Since Lindsay sent me that email inviting me to join Watermarks, my mind had been providing more and more water-based facts, stories, incidences and connections. Like Laura, I've begun to write in water-related puns, and some of mine are definitely far worse than others.
Some of those facts, stories and connections by way of introduction.
I love the sea. Which more appropriately far too often in reality is: I would love to see the sea. It's love at a distance. Definitely when I grew up amidst fields, woods and more fields and woods. It's a bit less so since I've been living on an -admittedly rather large - island for the past 10 years.
Just yesterday, we talked about the river Clyde and its importance for the city of Glasgow. And what a small, narrow and shallow river the Clyde is. But Clydeside and Clyde Built are inextricably linked with this city, and so is the existence of the river.
There's for instance, Black is the Colour, sung here by Christy Moore
Or, the monument of La Pasionaria just down from St Enoch Square on the River banks.
I like how Katherine talks about water - the river Thames or other waterscapes - providing a sense of place. I studied geography too. But in many ways, my geography is a distinctly urban one... see above in relation to Glasgow.
And as I discovered in my recent experiments with seascapes - the sea, and my fascination with it, and in particular shorelines is much more mediated, at a distance, somewhat abstract. So, while I do have many photos of holidays spent at the sea, and sketches of the sea and shorelines, most of my sea art is from a distance.
I hadn't really thought about that before but that distance is quite important. It's about 'here and elsewhere', the elsewhere being quite simply 'across the sea'. It's about being here and elsewhere and the sea, the water providing that link. It's quite a powerful link: to people, places, pasts and futures all the time while being at the seashore. Or on a ferry crossing: inbetween, neither here nor there and yet present.
Some of my seascapes in photo and fine art are in these flickr sets:
As for my art, much of it is mixed media with a lot of pastel, as in The sea is yellow; I've been doing more and more sketches in ink; and also been playing with printmaking processes. Yet, pastels seem to be the medium of choice to come back too.
- And definitely one of my favourite artist of seascapes is Joan Eardley, see an image search here