Published 16th February 2019
.... the South West Coastal Path; breath-taking scenery for 630 miles along the coasts of Devon and Cornwall and Dorset and Somerset too. There are sections and stages that nip inland, dip out of sight or disappear into tree cover and hidden valleys, but thankfully there are miles and miles and miles of open, cliff top and sea-level strolling where the wild ocean crashes against the cliffs beneath, or laps along the shore, and stretches-off to the horizon line into the far blue distance. The sea is full of seals, dolphins and basking sharks, not to mention bass, mackerel, lobsters and numerous other large, small and tiny sea creatures.
In the air above, sea and coastal birds of all shapes, sizes and habits squawk, screech and chatter. The sea; whether in it, on it, above it or beside it, is an awesome, inspiring living world. On one day a silent, sleeping giant, the next an explosive, thunderous monster. One of Natures' kaleidoscopic orchestras, the sea inspires writers, poets, composers and painters. How many shades of blue or tones of white in a wave? How many different colours within the surf? Surfers claim to conquer or tame the waves. Maybe so. Or perhaps the wave momentarily flirts and allows the surfer some control. The sea is constantly changing shape. Waves are chaotic, random and unique. Their movement and form is irrational, wild and unpredictable, they reform and change in a milli-second.
The artist's colonies along the Cornish coast have naturally sought a bond and relationship will all aspects of the sea. Contemporaries Robert Borlase Smart and Julius Olsson, who after service in WWI returned to their wives in St Ives, were able to pick-up where they had left-off before the war. Both established studios and became founding influences and leading lights in the artistic Schools in St Ives. Their subjects were chosen and influenced by the Cornish landscape, the Cornish community and, of course, the sea. Smart and Olsson became masters of painting surf and waves, of capturing a unique milli-second of chaotic movement, on canvas, in paint.
Carpet Bombing was written on Monday, 14th January 2019.