Diary of A Coastal Composer

Cut off by the Rising Tide

November 14, 2015

After spending a day working hard on my October Poem, I decided it was time to get some fresh air and take a refreshing walk by the sea. I’d had a frustrating day getting to grips with the art work which illustrates my poem. Dahlia were proving deceptively tricky to paint, I had found.

I left the house, locked the front door and pushed the keys back through the letter box, in case one of the menfolk in the house may need it. The men have great difficulty locating the whereabouts of keys. As I retrieved my fingers from the letterbox, one of my cats unexpectedly clawed me. They were obviously in hunting mode.

Phil drove us to Marazion, which is no more than a mile away from our house. Just a quick walk, we thought, as it would soon be dark. We had turned the clocks back an hour at the weekend, and I was still finding it hard to adjust to the real time.

As we arrived in Marazion and parked opposite St Michael’s Mount, it dawned rather quickly on us that a storm was coming in from the sea. The weather can change in an instant near the coast, and what seemed like a sunny, late afternoon was turning into a very unsettled evening. The sky was a dark petrol blue, and the green sea churned and frothed in agitation. Flecks of rain began to spatter down as we set off, and it wasn’t long before we turned back the way we had come.

The warm welcoming lights of a local art gallery beckoned, and so we stepped inside and took shelter. I admired an oil painting of Marazion Marshes, he grasses and reeds were so life like, I was quite mesmerised by it. Meanwhile, Phil spoke to the owner about the state of the world. As men do.

After a short while, the weather cleared, and we decided to plod on. There was a full moon that night, and the tide was high. Some of the worst storms that I have encountered have taken place in late October and early November. Through the memorial gardens and up the hill, past the impressive mansions – which were quite jaw dropping in their splendour, and looked as though they were straight out of the set of a 1950s Hitchcock film. The gardens were full of incredible sub-tropical plants which grow in abundance on this mild South Coast. Aloes and strange succulent growths, with alien looking red leaves and a nobbly centre – the name of which, I have no idea – grow tall and strong despite the salty winds battering them.

Down the hill, and I notice a beautiful garden teaming with flowers, whose petals were vivid and glorious against the dark brooding sky. Dahlias. Everywhere. I can recognise those alright. Almost at the foot of the hill now and the darkness is taking hold. Not much further now, and we will soon be back to our warm car. Except, the reflection of the moonlight in the glittering road which lies ahead reveals that the tide is coming in fast and has flooded the road ahead. There is no way through, the water is rising quickly. There is no choice but to double back all the way up the hill. A family suddenly appear from a nearby house, brightly kitted out in sensible rain wear. ‘Are you cut off?’ enquires the Dad. ‘We are’ we both cheerfully reply in unison. ‘Should have wellies on like me,’ exclaims the young girl disapprovingly. Indeed we should, but sadly, we don’t.

The hill has a steeper incline on the way back, and the light is fading. Should have brought one of the numerous torches with us that we have back at home, now lying uselessly in a drawer.

Through the memorial gardens we go – which now have the air of a Hammer House of Horror movie set. I stop to take a photo of one of the eerie crucifixes set in stone on the pathway. All around is the keening sound of gulls. As we make it back to our car, the waves are now enthusiastically breaking over the wall of the sea front, and the sky looks sick and miserable. Soon we arrive back home – and back to my difficult dahlias.

Art & Poetry

Seasonal Poetry – My October Poem

October 31, 2015
poetry from Cornwall by Sue Aston

The days are getting shorter, and dark evenings are upon us here in the Far West of Cornwall!

I love dahlia, and their gorgeous colours are very cheery at this time of year.

I hope you enjoy my poem and watercolour illustration.

Thank you – X

Art & Poetry

Sunset at St Michael’s Mount Cornwall

October 27, 2015
Cornwall postcard artist St Michaels Mount

I took a photo of my first ‘Seasonal Postcard’ before posting it out to one of my lovely Patrons! I created the painting using black ink with a watercolour wash. St Michael’s Mount is gorgeous at any time of year, but seeing an amazing sunset there this summer, I thought I would recreate it in my art work. It’s breathtaking seeing how the last rays of the setting sun hit the ocean. Now we are well into Autumn, I find myself more attracted to the burnt orange and deep red colours that I used in this watercolour, and I’m currently working more with gold ink in my art work as well as black.



Diary of A Coastal Composer

I Have Always Loved Diaries and Journals

October 22, 2015

I have always loved diaries, and the idea of making a record of a moment in time appeals to my creative nature.  I really enjoyed reading ‘The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’, by Edith Holden, and I wanted to take this idea a stage further by creating video podcasts and music as well as words and pictures to describe a location. A musical diary for our 21st century, which makes full use of all the technology we have at our finger tips, as well as harking back to traditional crafts, such as writing music out in notated form on manuscript paper, performing it on timeless instruments such as violin, piano and guitar, and making sketches and watercolour paintings.

Most of my music writing comes about as a result of going on long walks along our coastal path in West Cornwall. The act of walking creates its own rhythm, which seems to calm me and helps to trigger off music in my mind. The natural landscape and the change in the weather and the seasons all act as a seasoning to my composing.

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