West Mersea Beach (Sketch)

£18.00£35.00

Sitting in the sun on the beach where the river meets the sea…

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This was just going to be a little sketch in my notebook.

My mum came for her first British Summer after visiting us for Christmas over the last 5-6 years. She was astounded – England can be warm? Poor thing, she spent most of her previous vacations cuddling the radiator next to her bed. This time, with the sun blazing down like it was Trinidad, she felt right at home and we had the chance to take her out and about. One of those jaunts was our family trip to West Mersea Island.

After a delicious belly-filling stop at the West Mersea Oyster Bar, we headed for the beach where we sat in the sun and relaxed in the warm breeze coming off the estuary. It’s always magical where the river meets the sea and this was no different. After taking a gazillion photos of the view, I whipped out my sketchbook and started drawing it.

At this point, I need to remind you that I brought 2 under 5’s, a husband and my mother with me. This little A5 sketch took me 2 heavily interrupted hours to draw. Picture this…

I draw the horizon line and manage a few hastily laid lines to indicate foilage.

“I want to swim Mummy!”

Chris and I take them to the waters edge, their toes touch the cold water, screams erupt, small dude lands on his butt in said cold water, more screams. 20 minutes later the kids are dry, re-dressed and I am trying to sketch again. I manage half the skyline of the town in the distance. As I’m about to draw the first wind turbine…

“I need to pee!”

Chris is off with the other small person, so off I trot with a hopping skipping desperate kid at my side. We return, I pick up the sketch book, the husband is knackered after the long traffic riddled drive and wants to rest. I offer my thigh (perhaps not the wisest mood, but I love him. Naturally as I am drawing the 3rd wind turbine, he shifts. Arrrgh! 5th wind turbine, child calls, he tilts head up, pen skids across sketchbook. Threats are made about the withdrawal of the thigh as a pillow and peace reigns once more. I manage to get the shoreline and small bow island in the delta (did I remember my geography right?) before my next interruption.

“Mum, come and see this!”
“What is it?”
“You have to come and see!”

I think quickly, “here honey, take my phone and take a photo of it and come show me. I can’t get up, Daddy is sleeping on my lap” My 5 yr old races off and I pray to all the Gods known to man that what he wants me to see does not land my phone in the ocean. All the Gods answer my prayer because, one half drawn boat later…

“Look mum!”

My mum is eager to see the finished sketch and starts grumbling behind me. “Lord fadder! That is interruptions!” She’s taken the words out of my mouth.

Finally, a few interruptions later, it’s all done and I’m pleased with the sketch. I’ve got photos, I’ve got the sketch. I can do a good painting from this. Mum is thrilled that I persevered. I’m surprised I did to be honest because,

The joy of us all being together
On a beach on a hot sunny day
Bellies full of fresh seafood
And no place to be by any particular time…

Priceless!

Much later that night when we got home and the kids were in bed, I snapped a hasty photo (in not so ideal night time lighting) and posted it on my social media. The responses were terrific! 2 people instantly said, “I want that!” So here I am, posting a proper scanned version of my little West Mersea Sketch that I should probably have called, “Perserverance”!

To those who saw the sketch and loved it – Thank you! I appreciate the love… a lot!

Stacey

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