Visiting With Friends at the Beach

10:01 AM


Clearwater Beach Visit
March 2013
Still & Birn Beta Sketchbook
8.5 x 10.75 inches
One of the cool things about living in the middle of the state of Florida, is that I sometimes get to meet "online friends" in person. I had the opportunity to meet up with a Michigan friend this past Monday who is visiting Florida with her husband.

I had arrived a little bit early as you never know what traffic is going to be like between the Spring-Breakers and the general beach vacationers.
With 15 minutes to kill before our stated meeting time, I sat down on a handy wall and painted the stormy skies and some of the beach. Due to my limited time, I made three lines with my pencil—the horizon line, the line indicating the sand dune and the water/sand line. Then I let the paint fly.

I was still holding my sketchbook open so the pages could dry when I walked up to meet my friends. 
As I started back towards the restaurant, I saw a gorgeous Sea Grape Leaf lying at the base of the wall I had been sitting on. I picked it up and tucked it into my bag so I could sketch it later. A few steps further and I spotted this gorgeous shell shard. Abalone shell, maybe? Lots of pretty iridescent colors!
We met for a quick lunch (which was actually breakfast and very, very yummy—thank you J & T!) before we walked down the beach. I sketched the lifeguard shack or observation stand or whatever the call it these days. The flag was standing straight out as the winds were really kicking up, but strong winds didn't keep folks off the beach.

Living in Florida, my favorite time to go to the beach is on overcast, windy days. There's more wave action in the water and you can see some truly spectacular cloud formations. You'll occasionally find a "beach treasure" (unusual shells, beach glass and very rarely, a gold doubloon) you won't find on other days.

I did all of my sketching in pencil and didn't add color to the rest of the page until after I reached home. Then added the lettering and journaling. I put a bar under the "er" of Clearwater because somehow, I managed to get off track with my lettering.

I seldom make it to the beach any more and the day was a great deal of fun. The beach is in my own backyard, and yet I don't take advantage of it—why? Maybe because it's in my own backyard and I don't value what is around me all the time? (Sam's in the background just shaking her head.)

Sharing time, art and the beach with like-minded friends, not to mention great food, makes for an excellent combination!

Do you have some fabulous outdoor venue near you that you don't take advantage of simply because it's in your backyard? What keeps you from going there to sketch with friends or even by yourself just to enjoy the place?

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19 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Beautiful pages, wonderful post. We are 20 minutes from the beach and only seem to make it over there with out of town guests.

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    1. Hi, Susan, what part of Florida are you in? The shot on your blog header looks a lot like middle Florida!

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  2. What beautiful pages to remember your beach outing. I am so jealous that you have a beach "in your backyard"! However, here I have the mountains living right along the Blue Ridge Parkway. What keeps me from going there is usually the weather. It can be brutal here, especially in winter. And when the weather is nice then the tourists are out in droves, of course.

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    1. And just as you crave the beach, I crave the mountains! Our weather isn't brutal, but it does get tedious being hot 11 months out of the year. And yes, the tourists....

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  3. Beautiful pages, Laure. Glad you had a great time. Could I entice you to travel to the Keys to sketch and lunch with me in April? We'll be down for our yearly beach trip. I can't wait to get back to sketching beach stuff. I've pulled out my lessons on the IVTBeach that I got to participate in last year to refresh my beach sketching skills. I have Lake Michigan in my backyard. I do hike there most days but seldom take my sketcing materials. I take it forgranted and should pack my sketching materials along.

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    1. You never know, Clare, I may make it to KW! I hope you do get some sketching done while you're here. It's hard sometimes to switch gears from hiking/walking/exercising to slowing down to sketch. Hope you find the opportunity!

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  4. Sounds like a great day - looks like it too. Love your page and glad you're sketching again. I have a really nice Botanic Garden just a few miles from me and I've only been there a few times. I really should go more often.

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    1. Cheryl, I just recently heard about a botanical garden not to far from me...I'm thinking I'm going to have to find a way to get there before it gets too hot to enjoy.

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  5. My little town is full of history. I don't hardly ever go visit the historical places unless someone comes to visit from out of town. Love your sketches.

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    1. Amazing how we overlook the stuff that's closest to us, isn't it. I'm guilty of the same thing, Lisa.

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  6. Lovely pages--I especially like the sea grape leaf. I find those plants completely fascinating.

    In my own subdivision, we have a trail that winds around the whole neighborhood, and there are several ponds with lots of birds, some lovely trees and flowers, and benches scattered here and there. I've taken my camera out once and I've never gone sketching. We've lived her for 16 years now! Literally, I have all that in my own backyard and I don't take advantage of it. Maybe now I will!

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    1. And now is the time to be out there sketching—before it gets too darn hot! We ought to shoot over to the beach to sketch the sea grapes too. The colors are just gorgeous!

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  7. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit and time at the beach. I loved seeing your sketch - especially your people, your guard house and your lettering - so nice and well done! I have found it a huge help to keep a 5x5 journal in my purse with a waterpen and permanent pen on this trip. It's enabled me to paint everywhere - restaurants while waiting for food, park benches, piers, etc - anywhere. So I've gotten lots of sketches done to remember my vacation and memories! One of them being out Clearwater visit!

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    1. It was a lot of fun, Terry! Loved the glance into your sketchbook—you're an inspiration!

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  8. Lol, my son, a surfer, says if all the people who don't go to the beaches would move away, the traffic for those who DO get to the beaches would be a lot lighter! He goes to beaches in Oceanside and San Diego in California where the traffic is enough to keep people away from going most of the time.

    I am glad you spent some time at the beach though. It can be so rejuvenating and relaxing.

    I love your sketching and think the leaf adds a lot of color and depth to the sketching as if a real leaf fell on the sketch page.

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    1. That may be why I PREFER rainy days—not as many tourists!

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  9. I've been "itching" to go to the beach lately. I just love getting some sunshine and fresh air as I hear the sea come and go. There is something so refreshing about it - like clearing out my head. Its only about 30-45 min from my home, but there is usually quite a bit of traffic that acts as a deterrent as well.

    Loved seeing your composite page capturing your day! Love seeing the little people on the page!! I really liked seeing the grasses 'blowing in the wind'. Thanks for sharing your day with us!

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    1. Get going, girl! I'm about an hour from the beach depending on which one I go to and I do agree there is something about the winds and fresh air. I feel like the cobwebs and dust are blown free from my mind. Hope you get there soon!

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  10. Oh that sounds like so much fun! Glad you had an opportunity to get out and enjoy yourself! I know exactly what you mean...I am five minutes from access to one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States, Caledesi and Honeymoon Island. Yet, I probably ave been there 6 times in the 16 years we've lived here! You've inspired me to get on my bike and take a ride over, it's time for some relaxation!

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