Basically not a beach person, I have always found the best part of that experience to be searching for sea shells. My parents lived in Florida for many years and had quite a collection. I guess it was popular in the ’70s to fill glass lamps with objects. When my mother moved to our house she brought most of her belongings. With them came two lamps: one she had filled with earth toned dried flowers and wisps of wheat and the other she filled with lovely sea shells. The dried flower lamp now resides in our living room where it reminds me of her everyday. I really don’t mind that it is sort of stuck in the ’70s. The sea shell lamp unfortunately met its demise when one of the cats made it crash from my dresser to the floor of the bedroom. Not only did the glass shatter, but along with it went many shells. I collected any that were unscathed and bought (at my favorite Salvation Army Family Store) a round glass fish bowl to give my shells a new home. They are now on a high bookshelf out of the reach of kitty’s grasp.
Back when I taught art in a high school, an annual project revolved around drawing/painting the shell forms with chalk and oil pastels. The class was instructed to draw them much larger than life size. They had to overlap and show the form and texture. Color could be exaggerated. The results were always amazing. I have also enjoyed inspecting the forms and being inspired by shells. I feel the beauty of nature can’t really be totally captured in art. For me, the essence of nature should be the focus of art. Copies are never as good as the original, except in the case of printing my scanned images. To my surprise what appears to be an automatic scanner setting to increase contrast has brightened the intensity of the color on the prints. How cool is that?