A wide, wide foreshore at Cogden Beach

Featureless Cogden Beach

With an hour or two to low water the foreshore at Cogden was as wide as I have ever seen it. This morning’s full moon has caused a pretty big tide for here and with the gentle seas of the last few days the tide has left a wide swathe of regularly shelving beach: all smoothed out, featureless and patted flat like sandcastle walls. There is even a zone at the top of the foreshore of hard-packed sand – yes, sand not gravel or grit – that allows swift walking or even, if you had a mind to, running. This meant I could stride out and get some much needed exercise. It also meant that I

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Spice jars, lighting and lighters

I took advantage of the good weather yesterday to get out for a walk along Cogden Beach.

The stormy weather has pushed the tideline high and scattered the debris a wide swathe. Mostly it’s flotsam but there’s a lot of plastic bottles and kitchen rubbish – spice jars, sauce jars, wine bottles. I came across two fluorescent tubes and a light bulb: how the hell do they not get smashed? Inevitably there were lighters galore, mostly without the metal tops, just the plastic tanks. No particular colours but strangely quite fresh and unscratched. I found a number of bottle half buried in the gravel – a sure sign the beach has been churned up. Lots of gull primaries again: it

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Slim pickings for a beachcomber

Slim pickings and heavy going. I couldn’t find the pace of the beach today: every step seemed hard work. The sky was grey and overcast and the landscape was featureless, drained of colour, no contrast. I came down to Cogden beach to take some panoramic shots, but the camera couldn’t recognise the next bit of land to stitch together (and I didn’t know it wouldn’t do 365° vertically!)

There was nothing to catch the eye on the tidelines either, uniform weed and little else. I only collected a couple of tangles of fishing line, a small fish skull, two cockle pairs, and three seagull primaries selected for their wonderful sepia colour. It was great to see the beach so clean,

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Lots of vegetation on the tideline at West Bay

I spent most of the day in the studio working mostly on Tidelines ideas: painting tidelines and beaches, in particular working on some ideas from a recent walk on Cogden Beach. The sea most and soaking drizzle of the morning gradually cleared and the evening was gorgeously warm and bright so I had a quick walk on east Beach at West Bay then back round the harbour.

West Bay this evening

The tide was well up, an hour and a half before high water, and getting near to the rocks of the wave-cut platform in places. There was a lot of flotsam, vegetation of a reedy nature, so the tide line was thick and the waves left overlapping subsidiary

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See and select

I find it difficult to re arrange things on the tideline (to make a better photo for example). The serendipity of Nature’s arrangement coincident with my passing by is what excites me. Seeing patterns on the sand that are fresh each day and have never been seen before and will never be seen exactly the same again that’s what excites me. I have taken and placed items in the natural environment and can see myself taking and placing things in the future. I love the fact that humans have sculpted the landscape in so many ways – domestically, ritually, agriculturally, militarily, religiously, industrially, culturally, commercially, socially, egotistically, spiritually, artistically – and love the fact that you can read these as

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