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Who doesn’t have a happy childhood memory of the seaside? I come from a family of fishermen and I love the sea. I feel like a child again when I remember laughing, carefree days playing in the sand dunes near my grandmother’s house in Holland.

There´s nothing more refreshing for me than the salty wind on my face as the sea breathes in and out, sending waves rushing to the shore. There´s nothing more powerful and reassuring than this never- ending cycle of coming and going, a limitless source of inspiration.

Here in Dorset we are blessed with stunning coastline, miles of beautiful beaches to paint. Among my favourite places are atmospheric Hengistbury Head, tranquil Lulworth Cove, The Isle of Wight and Durdle Door seen here in this painting of a golden sunrise.

But what colour is the sea? Most people will tell you it´s blue. Science tells us it appears blue because of the way light dances with the water. Water absorbs light on the

longer wavelength red, orange, yellow spectrum while blue lies on the shortest. How fascinating to realise that when I´m working on a seascape what I´m actually painting is light.

On a stormy day at Hengistbury Head, the tempestuous sea seems dark blue, a thrash of greens and greys, while on a heavenly August day at Kimmeridge Bay, the shallow waters are sparkling turquoise blue. I begin with the sky and until I paint the horizon, the sea and the sky are a totality. I don´t paint waves because they only touch the surface of the living strength and energy I want to express, the deep, sacred silence below the surface.

My connection to God is an anchor holding fast to the sea bed as life on the surface restlessly refuses to stand still.

As I walk barefoot on the sand here at Lulworth Cove under a red morning sky, gentle waves washing away any troubles, I hear clearly what the sea is whispering over and over to me:


Marja Brown

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