People often ask where I get inspiration and ideas from, and my answer invariably is....... the OCEAN.
It's no surprise my studio smells fishy............. I bring home lots of things from the beach. A tractor rakes and collects all the bits and pieces washed up on the beach a couple of times a week. I collect anything interesting before it ends up as landfill at the local tip.
The Rock pool
At the South end of the beach, a tidal rock pool was constructed in the 1930s. I swim laps here. It was built on a rock platform and contains a little ecosystem full of many different kinds of fish, weeds and other sea creatures. At high tide, fresh ocean water washes into the pool and fish get trapped until the next high tide. Once a little baby shark got trapped......needless to say, I didn't swim in the pool that day. While I swim, I look at all the little creatures and enter an altered state of consciousness with the help of the steady strokes and regular, deep breathing, akin to meditation. All my worries are washed away.
Colourful sandstone rocks
Once I was swimming along and a cormorant dove into the pool in front of me and caught a fish. Sometimes the cormorants sit on the edge of the pool and watch me swim (or maybe they are looking for fish).
There is a natural plunge pool at the northern end of the beach which was made by one of the locals before the rock pool was constructed. Jo, who lives down the road, told me that her Grandfather used dynamite on the rock platform to make a hole for his pregnant wife (Jo's Grandma) to cool down in during the hot summer. I wallow in this pool when I just want to cool down and relax. I saw a turtle there last year, the first time ever. The rock platforms and reefs are now protected.
Lichen growing on the Sandstone
I was once rock-hopping, focused on finding treasures amongst the rocks, when a large rock in front of me came to life............it was a giant fur-seal woken out of his slumber and not happy. He clampered into the ocean with a huff as I tried to steady my breating and heart rate.
Can you smell the ocean?