St Cyrus Nights


On Sunday I took a trip to St Cyrus beach for a walk and, naturally, ended up sketching too. This beach is one of the hidden delights of Scotland. It's entirely hidden from the main road and is gotten to by a single track road winding through farms. Once you arrive at the car park the beach is still hidden from view and is reached by a foot trail over protected natural environment and up over sand dunes where you are greeted with the stretch of sand and sea. 

When I arrived I was surprised that the place was so busy; the car park was full and there were cars parked at the side of the narrow country road too. This was unusual for a beach in this part of Scotland especially on a breezy, Sunday evening. While walking towards the beach there was a continual stream of people coming back from the coast. Some had large, cameras with professional-looking telephoto lenses. Puzzled, I asked one if there was a reason it was so busy and they replied that there was a humpback whale which had been swimming near the coast. Ooh, I thought, that would be great to see! 

Once I reached the beach, I noticed some people had brought camping chairs to it on while using binoculars to keep an eye on happenings in the sea. 
Unfortunately I did not have binoculars nor a decent camera so I didn't spot anything. 

Instead I sketched some other subjects in the area. A beach is not somewhere I would have chosen to sketch much in the past as I'd have considered the main thing to sketch to have been sand and water, the 'ebb and flow' of the tide. This is not something the would be easy to sketch in pen! Recently I have been making myself look deeper at what I see around me, however, and see shapes and textures to sketch I would have, in the past, thought not to be of much interest. Having this view of my surroundings means I can find things to sketch everywhere and never have an excuse to not pause, embrace what is around me, and try to capture a snapshot of it with my pen on paper. 

The first sketch I started was this one of the cliffs which are significantly set back from the coast due to changing tides over hundreds of years. It fascinates me how the landscape has changed so much with time. I thinks that's one reason I like coastlines so much and am appreciative of the fact I don't live in a landlocked country. 

Climbing over the sand dunes and approaching the beach. 

I may not have seen the humpback whale, but I did see the most seagulls I've ever seen at once. Not really something I wanted to see...! The noise they make in unison - wow - what a noise. 

Sketching odd 3D patterns in driftwood. This looked like multiple eyes to me! 

How I like reflections. So calming. 

The finished sketches. Cliff study, sand dune grasses, driftwood, pebbles, shells, and little seascape studies.

Maybe the next time I go to that beach I'll see a whale! There had also been sightings of dolphins and buzzards there that week so I'm keen to go back wildlife spotting. It's the best place to see marine life - where they should be, in the wild, roaming free. 

For more of my art, you can follow me on Instagram: @HCRart
Twitter: @HCRart 

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