Friday, March 13, 2015

back to plum island

Thanks for your kind comments and emails after my last post! It helps to know I'm not alone in the world of creative ruts, art copycats and barfy kitties.

After dropping off my finished paintings from the last few weeks up at my print shop, I took advantage of being an hour north and spent the rest of the afternoon at Plum Island (where I found this book) on the far North shore of the Massachusetts coast. In the middle of a 30-degree week there were two days of 60-degree sunshine and soft winds, so I walked around the dunes, along the shore and through the salt marsh to get some fresh air and see what the last few storms had washed up on shore.

Someone I know once called this a "beach bouquet"… a large mess of lobster trap, dune fence posts, bird feathers, bits of buoys and piers, driftwood and rope washed ashore after a storm. There were several of these along the length of the beach and I snagged a couple pieces of it for a new painting I'm working on.

Plum Island is a thin, 11-mile long island with salt marsh on one side -- usually full of cranes, hawks and foxes roaming around and supposedly hosts migrating snowy owls right now, though I didn't see any --  and boardwalks over sand dunes on the other. The salt marsh was frozen over, the lowland still completely covered in about two feet of packed snow, and there was still snow right on the beach too. I loved the sight of violet and pearl mussel shells, porcelain moon snails, twinkling sea glass and other detritus littered right up to the edge of the remaining snowbanks.

(p.s. Please excuse these photos if they're weird sizes or the color is off… I'm trying to learn how to post from the road, using a tablet and gas station wifi. More on that next week.)


  1. The image of your shoes, the sand, the shells and the snow is one of my favorite photos of yours. I think it would make an awesome start to a painting with a good quote. I live in Colorado, so this kind of image is a surprise to me. I don't tend to think of the water, sand, snow and shells all being in the same place at the same time. It is kind of exciting. I am so glad that you share these journeys (artistic, kitty inspired, life, etc.) I find them inspirational.

    1. Thanks Tammy! I know what you mean. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and the concept of snow on a beach is surprising/foreign to me, too. Some of my favorite winter memories are walking on the beach near my house in Seattle during a snowfall, though it never stuck and certainly didn't last weeks and weeks. I gathered a generous handful of shells and driftwood to start a painting inspired by this :)

  2. What a VERY strange site for me ... Snow on the beach!!! Unheard of in these parts – Perth WA, Australia. The photo could be taken anywhere here BUT the snow changes all that. Even in Winter, we have an average of about 8º/46.4ºF in Winter but more like 12º is out average so no snow around these parts. Looks amazing but rather cold I can imagine. Thanks for sharing your travels and photos. They didn't come out in weird sizes or colours at all from where I sit.