I have moved again, and no longer have the sea at the end of my road. Before I left, stormy weather deposited sand all over my once-rocky beach. And almost immediately the neighbourhood kids started to take advantage of this new drawing opportunity.
I decided to join them. In the studio I have been drawing by repeating the same marks over and over – just as when I clean a beach I repeat the same gestures to pick up debris. I decided to take this drawing back to the source. So I picked up a stick,
and started to draw. I wasn’t counting the lines, or drawing with any preconceived plan. I was just drawing. And like beach cleaning, this turned out be hard work, requiring a few rests. Once I had a drawing I was satisfied with, I stopped, and went up to street level to get a better look.
As one passer-by commented, it does look a bit like I was trying to drawing the USA flag. Someone else asked me what it was about, and seemed satisfied with my reply, that is a way to make my beach-cleaning, and the debris I find visible. a kind of counting, if you like. The crows seemed to like it. Smart birds, those crows.
On moving day itself, I snatched a few moments from the chaos in the apartment. At the beach I started to draw again, but this time I had no camera with me. There was one other person on the beach, taking advantage of a calm morning to write in her journal. She asked me what the drawing was about. This time, it was about saying goodbye. I came back later to see what the the tide had left.
Circles seem an appropriate image to have used. I was closing the loop on a year of visiting and cleaning the same beach. And circles are more fun than lines to draw. They are seems more organic, more inclusive:
I have not moved far. (And in Victoria, you are never very far from the sea.) In the meantime, I am discovering a new neighbourhood, one of hills and oak trees set on wide streets. I like it.