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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