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There is no doubt that where I live directly affects my work..
Being lucky enough to live close to Tankerton slopes, a suburb of Whitstable, Kent, UK, for some years, big skies and seagulls have nourished me. Sitting on the beach, walking by the sea, the unlimited vastness of this huge body of water, the North Sea, allows me to relax my body and mind and expand my awareness.
It brings me calm, stillness, connection with unseen energies, maybe the Tao, God, Nirvana, the eternal now. In this open state of mind, seagulls seem to perform for me, dancing on the winds with delight, in harmony and command of the air currents. Flying athletes, aerodynamic muscular bodies superbly adapted to their habitat, the edge of the land and ocean, where winds and air currents provide a perfect gymnasium.
Often I am battling a strong, cold Northerly wind and above me the gulls are perfectly static, tiny movements of their wings holding them suspended. I marvel at their prowess and then they tilt, slightly, and allow invisible forces to whisk them away at high speed down the Tankerton slopes and out over the sea. Their evocative calls to each other drifting back to my ears.
Always in the background the sky, vast like the sea, a limitless space for clouds, so many varieties of shapes, sizes, textures, densities, colours. Despite the weight of water they carry, they float above us held aloft by thin air, it is incomprehensible magic, a perfect painterly back drop for the gull’s athletic antics. I return to my studio giddy with an ecstasy of flight and floating forms, and work, hoping to convey a little of my gratitude and joy for this freely given delight.
Sometimes, in my dreams, I am dancing in the sky with them, enjoying their challenging choreography.