“Study for Beach & 15th”

” Study for Beach & 15th”,
by Robert Leedy, 2010,
watercolor on 14o lb. watercolor paper,
4″ x 6″,
Collection of Amy Roberts, Neptune Beach, Florida

Living near or on the ocean is a very special thing. I miss it dearly. There is an energy that comes from beach living that is very hard to describe if you’ve never experienced it and all so familiar to those who live it. I remember a late night conversation with David Hansford as we talked of “living near the edge of the world” and all of the metaphysical implications it had on us shore dwellers. We later laughed over this but today, I strongly believe that we pull energy from nature and the seaside is one place teeming with this energy.

There is nothing like starting your morning with a long walk or run on the beach. At one point in my life, it was as essential as a well-balanced breakfast.

Being land locked is definitely not in my blood. In my youth, I left a job as a cook at a ski resort in a beautiful setting in Montana citing that I really needed to get back East and find a “real” job. I think the true motivation was my longing for salt air and life by the water.

My mother lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida which allows me a bit of life by the sea whenever we visit her.

The scene above is a postcard-sized painting I did as a study for a larger watercolor I am working on. It is the view we have as we walk a block from my mom’s house to the beach. You can just spot a sliver of the horizon at the end of the street. Though I don’t surf as much as I would like to, I always remember the feeling of carrying my board down the street with a hunch that a passing weather system was going to produce a nice ground swell and with the slight offshore breeze, there would be glassy, four to six foot swells rolling in and breaking with perfect form…

My Golden Retriever also adores the beach. When we drive down to see my mom, he gets overly excited as soon as we hit the Intracoastal bridge and he smells the salt air. Each morning while we are there, he perks up as we walk down the street and takes on a proud gait somewhere between “royalty and a ballet dancer” – as my mom says.

He knows what that little sliver of horizon has in store: tennis balls and swimming!

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