Breaking Waves / by Cynthia Lait

Breaking Waves 36” x 36”

Breaking Waves 36” x 36”

Today is the fourth of July, and if you live in the Seattle area, it’s the unofficial start of summer weather.  Where you’re pretty sure to see the sun for the next 2-3 months.  It’s a rare local who’ll plan an outdoor event prior to the fourth, as the chance of rain (even hail) is not that unlikely!  But come the Fourth of July and there’s smooth sailing ahead.

As a young child, summer always meant being near the ocean, breathing in the salt air, watching tides come in and go out, running towards the tide pools to discover a poor unsuspecting crab, long salty hair that crunched and begging the grown-ups for ice cream. Summer was freedom and joy.

There’s also something quite grand about being in the water, in the waves.  Trying to gauge when the wave will break, how powerful the current might be, how far inland the wave might go.  At the same time, I was also trying to decide, will I need to dip down underneath it as it passes me because it’s too powerful?  Should I attempt to body surf it? Could I jump over it? Or should I just watch the water rise to my shoulders and then let it pass?  And so it was with this work that I wanted to recreate the sensation of being in the water, being part of something so different, yet so similar. Watching the colors and shapes endlessly change.  Tasting the salt and feeling the movement of the water.

Happy fourth of July to all.  Here’s to spending time with family and friends, near the water perhaps?