Diffuse light makes 'Broadchurch' cliffs seem more massive

It has been a while since I have been able to write here – I have not even been able to finish my last post or write about the other things I saw and experienced on my stay in Brighton or the artwork that is beginning to appear from the trip. I even have notes and images from a walk before I went away! Hopefully I will catch up with the salient bits in the next week or so.

I have been pretty busy with other things and I have set up a new Twitter account (@DavidSmithArt) specifically for tweeting about my work and the arts in general. That has quickly generated some interesting contacts, including an artist in Canada

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Caught the last of the sun at West Bay

I grabbed the last hour and a half of sunshine and went down to West Bay this evening. Long winter shadows, warm red glow. I went to West Beach because I wanted to make some more notes of the shapes in the rocks that protect the west pier of the harbour. That side of West Bay doesn’t get the sweeping views: you are forced to look at the more local, it’s more intimate, less beautiful but more human, friendlier. I love the way there is always someone in the shelter and Margaret opens the kiosk for some warming drinks. Today there was a line of laughing, smiling, chatting folk in catching late afternoon sun.

With the sun so low there

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Coastal walk still strong in my mind

On Wednesday, with my friend David, I went for a walk from Seatown up over the cliffs past Thorncombe Beacon and down to Eype’s Mouth, where we sat on the sand, ate an apple each and talked about art and the colours and lines in the sea. Then we walked back and had lunch at the Anchor and talked about the Test match before collecting two bags of blewits and meadow waxcaps.

I wanted to concentrate on my time with David so left my phone at home so I wouldn’t get to fiddling and looking things up and tweeting and…like you do when you have a phone handy! However I had meant to take a compact digital camera with me

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What is this curious bundle?

Flicking through the photographs from yesterday’s walk on Cogden Beach I came across this image of a bundle of what seemed to be grass stalks bound with tape and ribbon fixed with pins. Any ideas? A charm or something?

Curious bundle found on Cogden Beach

Putting a price on rubbish

South Park rubbish

As I wander along the beach I wonder if there is a way that we can stop some of the rubbish that is dumped getting there to start with or getting cleared up quicker. When I found this South Park branded sweet dispenser on the beach yesterday I started to think about possible solutions.

The marketeers are responsible for using brands to pedal overpriced and over-packaged goodies. It’s people’s choice if they waste their money on these things but when the shiny new rubbish loses its appeal it becomes…just rubbish! Perhaps the marketeer or the brand holder should pay a tax or charge to pay towards the clearing up of their rubbish when the customer tires

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Blue tubes at Cogden

I went out yesterday with the specific purpose of collecting some fine coloured fishing line from the beach for some artwork I am currently doing. I hoped I might also find a fish-shaped lure to incorporate in another picture. As it happened I found lots of line and now have to think about my attitude to rubbish on the beach.

I had originally decided to walk along Hive Beach towards Cogden Beach and perhaps catch a cup of coffee at the café on the way back. I had forgotten it was half term and it is the duty of every family with grandparents who have retired to beautiful Dorset to visit at Autumn half term and it is the duty

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Green day at Cogden

We went for a midday walk on Cogden Beach today. It was supposed to be sunny but the sky was half cloud when we got there and we were in a low-contrast bright shade for all our time there. After the strong winds and high tides of last week the sea was flat calm – well almost: there was the barest hint of waves coming from the south-east causing that lapping roll of breakers down the beach that is such a signature of this coast.

The overriding theme of the jetsam today was pale green – mostly that pale green string which I suspect is mostly from nets. It wasn’t just the dozens of 2-4 inch trimmings of that string

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Glorious weather at Hive Beach - sun, wind and a shower-filled sky

Hive Beach, approaching Cogden Beach

What a brilliant day! On days like today I celebrate the fact that we have weather. The wind so raw, whipping the sea to a frenzy. So loud my ears ache. High contrast: interesting light when clouds shade the beach yet there is still bright, diverted light, the strong reflection off the sea and foam.

It’s messy on the beach: debris scattered not in lines. It’s another battered-feather day. The seabirds must be moulting. Peregine hovering, working hard but efficiently to stay absolutely static in the wind. Somehow it is more sinewy than a kestrel. It never flaps its wings in all the time I watch it, just writhes to keep its wind speed

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Return to Seatown

Well, apart from a quick walk at West Bay on Thursday evening, I have been nowhere near the coast for a while, in fact for part of the time I have been in Germany far from the sea. We visited Cologne, stayed with our friends near Nuremberg, then went with them to Berlin. We talked with our friends about how the landscape we passed through en route to Nuremberg was a great inland sea in Jurassic times.

We travelled out by Eurostar and ICE train so didn’t see the sea until the flight home. I cannot remember a better approach to Heathrow ever. We flew in over south Suffolk which meant we had a brilliant sunlit view of the whole

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Exlab special events at Hive Beach

This weekend as part of the Storyweir project there will be some free special events at Hive beach:

Friday 3 & Saturday 4 August at sundown there will be an outdoor audio and video event featuring a specially created live musical score by local cellist Matthew Benjamin. On Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 August, at 3pm there is Tea & Talk with the Artists