sand dunes… sandwiches… and sand angels…

After a break from sketching outdoors due to either baking hot weather or torrential rain, I finally escaped to the coast – this time to Old Hunstanton (north-west Norfolk) on a stormy but mild day. I found a different and more interesting short route to the beach, down Sea Lane, past the Old Lifeboat Tearoom (which I intend to visit next time!), coming out on the vast expanse of beach beyond the sand dunes and ‘village’ of beach huts’ to either side of the path.

Old Hunstanton Beach with kite surfers (watercolour) © Mari French 2011

Old Hunstanton Beach with kite surfers (watercolour) © Mari French 2011

I had to shelter from the wind (and sand) in the sand dunes, which are full of beautiful blue-green sea holly and other plants and shrubs. The sand was still getting everywhere though – into my sandwiches, my sketch bag and my pants!

Sea Holly, Old Hunstanton © Mari French 2011

Sea Holly, Old Hunstanton © Mari French 2011

There were hundreds of school children with teachers at one end of the beach on a school trip.

A few small boys came racing through the dunes below me and tumbled around, while others made ‘sand angels’ (like snow angels but in sand), like these two I just about managed to capture before they raced off. (apologies for the dark photo of the sketch).

Sand angels (quick pencil sketch) © Mari French 2011

Sand angels (quick pencil sketch) © Mari French 2011

Beach 'butterflies' © Mari French 2011

Beach 'butterflies' © Mari French 2011

Pinewoods, sand-dunes & lighthouse © Mari French 2011

Pinewoods, sand-dunes & lighthouse © Mari French 2011

beach hut, old hunstanton © Mari French 2011

beach hut, old hunstanton © Mari French 2011

The beach is also a favourite with kite surfers and there were plenty about, with their colourful parachute style ‘kites’.

These two beach ‘butterflies’ caught my eye, dragging their kites along in the wind.

I love the way the dunes are punctuated by a variety of huts (well-used too, many of them), and also by scraps of fences, which I kept coming across, adding an interesting graphic motif to the scene, and a possible focus for future paintings.

dunes fence, old hunstanton © Mari French 2011

dunes fence, old hunstanton © Mari French 2011

6 thoughts on “sand dunes… sandwiches… and sand angels…

  1. I’d love to see your interpretation of the sea holly, I’ve never taken much notice of it before but it’s really quite beautiful…

    • I just loved the blue colour of the leaves and their shape – you’re right – it would make a really interesting study, with its angularity and colour. Oddy I hadnt thought of painting it – but thanks, I will!

  2. Will beach butterflies, sand angels and the fence scraps be paintings one day? I love the idea of all of these.

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