By Wit & Whitby
[Complete] Natural Beauty [Harbor, Beach, and Sea] - Printable Version

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Natural Beauty [Harbor, Beach, and Sea] - Nesah Meijer - 09-22-2020

She was almost alone on the beach. It was a cold day and a harsh north-eastern wind stirred the waves up high and blew the sand across the beach and around the legs of anyone who dared to come out in this weather. Some fishing girls were looking for drift wood and whatever else they were collecting, their hardened faces and hands apparently immune to the cold, biting wind.

Nesah could feel her ears hurting and the skin of her face prickling whenever the winds swept by, and yet she felt happier than she had in days. There was a rough, intriguing beauty about the dark cloudy skies in the distance, the deep blue waves tumbling and crashing over one another in explosions of white foam, and the seagulls trying to raise their cries above the winds as they were being swept across the sky. 

And hardly anyone came out to watch the fearsome spectacle. Normally, it was hard to find a quiet place in Whitby, and so despite the cold, Nesah treasured days like these. The beach, usually so full of tourists and cheap entertainment even in winter, was restored to its natural glory at least for a day. 

The young woman was wrapped up warmly in a thick coat lined with fur. She wore a large hat, but had to hold on to it with one white-gloved hand to keep it from flying away. Her face was red from the cold and some strings of dark hair had come loose and were blowing freely in the wind, but Nesah cared little. There were few slovenly fishing girls there to see. 

Holding tightly on to her hat, and narrowing her eyes against the cold winds, she gazed out across the raging sea.

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-22-2020

The glory of nature was something he liked to capture on days like this.  It was colder there near the water, so he had a thicker coat over his black suit.   The coat was also black and made of wool and about the neck he had a red scarf.  He wouldn't be able to keep an easel up with a canvas with this kind of wind, but he had a notebook of white paper and his charcoals to try and capture the images of the angry water and the sky above.

He walked down to the beach looking for the right place to sit down and do some sketches.  Seeing some girls gathering things along the waterside, he thought that would be a great image to create.  The strength of moving on with life even with the unsavory weather beating at them.  There was another lady there as well, isolated and looking forward at the high waves before her.  The way she held her hat it was as if she were challenging the waves to steal it away from her.

He liked both images.  Sitting down he opened up his notebook and grabbed his charcoal to begin sketching.  First one of the women gathering things.  His hands, nose, and cheeks redish with the cold and wind, but his urge to draw the world around him was a calling.  This battle much less traumatizing than the front line, yet just as violent in its own way.  ( click here - [/url][url=]something like this only with people there )

Once he had the basic image of the women, he pulled out another page of white paper and turned his attention to the woman with the hat.  The determination that he saw made him wonder what the woman was thinking?  Why was she out in this kind of weather?  The birth of the image began to spread over the paper.  He captured the way her gloved hands held the had firmly despite the battle with the wind and strands of dark hair peeking out around the edges of it.  He could not see the woman's face, but that wasn't what he was displaying in this drawing.  No, this was a fight between human determination against the strength of the wind and water.

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-22-2020

Nesah envied the birds. They could fly wherever they wanted and enjoy the beauty of these cliffs and the sea, far away from the noise of dull people, whenever they wanted. For a moment, she even envied the fishing girls, when she heard them laugh, despite the rough weather and their impoverished appearances. They seemed to have little care about what they wore or looked like, or what was proper or lady-like. And though they lived in abject poverty and were probably under a lot of stress, she had seen families or siblings walking or playing, and there seemed to be more warmth in those families, than in her own.

But of course she wouldn't really want to be one of them, she comforted herself. They smelled and were uneducated and probably got pregnant and married to their cousin at sixteen. They were born to be smelly fisherman's wives and that was all they could ever be. Unless they died before that. And they smelled. Ew. No, they certainly didn't have it better than her.

After staring out across the sea for a while, Nesah turned and spotted the artist she had talked to on the Abbey plain some days ago. Part of her wanted to remain where she was, alone with her thoughts. But now that she was here, she felt her privacy had been disturbed anyway. He seemed to be watching her. And so she walked over to him, taking off her hat, because her arm had gone numb from reaching up. More hair escaped her up-do. It didn't matter. Surely, her brothers wouldn't come out in this weather, and this man's opinion was unimportant.

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-23-2020

When the woman he was drawing turned around and headed his direction, he gave a light smile.  It was the lady from the other day near the ruins.  Glancing down at the drawing, he chuckled.  A strong woman with defiance to mother nature.  It fit the woman he had visited with that day.

The wind was fighting with his paper, but he had a stronghold on it with one hand and the charcoal in his other hand.  When she got closer, he spoke in greeting.  "Well, 'ow aboot that.  Nice tae see yu again.  Quite a day for a walk that.  It’s a dreich day!" (cold, damp and miserable)

He looked at the water beyond her in front of him.  "But a magnificent show of nature."  He added with an expression of someone seeing something beautiful and powerful.  He looked back to her.  "I did think yu were going tae lose yur hat, though I dinna know it was yu at the time."  He looked up from where he sat as he talked to her.

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-23-2020

Nesah did not quite understand all that he was saying, but as a non-native speaker, she was used to filling in the gaps. She needed little English (or Scottish, little did she know) to understand how someone would describe the day. "Good afternoon..." she greeted him in return. She wanted to use his name, but realized that she had forgotten it, and now she was in the awkward position of having to work her way through a conversation without showing that.

"It is mag-magnificent," she struggled pronouncing that word. "What are you drawing?"

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-23-2020

He looked to the water and nodded in that direction.  "The waves and 'ow the people over there are just living their lives despite Mother Nature 'aving a bad mood."  He smiled.   Then he looked at Nesah.  "And I drew the image of a determined lass challenging Mother Nature up take toe tae toe, face tae face wind and water and all.  Nae give in, tae that one."

He spoke of the woman before him.  Holding up the drawing in progress, it was of Nesah as he had seen her previously.  Courage and determination.  His artworks were known for capturing and delivering to the viewer a pulling sense of feeling, those emotions he himself feels before his view are put into each image he creates.

"I dinna knae it was yu at the time, but it is as yu were at the ruins, something 'ard tae nae admire in the scene we 'ave 'ere."  He gave a light shrug.

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-23-2020

Once again, Nesah struggled to understand everything he was saying. She had been taught English and French by the governess at home, but the way she had been taught the pronunciation was so different both from the way this man spoke and from the way the local people spoke. She was becoming slightly more familiar with the local accent, but the way this man seemed to replace vowels confused her, and made her miss later parts of sentences while she was trying to understand earlier parts.

However, it was clear what he was talking about when he showed her the picture. Nesah was a little surprised to find herself pictured once again, but rather than being offended, she liked what she saw. It was how she liked to be portraited. Not the sitting of a chair stiffly in her best clothes, trying to look as delicate and respectable as she could. But authentic, and she looked strong rather than delicate.

A genuine smile crept over her face in spite of herself. She looked back up at the painter. "I like it. I think the..." she didn't know the English word. "the black... the pencil... it is better for this than paint."

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-23-2020

Seeing her smile made him smile in return.  He got a lot of praise about his work, but most were not really 'seeing' what the image was portrayed more than 'oh that's pretty'.  Some did, and the critiques at least mostly got close to what he was seeing in his own heart and mind.  But this lady's comments meant more than most of the others.

"I'm glad yu like it.  It suits yu."  He brought it back closer to himself and nodded to the rest of her comment.  "Some do bring more drama tae them.  Though with the right colors, this one could do sae as well.  But I am thinking, a series of charcoals will be going intae my next show.  This area 'as some fantastic areas and the way the weather 'as been, it calls tae me."  He looked to the waves again, almost feeling something other than physical cold but emotions caused by the sight before him.

Looking back at her with a wry look.  "That and this wind makes it 'ard tae 'old an easel and canvas while yu paint.  I 'ad tae get some images though.  It is stunning 'ere."

He looked at her.  "Sae, 'ow 'ave yu been?  Still oot alone, I see."  He smiled and indicated the sand nearby him inviting her to join and sit with him is she so liked.

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-24-2020

Nesah had to concentrate well to understand what he was saying. The loud winds did not make it easier. She wasn't quite sure what he had to hold, but she got the gist: it was hard to paint in rough weather.

She nodded and followed him, but there was no way she was going to sit on the ground like some beggar or ill-bred child, especially in weather like this. She'd stain her dress and get sand everywhere. Not to mention the fact that the only way her corset allowed her to sit somewhat comfortably was perched on the edge of a chair. If she sat so low, she wasn't sure if she would be able to get back up.

And so she remained standing beside him, the wind pulling more strings of hair out of her bun. "I've been fair, thank you..." she said. "Better now that the beach is quiet. I prefer it that way. And you, sir?" Oh there she messed up. "Have you found accommodation?"

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-25-2020

He was getting a pattern with her.  Lonely places and wandering alone.  He could understand that.  He tended to find places that had a place he could be separated from any crowds to draw or paint.  He enjoyed seeing people, but when he was creating something be it in drawing, painting, or sculpture, he preferred the solitariness. 

"I am well."  He nodded.  "Aye, nae finalized the paperwork, but I've made a verbal agreement with a nice wee place just at the edge of town with room for a studio area with a lot of windows.  I need the light for the painting, yu see."  He explained with a smile.  "Smaller than 'ome, but better than a 'otel suite."  He reasoned not thinking of the fact that he had given a hint that he was a bit more than he appeared to be.

"I've got tae 'ire some folks.  I've arranged for basic furnishings, and I will nae need a lot aroond me in the studio room."  He added, feeling he had what he would need.  A maid/laundry lady to come round every other day or so, a cook, and a valet/butler kind of set up would be all he would require for just himself he figured. 

"Woold yu 'appen tae know of anyone that might be in contact with honest house-servants?"  He figured he could ask the one he was renting the cottage from, but felt this lady had a good eye for decent staff than the other man would have.