Several times a day, I took the meandering path from our house, through the dunes, to the beach, and each time I admired the colorful red and yellow blooms of the sturdy gaillardia growing in the hot, dry sand. Finally, with our vacation drawing to a close, I stopped on my way home for lunch one day, unfolded my beach chair, and sat down to sketch one of the bushy little plants.
|Gaillardia, related to the sunflower, is also known as "Blanket Flower"|
The sun was beating down, so I drew quickly, putting the main blooms in place, then began to sketch the leaves.
Just then, I realized that something was crawling up my bare legs ... actually, more like twenty "somethings"!
There were ants heading for my knees, and more of them trailing up and into my tote bag. I furiously began brushing them off, while trying not to drop my sketchbook and fountain pen in the sand. Resolutely, I pulled my feet up onto the chair and added a few more leaves to the drawing, pausing frequently to brush away more ants who had determinedly scaled the chair legs. Finally, I gave up, packed up, and scurried down the path, leaving the gaillardia to their six-legged friends.
Suddenly, it was Friday - time to pack up the boogie boards and sand buckets and prepare for the 11-hour drive home the next day.
That bittersweet last evening at the beach came all too soon. I'm never ready for my beach week to end. As we took one last sunset walk, I snapped a photo of my daughter and her husband strolling along, hand in hand, with the colorful sky reflected in the waves and on the glistening wet sand.
|5-1/2" x 8-1/2" Drawn with Noodler's Flex pen & Lexington Gray ink, with added watercolor and white gel pen|
I painted the sketch later at home, and every time I look at, I feel a measure of the same peace and contentment that seven days of sand, water, wind, and waves bring to me.