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:icondodgingthebeat: More from DodgingTheBeat


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II by AyeAye12

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September 2, 2012
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Waves crash outside the French window.

They stir up the dark polished wooden drawing room of the single-floored beachside cottage.  Lace curtains pulled back to savour the salt tang and the cream-coloured dunes waver and shiver in a cold wind.  The north wind is coming off the gigantic swells and wine-dark sea blackening with the fleet of clouds sailing over his house, over the still crystal beach.  

There's a storm coming.

A table sits against the massive thrown-open window, darkening with the gloom.  Such power!  Such fury is about to be unleashed across the seashore!  Even from his high-backed chair, with his shoulder chilled from sitting at the window for hours, he can feel the electric power of the fleet gathering overhead.
Rock features in his thoughts; heavy rocks, thick and ancient and eternally taking an eternal beating from brine and whitecaps.  Out past the point, past the little grove of windswept trees where he writes verse is where his mind's eye takes him.

The brush in his hand captures the pockmarked face of Poseidon's domain, captures the god's own stoic brushstrokes upon this beautiful cove.  Outside, waves are pounding the beach with enough force to rattle the shells by the porch and send drops, the odd hint of spray across his tongue and the long, unbound hair of his whipping in the wind.
He's got the coast properly; the black oaks bent inward from centuries of such force.  

It's the horizon that's hard to define.

It shifts.  From thirty kilometers away, it seethes in turmoil.  Swells forty feet high change his perceptions even from the water's edge, blurring his perspective.  It's an interesting paradox.

He closes his eyes, drops his brush across the worn oak table by the window and the porch, breathes in.  Chill.  Cold.  A rawness he can't describe, can barely hope to capture.  It's awe-striking.  Colours can't capture the force of this upcoming blow.

He opens his eyes.  Studies the horizon with cold wine clutched between ink-splattered fingers.  He needs to think.  He needs perspective.

The bur and tangle of waves, the parade of clouds across the horizon adds weight to the eye, crushes it in thunderheads and cloud arches and the millions of waves crashing across millions of beachheads across this enduring coast.  

The wine remains untouched as he ponders.  A sail stirs across the horizon, just beyond the cleaving rocks and stark surf.  It's a fishing boat, darting into port before the storm hits.  

The masthead flies Coel's mark.  It tosses, it shifts, it bounces across the waves, seeming to mock the sea god with every twist of its supple hull.  

There's a thought.

The old artist begins as he always has.  Flicks his brush to canvas and stares out into space.  The open door to his cottage's bedroom is within his sight, but his mind is cast away and lost between the howling winds and swirling waves outside.  Every whitecap, every bone-white drift-log and sail fragment has locked itself into a memory that demands perfection.  It demands precision.

But there is little of that in a seaside; less in a storm's preparations.  There is fluidity, there is shift; there is a progression from swell to beach. From thunderhead to storm. From gale to calm.

Deep inside the nerves and the touch of an artist, there is the ever-present worry that this canvas, of all canvases, will remain unfinished, soiled, imperfect in its aspirations to capture nature.  

There is no need.  Lines drop from the sky, perfectly straight, blurring all detail and casting another layer of shadow to the scene.  Rain claws into the scenery, obscuring all.
Perfect.  An effect.  His hand dizzying sloshes the backdrop, the clouds, the storm, his work.  Minutes pass like years.

Then, it is enough.

He lays down the brush and takes in a breath.  

It's calm outside.  Dead calm.  The fleet is ready.

Poseidon cracks the sky apart in a storm unearthly.
Another Washed Out Story- this one is less of a story and more of an impression. There is far less back story or allusions than in the others. It captures both my awe and love for nature and my impression of an artist capturing such a scene. I have a few accomplished artists friends out there; I sort of drew on observations of them at work for this.

For any artists out there, I've got two questions.

1) Have you ever had a similar experience like the one in "Seaside"?
2) Is anyone brave enough to try and draw what the artist within is drawing?

For #2, I will donate all my points and any lhamas I can to reward someone who can come up with such a painting/image/design thing-y.
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Student General Artist
Hello from :iconwriters--club: with a critique!

Let me start with saying that I am very impressed with your ability to capture emotion and your talent with words. For such a short pieces, you managed to pull off a very astounding piece that resonates many emotions all at once. You left the reader (me, at least) very breathless and hungering for more.

What I specifically like about this piece is that you manage to say so much in so few words. In this story, you have found the difficult balance between too few metaphors and imagery and too much. The story isn't screaming for more metaphors/similes, nor is it clogged to the brim with them.

If I had any suggestions, I would have to be nitpicky... So I guess I will be. The only specific thing that pricked my interest was the word "awe-striking", but I realized that it is indeed a word, despite the fact that is a little outdated. Another thing plot wise was that in writing, you had the reader associate with the old man and like him so much that I was worried about him at the end of the story! Was that purposeful? If so, it was a great twist.

Again, fantastic job. This story was spell-binding. Also, congratulations on the Daily Lit Deviation. :)
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:icondodgingthebeat:
DodgingTheBeat Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012   Writer
Thanks for all this!
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:iconcreativity-squared:
Creativity-Squared Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Student General Artist
My pleasure :)
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:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by =DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here: [link]

Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article. Keep writing and keep creating.
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:icondodgingthebeat:
DodgingTheBeat Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012   Writer
Wow...thanks so much!
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:iconwritersblocked:
writersblocked Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
To answer your first question, I don't think I have ever been able to catch someone so perfectly in a sketchbook or through writing. You're such an amazing writer, I can only hope to be as good as you are some day!
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:iconfrizzymissizzy:
frizzymissizzy Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012
Wow, you have a talent for imagery! I really like how you describe the sea and how the artist struggles to capture it perfectly.
"his mind is cast away and lost between the howling winds and swirling waves outside" ~ I love this sentence. Don't ask me why, I just do. It perfectly describes the feeling an artist gets when they are drawn into their work and nothing will pull them out again until the work is done.

1. If you mean capturing a scene correctly, than I've had trouble with this :P I once brought my sketchbook to an orchestra concert and tried to draw the performers. They came out okay but each sketch was lacking because the viewer didn't hear the music I did while they performed. Music is incredibly hard to capture on paper!
2. No, I'm a total wuss :P
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:icondodgingthebeat:
DodgingTheBeat Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2012   Writer
Thanks! I do admit, my description of the sea is likely to be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off- I've only ever been to the seaside once, and it was a stunningly sunny day. This scene was taken from a combination of paintings and the Great Lakes (specifically Ontario and Huron) on stormy days.

1-2: I can't even finger-paint, let alone sketch. No worries ^^
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:iconlaurotica:
laurotica Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012   Writer
I've been following your Washed Out series for a bit now, and I have to say that this is one of my favourite stories of the bunch. It's beautifully written, and I really sense the old artist's love of nature as well as your own. Well done :clap:
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:icondodgingthebeat:
DodgingTheBeat Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012   Writer
Thanks! I'm honoured! I'll be editing the lot of them in one go and adding them all into a single downloadable/view-able PDF file (with possible artwork) once I get my PDF program fixed.
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