Earlier this month I wrote about the beauty of Sarasota’s beach and the delight of “shelling.” Finding treasures on the beach fascinated me as a child and I can remember having great fun walking the beaches of Sarasota back in the 70’s shelling with our two daughters even learning the names of many of the shells!! On this trip the first shell picture I painted using pastels was inspired by a bucket of shells that my two grandson’s collected with their aunt along Crescent Beach in Sarasota. The shelling was OK but not nearly what I had remembered from the 70’s along Longboat Key’s Beach.
Wanting to explore some of the other beaches, we drove to the southern most shore on Siesta Key. Much to our surprise we found outstanding shelling on Turtle Beach. It seems that the Hurricane two years ago had wiped out most of the beach and that reclaiming the beach has resulted in shelling better than ever. Before the beach had been quite rocky. Now it is very sandy, and as we wandered we can upon piles of shells. Fishing was also good along the beach. We watched a flounder and a small domed shark being caught!
I found using the shells as subject a good exercise in painting shapes, color composition and shading. All my work was done with pastels working directly from actual shells, sometimes placed in a still life arrangement and other times the shell held in my hand and studied closely.This pastel is called "Still Life Shells on a Plate"
This pastel I call "Beautifully Broken"