Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another day, another beach

It is difficult to account for what goes into one "Mr Big, Oom Dik" jotter pad, such as the one showcased below, which I seemed to be using as a sketch-book in the early to mid-1980s. One thing is for sure, though, I was back on a beach, this time possibly in Port Elizabeth, to which I moved in late July, 1984.

One of my better drawings of figures on the beach, but which beach I can't say.

I like the contrast between the large recumbent figure of a woman reading and the narrow rod of the beach umbrella, only the edge of which is suggested.

This seems to be an oke who was pushing his bike along the sand for some reason.

Finally, a picture which seems to place us at King's Beach in Port Elizabeth. As the harbour wall was extended in the mid-2oth century, so the sand built up against it forming a wonderful stretch of sandy bathing beach.

Somehow, I must have been in the company, at some stage, of people who had a baby, which I drew in all its clumsy glory. Little would I have known that in less than a decade I too would have one of these vulnerable creatures to look after.

Settlers Park, perhaps? There was a group of peacocks in this green lung on the Baakens River in Port Elizabeth until fairly recently. Of course they are not indigenous, so it is perhaps for the better that they have been relocated. Instead, the park boasts a wonderful array of local species, including the Knysna loerie.

The threat of military conscription still loomed over me, as this picture from my subconscious seems to suggest. Having already endured two years of conscription and four months of "camps", I was at the mercy of a system which discriminated against white males, causing many of us to lose jobs to people not vulnerable to regular call-ups. Here the beads around the neck seem to symbolise liberty, while the trees growing out of the head are perhaps a reflection of a generally distraught state of mind.

The surf was one source of escape, and this drawing of a woman (possibly my wife at the time, Anne) screaming with delight as she body-surfs a wave, I think captures something of the exhilarating fun to be had in the waves.

No recollection. Who was this woman with large star-shaped earrings, apparently speaking animatedly on a phone? But this was the pre-cellphone era, so where is the phone?

Another face in a sketch-book, but who is it?

Like the guy above, this woman may well simply have been someone spotted on the beach.

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