The crowds have gone, the sun is shining, the beach is pristine, it's our time once again on Delaware's Coast
by Ellen Rice
I love painting windows in time.
This large chalk pastel is a celebration of the Delaware coast in the off-season. It's one of those cherished days when the crowds have gone and we have the rolling waves, warm sands and gentle breezes to ourselves – our time.
Our Time was painted from countless memories of days my family spent enjoying my home state's coastline over a period of more than 40 years.
As a teen in the ‘60s, I worked in Rehoboth and thoroughly enjoyed the crowded beach at Wilmington Avenue, being with friends and co-workers (and watching the lifeguards). As I got older, married and became a mother, the less populated Delaware Seashore State Park beaches near Bethany and Fenwick Island became more appealing.
I'd check out a book or two from the local library, pack food, gather our gear and we'd head for the beach every chance we got. Countless days were spent playing and reading on beaches that we had almost to ourselves, diving into the rolling waves and watching our son fish with a plastic fishing rod in tidal pools.
A lot of my time was spent studying the play of light on water and sky and thinking about how to recreate them with chalk or paint. At the time, the idea of becoming a professional artist had never crossed my mind. I just enjoyed the challenge of turning pigments into ideas on paper or canvas.
In this window in time, the outgoing tide has washed the beach of all but shells and scattered sea debris. A few seagulls glide above, occasionally diving for their next meal below the water's surface, while sandpipers busily munch on sand “fleas” in the backwash at water’s edge, and a beautiful set of waves rolls in.
It’s “our time” once again. Enjoy.