Waves on a shingle beach


Waves on a shingle beach, oil on board (Daniel Graham)

I sat, within my subconscious, on that shingle beach. It was late summer and the night was warm, yet over to the east a windstorm was brewing, its peripheral gusts pushing seawater onto my cheeks. I picked up a pebble and threw it towards the ocean, losing sight of its mass long before it reached the waves. Then, in a moment of brilliance, a bowler rose before me, larger than any that night, just as the moon’s half-light broke through the density of the squall. What magic, I thought, though I knew this to be a fallacy; for all one must do to see such glory is open their eyes.

Storm Ship

Storm Ship, oil on board (Daniel Graham)

Storm Ship, oil on board (Daniel Graham)

‘They can be an irritant,’ my grandmother once told me. ‘They take a long time to dry and are difficult to wash off your hands!’

And so, courtesy of my grandmother’s brief angst towards oil paints, I didn’t touch the medium for twenty years. How impressionable children can be.

Yesterday I found some old oil paints in my friend’s paint box.

There’s nothing quite like painting the ocean. I wanted to be on that ship, with the waves crashing overhead and the taste on salt on my tongue, until I remembered my stomach.