Today we journeyed east (from Norwich) and found ourselves amongst the sand dunes and marram grass of Winterton on Sea. I arrived early, before the beach car park opened for business and (parking temporarily in the village) set off to walked about the dunes noting possible areas for consideration. After a time the beach car park opened and was quickly filling up, so I broke off and moved the car there before resuming my search.
I was on something of a quest for the war time tank traps, imagining that they would make some interest and contrasting hard edged features amongst the softness of the abundant drifts of silica. As luck would have it there was a pair of these unassuming concrete blocks in the car park. The concrete was peppered with local flint pebbles which gave the surface a beautiful bejewelled appearance. They also neatly edged a view of the cliff profile to the north end and the beach spit as it was revealed by the outgoing tide.
Pleased with this and having set up to start work, my smugness proved short-lived as my white canvas was soon alive with small flying beetles that appeared in droves throughout the morning, fluttering and nipping in alarming and increasing quantities. I frantically and ineffectively waved my arms about, getting them tangling into my hair, and felt a bit like I was starring in a miniaturised Hitchcock nightmare. It was a lesson in sloppy preparation for, whilst I’d slapped on suncream that morning, I’d eschewed the insect repellent.
I struggled for most of the day with the various elements to the composition, trying to balance scale and contrast with colours and tones, in order to give some sense of the intense blues and mauves of the hot summers day without being too literal. I eventually felt that I had done all I could to explain what lay in front of me and what I wanted to extrapolate from it. I packed up and then sat for a while looking out to sea in a now empty car park before suddenly realising that locking up time had been and gone and the barriers were down. Fortunately a grinning pair of lads allowed me to escape spending a night on the beach.