Daily Archives: April 26, 2011

Neptune’s Horses

Seashell sketch

Neptunes Horses

 …or Triton’s Stallions?  I thought I had already posted this, but somehow I skipped it.  A couple of weekends ago I went to Depoe Bay, Oregon, with my dear friends from Loosely Bound for a “retreat”.  We laughed and sewed and left behind the news and the Internet and all the rest of it, and I found a shell in a kitchen basket to sketch.  Not native, I’m sure, but colorful enough to merit trying Liz’s new watercolor metallic pencils.  The paper wasn’t quite the right weight to withstand the water wash, but I like the way the ripples looks like sun rays when it was scanned.  And the horses?  Shirley, who spends a good deal of time at the coast, told us that when the surf is high like it was that Saturday, and the wind blows it back on itself, it’s call Neptune’s Horses… or was it Triton’s Stallions?  Next time I’d like to focus just on those stallions, they were breathtaking.

Cracked Crab

Colored pencil sketch of cracked crab shell

Cracked Crab

At the coast last weekend (notice I didn’t say beach, most of the sand seems to have been sucked out to sea…) I found a crab shell, which when I picked it up was whole.  The colors and patterns were captivating – greens and purples and oranges, so vivid and clear!  Tiny arrows and horseshoes and stars in a beautiful ivory shade stood out from the spots.  But sadly, by the time I got home with it, safely tucked under the car seat, it had dried into a dull ghost of its colorful self, and a huge crack had split it nearly into two pieces.  Soaking it helped a bit, but the greens were gone.  Even so, I was determined to sketch, and the arrows and other patterns were still clear.  As I worked to capture the intricate edge, I realized how much  it reminded me of piecrust.   The light penetrated the shell and shone eerily orange through the eye sockets…  Life and light comes and goes, as Triton’s stallions thunder up and down the beach.