Feeling the power of the changing tides collide, I photographed these massive waves in the ever changing light. Physics defines a wave as an oscillation traveling through the middle world of space and matter, transferring various amounts of energy, depending on the size of the waveform. These coastal waves were definitely transferring a lot of energy from one point to another. The air was electric with negative ions, as the incoming high tide crashed onto the beach. This wonderful location is near the small Oregon beach town of Yachats on the Oregon Coast. The forested cliffs meet the sea here in tumultuous union at Devil’s Churn, especially during the November storm track. I was looking for images to paint that would capture the power of this experience of Nature.
The natural, cyclical, tidal rise and fall of sea levels is generated by the gravity pull of the Moon and the Earth alignment, the Earth’s rotation, the pattern of the deep ocean tides, the shape of the coastlines and the depth of the near shore. Tidal variations include two almost equal high tides and two low tides per day, a semi-diurnal tide; one high and one low tide per day, a diurnal tide; or a mixed tide, in which there are two uneven tides in a day.
Surf is the wave action that is occurring in the area between the shoreline and the outer edge of the breaking waves. This is where the word “surfing” came from. Surf can also apply to the waves that are actually breaking in shallow water or on the beach.
The beach is the shoreline at the edge of a body of water. The landform of the beach is often composed of loose particles like sand, pebbles, shells and shell fragments, the result of the endless deposit and scouring actions of wave and current.
Seagulls, like the one watching the waves in this painting, are seabirds from the family, Laridae. The older name for seagulls was mew, common in literature and in some regional dialects in this day. The gulls are medium to large birds, most often white or grey with black markings on wings. They have orange webbed feet, long strong bills and a harsh cry. These birds are ground nesters in dense noisy colonies. They are also carnivores and scavengers. Their jaws can unhinge to allow the swallowing of large bites. I once witnessed a gull swallow a starfish. It took him over an hour to get that 5 pointed star down his gullet! Gulls are long-lived birds. The oldest recorded was a Herring Gull of 49 years. They are also very intelligent, with a highly developed social structure and they demonstrate tool use behavior, like using bread bait to catch goldfish.
Creating portals of light, love, joy, beauty, compassion, hope and gratitude is my lifelong passion and gift for the earth, hence the name of my art business, For the Earth. My mother painted in oils when I was young and encouraged my own drawing, painting and handcrafting in all forms. My father, the photographer, gave me my first camera at age 8. As a result of these loving influences, I am a lifelong student of both mediums. I am grateful to my wonderful Pacific NW painter teachers, Stan Capon and Edi Olson, for training my eye and technique. I hope you will enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed its creation. More gifts for the earth can be found at these websites: jeanette-french.artistwebsites.com and jeanette-french.pixels.com.
September 4th, 2013
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