Burnham Overy Staithe walk

I often find myself setting rules for the way in which I work. I don’t necessarily mean to do this, but every now and again I find a new routine has crept into my practice.

P1010725Black seed pods on Alexanders

Recently I have been taking my sketchbook with me when I go out for a walk rather than taking my camera. The decision to take a sketchbook is a conscious one as the act of drawing makes me stop and take notice. I believe that to document what I see and hear with drawing increases my perception of the environment and enables me to pay more attention to what is going on around me. Drawing makes me select what I want to record  from my surroundings and gives me the choice about how to put it down on paper. I can select to record what is above, below or around me and I can make notes about the sounds I hear or what I can feel.

P1010711Purple sea-lavender covers the salt marsh

On the other hand, it is very easy to snap a picture with a camera without really looking. Often there is no memory of the experience: the wind on my face or a skylark singing, and there remains only a cropped image of a sensory environment that would have extended 360 degrees around me. Drawing and writing in my sketchbook is my preferred method of documentation.

P1010712Winding channels in the mud

Having said all that, I made a conscious decision the other day to take my camera with me and to try and think about the photos I was taking in order to document my favourite walk at Burnham Overy Staithe. I hope these photos give you an idea of how I see and experience this place.

P1010713Withies mark the channels. They stick up above the water at high tide so you don’t get stuck in the mud.

P1010723Narrow waterways run into the marsh.

P1010720A turnstone feeding on the mud.

P1010736Looking inland across the marsh.

P1010737I used to think this was a submerged boat, but now more of the structure has emerged and I wonder if it is actually part of an old jetty.

Next time I’ll show you drawings done on another walk to Burnham Overy Staithe and the new work that came from them.

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7 thoughts on “Burnham Overy Staithe walk

  1. Peggy McDevitt

    This post really resonates with me. My paintings are based on what I felt when I saw something. Never thought to use my journal to record what I am hearing along with a quick sketch. Thank you for your insight. Your blog always touches my soul, you are an insightful artist.

    Reply
    1. debbielyddon Post author

      The memory of what you hear is as vivid as a memory of what you see. I always think a note of what I can hear brings me straight back to that place. Debbie

      Reply
  2. Marjorie

    I love this post..and your comment about the immediacy of sketching and the memories it evokes struck a chord. I am not in control of my new camera yet, so spend ages worrying if I have the right settings and that distances me from the very surroundings that have inspired me to try to record them. Using a sketchbook is a gentler way to respond to the landscape. ( And I know I just have to read the camera manual some more!!)

    Reply

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