Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sea arches

Sea arches - The Dungeon
oil on canvas panel 5 x 7
Bonavista is where modern North America began. On June 24th, 1497, an Italian explorer sailing under the British flag for King Henry VII, made landfall in the New World. "O Buona Vista," Giovani Caboto was said to exclaim after nearly two months at sea. Oh happy site! News of the existance of the this New Found Land - and the riches of the Grand Bank fishery - spread throughout Europe after Cabot's return journey across the Atlantic.
The Dungeon Provincial Park is on the Bonavista Peninsula and contains a pair of sea arches formed through many many years of the ocean washing over the rocks.

A sea arch is a natural opening eroded out of a cliff face by marine processes. Some arches appear to have developed for surge channels, which are created by wave refraction causing the focusing of wave fronts on the side of a headland. More generally, arches develop where waves attack a plane of weakness which cross-cuts a promontory. Caves produced on either side of promontory may become joined over time to become a tunnel and, finally, an arch.

These particular arches in Dungeon Provincial Park, like all sea arches or caves, have a life expectancy depending on the type of rock and seas and how quickly erosion takes place. Once a sea arch loses its keystone - the arch portion of the structure - it then turns into a sea stack.

Sea arch - Laguna beach
19 x 25 pastel

I am interested in the way that the elements sculpt the land and always seek out similar structures when I can. A sea arch on the beach in California was one of the pieces that I drew a couple of years ago and I hope to find a few more sea sculptures this summer.

The image on the left is the initial working sketch for the larger piece.

The video clip below brings you to 'The Dungeons' to let you experience the sea arches for yourself.


Patricia said...

These are lovely images and convey your love and interest in the world of water. I invite you and any others who care about the sea to visit my link to watch a TED talk/video of Sylvia Earle, the reknown oceanographer. Her message is important for everyone to hear right now. Thanks, Patricia

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I remember that Californian arch well - and thinking at the time you ought to do more landscapes!

Your local arches are extremely impressive. I like your colours and brushwork but I'm not 100% sold on the crop lines - but it's far from an easy subject to work with. (It's the "kiss" at the junction between the top of the arch and edge of the work which draws my eye)

Laureline said...

Mesmerizing video! I get cold and windblown just watching it! Your arch drawings are very strong. I'm struggling, as perhaps you are (?) to render a sense of solid structure in some of my painted rock formations.
It's always something ;D.

Lindsay said...

I love how you share both your beautiful pastels adn the video. Now all I need is the smell of salt air!

vivien said...

There is something fascinating about sea arches - and that video reminded me of standing above a collapsed sea cave in Cornwall with the sea coming in way below like that - the same vertigo too!

vivien said...

There is something fascinating about sea arches - and that video reminded me of standing above a collapsed sea cave in Cornwall with the sea coming in way below like that - the same vertigo too!

Jeanette said...

Thanks Patricia. I'll have a look at that link.

Katherine, I understand about the crop, its not ideal. Perhaps the next remake and I'll move in down further. I didn't do any preliminary drawing on this one first which I usually do.

Laura, I was experimenting a bit with this painting in terms of colour and brushstrokes. Rocks are difficult to render and I've been looking at other artist's versions to try to learn. Perhaps we should all have a rock workshop! :)

Lindsay, I like a touch of reality as well as painting. It helps me as well as the viewer, relive the actual scene.

I love these sea rock formations Vivien. The sea movement around them is usually very dramatic.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Thanks for this great post...loved the video and your arches. Next thing you should write for us about is a blow hole...they fascinate me too.