Monday, October 25, 2010

Language of the Sea and Shells

I'll ignore the fact it's been too long since I've posted and go directly to sharing some discoveries I made this month while I was at the beach for a Personal Art Retreat.  As a birthday gift, my husband reserved a week for me at a friend's condo who generously offers it when available.  There is no other environment that clears my mind and opens my soul to fresh inspiration. This week was no exception.

Have you ever noticed the language of the sea and shells?   I previously had noticed the markings on the beach left from the surf when the tide comes in and goes out.  I walked over this language many times before stopping to look at it closely.  Perhaps it's because I am taking note of lines and marks within my paintings that I now remembered to take a photo. As I walked on the beach I wondered what the surf was saying; where it had been and how often it came back to the same place.

This is the first time I noticed the hieroglyphics on shells.  I've passed over these marks many times but on this visit I began to see a language as shown in the photo below.  Do you see the smile,  the arrow,  the exclamation point and the semi-colon?  How do these symbols get carved into the shell?  How long have they been tossed to and fro along the sand?  Who knows their language and the stories they tell?

Not be overlooked, the feathered friends also leave their bas-relief sculptures in the sand as they dart back and forth finding delicacies to feast on.

Then there are the paintings that last only as long as the tide is out.  On this beach there are two distinctly different colors of sand which combine into an exquisite color scheme. I wanted to cut this painting from the sand and take it home with me to hang on my wall!

These discoveries feed my soul and move me on to explore ideas and images for my work.  God's creation brings such a wealth of creativity and I'm so grateful for eyes to see what is around me.

These "language" inspirations prompted me to begin writing the text from research on my last series:  Qumran Eleven: unearthed evidence inspired by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls that I mentioned in an earlier blog.  I'll be posting more images of that series and excerpts from that writing later.

In the meantime, I hope you'll take careful note of the environment around you.  If you discover some new "languages", post them here so I can enjoy them, too.