Cracking open the imagination

Sometimes in our day to day wanderings, we might come across things that for whatever reason, capture our imagination and stick in our mind. It might remind us of something, humour or intrigue us in some way. I am currently in the process of creating a series of work based on objects I found on a beach in New Zealand quite a few years ago. My father had passed away and I was there for the funeral. He had lived close to Mount Maunganui beach which goes on and on and whenever I visited that part of the world, I like to walk along it for hours, preferably alone.
On this occasion it was winter and the beach was particularly deserted. The wind and the waves had tossed ashore lots of debris and as I was walking along, various things caught my eye. Pieces of driftwood and smatterings of seaweed reminded me of strange alien-like creatures – almost indescribable, a little melancholy at times. I took photos of these and for years now have kept hold of these images, waiting for the time I would actually do something with them. Now is that time.
Here is the first of 3 of these ‘Strange Creatures’. I call it ‘Sea Hen’. I have played with the photo digitally, drawing into it, creating erasure marks to emulate legs. I have also combined it with another photo of mine of some jelly fish – primarily because this ‘thing’ sprung forth from the sea and is caught between 2 worlds – reality and fiction. Then between these two images, I allow paint to meet digital mark, embellishing, emphasising and blending where I see fit. I see this as more than just an exercise, but an adventure, to let my imagination do its thing and play.