art and nature

natureshelfa wall in my studio

Finally!  a place to put my nature finds, the heart shaped rocks and Inuksuks and fossils and nests and seed pods and choral and the Art Troll.  When I got it all arranged I looked up and could see the same shapes and textures in my paintings.  Small surprise.  (Pardon the reflection off the frames- there’s light pouring in my studio from all directions this morning)

Last Sunday it was 104 degreesF at 3pm so Bob and Andy and I put on our swimsuits and drove the 1/2 hour to Salmon Creek Beach.  As we opened the doors we were hit by the cool air and as we climbed over the dunes to the beach we encountered temps of 65 with a windchill factor of -10 I imagine.  Delightfully chilly.

Then each of us set about our own “business” on the beach – Andy, his skim boarding – Bob, his photography and playing around with his new lens-baby attachment – and me, well I just walked way down the beach for a while, picking up seagull feathers and things, getting mesmerized by the crashing waves and the sunbeams bouncing off of everything, watching a group of 100 gulls with heads pulled down in the shoulders, shoulder to shoulder, napping? – watching a group of young boys digging a collossal hole in the sand and then shrieking with delight when the tide waters filled it in a big rush.  All these sensations.  What to do with them?  I didn’t bring my sketchbook.  So while Andy skimmed into wave after wave I picked the only medium available to me and sculpted face after face in the wet sand, while Bob photographed one with his lens-baby.

sand_facephoto by Bob Cornelis

Within an hour after we got home Bob had created a digital slide show with music.  I took the bent and sandy feathers and seaweed out of my pockets.  Sigh.  A perfect afternoon.



  1. Your finds look great there, Susan! I have a large glass jar where I keep mine, some form the beach here, and lots of stuff from the Caribbean islands I used to frequent on the ship.
    P.S. The photo from Bob would fit right in to Miki’s “uninvited guest” painting!

    Your mention of skim boarding reminds me of days doing that off the coast of Tortola in the Virgin islands. It wasn’t until weeks later I discovered that there are incredibly dangerous rocks just below the surf there, and I could have been tenderized!


  2. You are such a nature lover — I knew I recognized an earth sister in you! I am such a feather and rock hound, too, find such joy in discovering them! What a great spot you have to display them — can’t wait to come over and see!


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