Saturday, May 19, 2012

Living Artfully at the Beach

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)

Nature and art are the clearest ways I know to pause and draw close to the creative power of God.  That sounds a little grandiose, but if you had spent the past week staring out at the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing to the shore, I think you would agree!

And it's not just the awesome and powerful sights of nature that impress me.  Sometimes it's the smallest detail, like the way the mussel shells so much resemble a delicate butterfly in the sand.
We explore all these ways we can add texture to our journal pages and our art, and I was struck by how God Himself is the ultimate Creator of texture in the shells and pebbles along the beach:
In the spirit of creation, I took a gallon storage bag of magazine clippings and filled a photo box with some basic art supplies for the week:  pens and markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue stick, a small set of pan watercolors and my water brush, a set of alphabet rubber stamps and a black ink pad, and three rolls of decorative tape. 
I've read it over and over again, and it holds true:  sometimes it's more fun to work with a limited stock of materials than it is to try to make choices in a room spilling over with every artsy/craftsy gadget and supply.
I worked in my art journal more this past week than I had in the months prior to our vacation.
Most of my pages seem to reflect the reality that a vacation with my daughters is not exactly a blissfull retreat; all of the whining and tears follow us to the beach.  But there is enough of the "different," of the "escape," of the "moments," to make it into its own form of family bliss. 

Some other evidence of artistry from our week:
Michael got a picture of me sketching in my notebook during our
first afternoon on the beach.

Katy was queen of the sandcastle-making all week.  She used shells for windows
and doors, and twigs as flags on top.

Bayla showing off her beach finds:  "This one looks like chicken!"
One of the girls' new favorite things to do is to grab the camera and take a hundred pictures.  Here's a portrait of Mommy by Bayla...impressive considering she used to come out with hundreds of pictures of her own fingers!
Oh, yeah...that's more like it!
Michael takes his sand castle-making very seriously, with moats and bridges and all
kinds of other details.  We watched as the water moved in and obliterated
this sand village...quite exciting!
I am going to draw a new winner for my giveaway on Tuesday if I don't hear from our original winner by that time!
Thanks for your patience.


Karen Isaacson said...

those are some great pages! I loved the challenge of making art on vacation last year - the limited supply issues can really push us to be more creative because we have to look beyond our usual and consider what else is available to us and how else we can express ourselves.

VivJM said...

Aw, looks like you had a great time. I agree that a limited supply of materials can often produce a spurt of creativity. Maybe because you spend less time thinking "should I use this or this or this?" and just get on with stuff.

Awesome sand castles from your daughter btw :-)

Janet said...

Your journal pages look great! Maybe I should try limiting my supplies. I might get inspired to actually do something!

Love seeing all the pictures, especially the close-up with the pink sunglasses upside-down!!

eli said...

Andria! I love your pages!! less materials, more exercise for your creativity!

laurie said...

looks like you had a wonderful vacation full of real life family moments and some time for journaling. we are going to the beach in southern california for a week next month. your photos of sand and surf and kids playing make me even more excited to go.

Carin Winkelman said...

It seems like you had a wonderful time. And you were immensely creative too! How cool! I love your journal pages. As someone who is surrounded by ocean I know how endlessly fascinating the beach and the waves can be. They are constantly changing in every way and here on this island they even change the land itself. I love how that works.

Parabolic Muse said...

Kid's pics! kids with cameras!!

I sat with my feet like that once and the tips of my toes were burnt.


okay, not really. i can't sit with my feet like that.