.


But it is not so onerous as I describe. Maybe it’s the perspective of a few days at Oceans Edge that has me seeing a beauty to all of it, a glory in the pursuit, in all the hard work, in the high speed pursuit of living, working, loving others and maintaining a rich, full and blessed life. Yes, perspective is what I’ve needed. An ability to get out of the Breakers and view them from the Ocean’s Edge as well as from behind. Its like seeing the forest instead of being lost in the trees. Though I’d still like to stay here at the edge a while longer, I’m grateful for the break from the Breakers.


Note 1: These Sketchbook entries are abstractions based on the Breakers.

Note 2: Knitting in the sand, purchasing Β groceries to feed the family, and other simple pursuits prevented me from posting this yesterday.πŸ˜ƒ

Ocean Observations :: Day Three

Being at the Ocean’s Edge is like having a figure drawing session available at any time of the day. Morning runners and walkers, ambling shell seekers, strike poses perfect for gesture drawing. Afternoon sun bathers sitting and lying down on bath towels provide more interesting angles to draw the human body. And evening sunset seekers standing around casually or walking in the direction of a fiery glow offer yet more shapes for quick sketches of movement, form, and energy. One could draw people full time here and not exhaust the many poses the human figure is capable of.


I love trying to capture a few of them, and I’m certainly going to include one or two stitched into my Ocean’s Edge Fragment. These sketches, as nearly all gesture drawings, are worked fast, catching only the tilt of the body, the movement or energy Β therein. One fella in a red shirt kept changing his position over and over as he sought the perfect shells. I have four different poses sketched quickly so as not to get my brain too involved. It actually helps to draw fast…your analytical brain can’t keep criticizing and correcting you and your intuitive brain can take over. I’d love to live there all the time!


The beauty of gesture drawing is that you tune into the energy in everything! I’ve been fascinated by the sea grasses this year and will certainly stitch them into the fragment with their flowing lines of wheat-like hair bent in the sea breezes. Clouds have a gesture of such breathtaking beauty I never feel I capture them adequately. And even the breakers…yes, the churning frothing waves have gestures ranging from ferocious to lilting and everything in-between.


I doubt I’ll be able to include all of these in my stitched fragment, but it is worth recording in some fashion the dynamic energy in all that surrounds me. Perhaps I can carry it back home to Life in the Breakers. But I shan’t think of that now. I am here!! And there are several more delicious days ahead of people watching and sketching and stitching.

Ocean Observations :: Day Two

All is calm at the end of Oak Island today. I have walked here this morning, noticing that the breakers are quiet and petite. I’m thinking “breakers” is not the word for these gentle rolls of frilly lace. I sit here listening and longing to be lapped up in them, a coverlet of lace flowing over me.

It is all due to the wind and rains we had yesterday evening. Perhaps worn out from the ordeal, these breakers no longer roar, but rather gurgle at Ocean’s Edge. I too feel this within me on our second full day of vacation. It takes me a day, when I first go to a new place, to feel settled. Breaker living gets ratcheted up a notch in unfamiliar surroundings and a bustling house of dear folks with whom I am unaccustomed to living. Upon waking that first morning it seemed the best thing would be to just draw, just make some lines on a page. Pencil felt like a good choice as there were no hard lines anywhere in my view from the deck. Today I’m thinking only watercolor will do it justice.


Sketching, knitting, and stitching throughout the day serves to anchor me. The winds die down a bit and give way to peaceful rivulets of gurgling joy.

This is the way of living it seems. Storms giving way to quiet inlets. Making things serves as a boat for me to ride out all of it, make sense of it, even find beauty amongst this ocean landscape. Along with daily sketches, I’m stitching a pre-collaged fragment of the ocean. It feels like the perfect way to stitch down thoughts, images, and experiences of a week lived at Ocean’s Edge.


Walking back to the beach house, I notice the breakers are starting to roar again. The day is waking up. The ebb and flow of life goes on and cannot be stopped, try as I might. I can only ride in my boat, observing the days, drawcumenting them in a sketchbook, and stitching them together.

At the Crossroads

Creatively speaking, I seem to be at a crossroads often. I do not understand this about myself. It is cause for quite a lot of consternation. I have been actively and professionally making art for 20 years now. Mostly paintings and drawings. Knitting and crocheting are at least equal passions that I engage in daily and have done so for perhaps longer than the artwork. Tapestry weaving was a recent devotion. And now stitching. The kind that uses a small needle with embroidery threads, fabrics, ribbons and the like. Why can I not just stick with one thing? What do I make of this?

It is as if I walk along the creative path and come to this crossroads with numerous paths leading off in different directions. They all look so interesting and inviting and my curiosity is peaked and I can’t wait to sketch something out, or cast on or make a few stitches. Before I know it, I’m completely ensconced in an enchanted world and my hands and heart are full with merry making in whatever mediums that world offers.

I do not stay in that one world for long. I’m back at the crossroads walking down another lane, sometimes doing so numerous times in a single day. Painting and sketching in my sketchbook, knitting rows on a poncho design, a crocheted one too, and transferring a recent drawing to a collaged fabric fragment, ready for a simple embroidery stitch. Oh. My. Heart.

Each time I set off in a new direction, I want a clean slate, a wide open, airy space in which to work. Designating a blog entirely to that craft seems a perfect way to at least mentally have a little focus. Never mind that I have a main blog that attempts to cover them all, a blog for my pilgrim drawings, another for the grace of knitting. Somehow weaving escaped having its own blog. Perhaps it didn’t stick around long enough. It must’ve been a very short little trail off the beaten path. I don’t know. Truly it all baffles me.

But this stitching work has taken hold. I have tried, over the last couple of years to think Β of it only as a side path, a small, every-now-and-then fascination. Β Perhaps in a month or a year, I will be walking another, quite different creative path. But for now, I am captivated by these lines of stitches taken straight from my sketchbook, translated into stitches on collaged fabric fragments.

I want to hang out in this enchanted world of stitching for awhile, and to write about it. This blog feels like turning the page for a new chapter. It might be a short one. Or long. Who knows? All I know is that this stitching path feels right to me and I’m hearing a voice behind me saying, “Walk in it.”