“The aim of art is to represent, not the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance.” Aristotle
For about five years I lived in North Carolina with my husband and our two sons. The landscape there has it’s own particular beauty as all places do, but I found myself less inspired to my artwork than I was in Alberta, probably due to the fact that I was working nights, going to nursing school days, and still breast feeding the baby. But every now and then, I packed the boys in the car and we drove to the coast which was only about half a mile away. We often went to the water’s edge and walked along it, listening to the waves roll in and tasting the salt.
One Christmas, we took the boys to the beach. It was so warm I wore shorts and my older son splashed in the water. I sat in the sand with my infant son feeling the cool water wash over our legs. People walked by us and I noticed they had parkas on which I found strange because the weather was so warm. But they were giving me dirty looks and I realized they thought I was a bad mother for letting my children into the water and I wanted to shout “I’m not a bad mother, I’m just Canadian.”
This sketch was drawn on such a warm day from a wharf in Beaufort, North Carolina. It was my first attempt at painting water and I loved the curved horizon line. The boats bobbed in the cool water, air blew in from the ocean, outer bank islands were visible in the distance where, on a good day, you can still see the wild horses.
Of course, this was the Sound, not the ocean but I still have trouble understanding the difference between the “sound” and open water because it seems to me that it’s all ocean. My older son was likewise confused. He put it very succinctly when he said with his lisp, “Why ith it a thound? I don’t hear it.”
We saw the little, purple boat that had the words “Dit Dot” painted across the back. Dit Dot, it was explained to me, was the name the locals gave to the non locals, the tourists with their cameras and strange accents. I was a Dit Dot, apparently. And this painting, is a commemoration of that time in my life when I was the boat, drifting on waves, and wondering what wind would push me towards shore.
Watch this video to see the sketch of the dit dot painting.