Wednesday, 28 January 2015

It's Not Always About Sea Kayaking

What do I do when I'm ashore during a long sea kayak expedition? Apart from the usual chores of cooking, eating and planning for the next day, there is often plenty of time to walk, explore and be creative - make art.

Landscape art is one of my passions. In particular I find the work of Andy Goldsworthy a wonderful inspiration for me. I am not a trained artist but I love to dabble with water colour landscape painting and I like to create pieces of landscape art whenever I can. This usually involves arranging foliage, items I have found on the beach or forming stones and rocks into spirals and patterns. I also love to collect sea glass - the broken pieces of old glass bottles that have been tumbled by the waves so they end up smooth and rounded - and for a few years I made these into jewellery that I sold.

Sea glass, Cromarty beach
Hand made silver wire sea glass bracelet.

Experiencing the natural world as I do, I cannot help but be inspired to express myself when I'm exploring my camp environs on a long summer evening. I find the process to be thought provoking and in some ways restorative. Even if no one else will see what I create, I feel that I have expressed my thoughts and feelings of the moment and that I may have soothed a worry or a concern. Indeed in years gone by I offered the opportunity to create art out in nature as a facilitative tool in my outdoor personal development and therapeutic work. It often evoked powerful insights for the people I was guiding.

Created by Donja, Pabbay, 2013
Pabbay, natures art
Being an advocate of leave no trace, the philosophy and practice of passing through the landscape with as minimum an impact as possible, I always dismantle any piece of land art that I have created, or leave it in the certain knowledge that the next high tide will do this work for me. This way I know that what I have made is not a permanent fixture, but simply an expression of an important and unique moment in my life as I journey through the wild world that I love.

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