‘Ocean’s child – Australian sealion’
Pastel on Supertooth paper
28 X 33 cm.
The pulse of the Southern Ocean is relentless here ….. a powerful abyssal beast dragged forcibly up to the surface where it hurls its shouting rage shoreward as tonnes of angry green water. Roaring, mountainous walls of glass hammer waves of seaweed and foam mountains onto the jagged limestone boulders which ring this steep cove. Moments later the sea beast inhales and drags the wreckage back out again before once more hurling those same tonnes ashore.
This eternal battle between ocean and land marks the place my favourite wild Australian sealion colony calls home. This wilderness and little known colony has drawn me back many times over 30 years and I never tire of the interaction of the elements and these magnificently gentle and intelligent beings.
I only stayed 2 days this time but it was enough to remind me of why I have chosen to be a career wildlife artist and why I only paint creatures I have actually met (preferably in their natural habitat).
A quote lifted from my journal says ……“Behind it all…..those brooding cliffs, massive ragged boulders, the rotting weed and the malodorous stink of animal shit there is a play and counter-play of sound. Above the pounding of the surf sealions are constantly calling … falsetto pups too mournful, returning mothers and growling, spitting bulls angered to challenge each other. All of it lending the voice which I hear in my core as the tapestry of nature – as it is meant to be. And this is why I have come back to this sacred place, to remind myself that such places and such
experiences still exist.
So I sit as this gloriously wild animal comes to sit likewise and contemplate me. I listen to the pulsing of this timeless sea. I thrill to my core to hear its ancient breath. It is the breath of sealions as it is my breath. It is the breath of us all. It is the breath of our planet”.