Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beach Culture and the Necessity of Art

Summer approaches and the Mediterranean beaches will soon entice Tunisians to drop everything and swim in warm water and play in sand—for days on end. 
Tunisian beach culture is not the best fit for me. I hung out with the swim team crowd when I was a kid—give me heavily chlorinated water, smooth sides and a flat bottom any day of the week. Who needs salt water in your eyes and the possibility of a sting ray swishing out from under the sand and zapping your knee (happened to an American woman I know)? In addition, I don’t suntan, I tomato.
              When our kids were younger we rented a beach house for a couple weeks during summers—they loved it. In order not to hate it (I mean, there’s sand everywhere, you’re lucky if you can keep it out of the food), I walked and sketched, 
or worked on various projects in the protective shade of the porch while everyone else enjoyed the beach. And this is when art becomes a necessity. Nothing profound here--just a question of keeping one's balance. 
I admit to sometimes working from a sketch or drawing when precision might be desirable and when I have a bunch of drawings in front of me because I couldn't take fabric and sewing machine to the beach. No point in wasting ideas.
Beni Khiar, Nov. 1993, 26"x37" /67cmx93cm, machine pieced, appliquéd, embroidered, and quilted
        This piece commemorates a vacation in Beni Khiar, a small beach village.
I haven't been to the beach for a number of years. Now I just say that I’ve grown roots in my garden. And yet, the memories linger...

19 comments:

O'Quilts said...

Perfect in everyway...execution, memories...just wonderful. Except not liking the beach??? Oh, no..

Connie Rose said...

I love that quilt! My beach days are few at this point, as well -- and they're just about combing for treasures when I do go, which admittedly isn't often enough.

But should you find yourself at the ocean, seawater is a wonderful mordant for fabric that will be ecodyed. So either bring a bucket of water home with you or take fabric with you when you go!

Are you back from the U.S., then? Hope it was a terrific trip.

Becky said...

Beautiful! I "tomato" too LOL! I'm going to use that term again and again from now on ;-). But I love the beach, so do my kids. Unfortunately, we now live very far away from any beach, but we do have a nice aquatic center that we love!

Sarah said...

Beautiful piece of work! As for the beach I'm about 10 mins walk from the beach but its peebles not sand (unless the sea is a long way out) and I love it!

CREATIVE MIND said...

How nice it is, I really enjoy your post dear Nadia, keep sharing dear!

fiberchick said...

This piece is lovely in every way! I too become "une nouvelle variété de tomate" at the beach. Must emulate you and make more productive use of my time avoiding sunburn...

MyMixMix said...

Your drawings are wonderful, as are your stitched pieces. I think sketches are much more fun, to revive memories, than photos.

Merilyn said...

I'm not such a beachy person either, but I don't mind the odd day visit or long walk on a deserted shoreline! I do love the sketch and the fabric interpretation, you have used some interesting pieces in it to get the right feel - very clever!!

Carol said...

Love your sketchings tremendously. Have plans to make some of my photos of buildings into quilts. Your interpretation of the sketch is wonderful.

Ms. said...

Another fine post...and more insight into your life.....the quilt is superb, of course. i too avoid the beach (light skin only burns) but there was a time...on fire Island decades ago, when the dunes and salt air were life giving...the smell of it still lingers, and I long for the ocean...ny visits confined to before 10 AM and after 4 PM....

Rachaeldaisy said...

Both sketches and your quilted piece are simply beautiful. They capture that sunny feeling. I agree about sand and sun. I laughed out loud at your tomato description.

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Sun is not my friend either. I actually break out in hives if I get too much sun. So living in Northern BC is good, not too much sun, but lovely summer temperatures too. Lovely artwork Nadia!

susan christensen said...

mmmm, seems so exotic to me in this land of rocky, grey beaches. The quilt is a lovely capture of what memories - good ones - look like. -sus

Diane J. Evans said...

Goodness, you have such artistic talent -- your drawings are awe-inspiring. What beautiful depth you give to them. How wonderful of you to share these with us -- they emit peace and serenity.

Diane

Els said...

wonderful to see your drawings translated in cloth and stitch ;-)

Ellen said...

Wat een prachtige quilt is dit geworden ,ik zit er met volle bewondering naar te kijken.

MARIA CRISTINA said...

Wonderful your quilt from the beach in Tunisia! and pencil drawings.
I also stay away from her because'm red as a tomato!
The collection of the following post is very good!
Hugs!

gloria said...

Beautiful work!!!!.

summerlandcottagestudio said...

... just lovely Nadia.
Your creative talent and attention to detail is a gift that inspires all who view the beauty.
Thank you for sharing.