Monday, June 29, 2009

Life's a Beach

I recall chatting about the regenerative power of walking on the beach with bare feet. Here is the proof. I liked this holiday maker's purposeful stride with his hat nonchalantly carried. This man has a destination - as you can see. Now I think Eugene Boudin (1824-1898), might have liked this shot. Boudin painted beach life almost exclusively - although his tourists would have been more dressed up than our subject. Like this photograph, his subjects are often faceless - looking away from the viewer, so that his composition of sea and sky could take its place. But his paintings reflected an intimacy with beach life that was seldom, if ever, surpassed - except by his star pupil, the great impressionist Monet. Monet had been drawing caricatures until Boudin invited him to share the ocean front with him. His pupil was to produce more daring beach paintings thereafter. I cropped the holiday-maker to nearly fill the frame, since I wanted to convey the considerable power of his walk. The leg is a symbol of life and in symbolic terms, to bare the leg is to display power and virility.