My family moved from the Midwest to the East Coast when I was about seven. That first summer, my mother could hardly wait to take us all to the beach. Her childhood summers had been spent by the ocean, and she had sorely missed getting her toes wet. I remember her enthusiasm was infectious. But as it turned out, my initial reaction was an overwhelming terror. All that water! Not only was it vast and noisy and scary as hell, it was hiding god only knows what underneath the surface. In the presence of all that power, my fear made me cautious. No way would I go beyond knee height … any further, and you couldn’t see what you were getting into. I still have a great respect for the inherent mystery and power of the ocean.
This small work, is an examination of the bones … the bedrock … of this anonymous little rocky outcrop. It really isn’t even an island. It is as if the mysterious watery depths of the sea have left a fingerprint on the ocean’s surface … evidence of an alternate world. I realized as I worked on it, that this piece and the other Thimble Island pieces are about what lurks beneath the surface, and how the hands of Mother Earth come together to hold the waters of the world.
The rocky outcrop is a fully developed oil pastel on canvas. Below the waterline, the sea bed is an oil pastel line drawing with an overlay of acrylic washes. The thin washes of color allow the texture of the canvas to show through as a rocky texture while the oil pastel acts as a resist so the lines are not altered by the acrylic.