bleak fog

Last summer we visited Bodega Bay in California: such a quaint little picturesque seaside town, but who knew the weather would be worse than a British summer? We braved the pacific fog – in any case, it suited me fine and made for some nice lighting – taking lots of windswept walks along the deserted beaches and sampling the various clam chowder outlets. The sombre, brooding tone of these photographs belies the happy memories I have of this place. Perhaps next time we visit there’ll be blue skies.

 

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© images by Emily Hughes, 2016

to the shore (for my mum)

For those who seek strength at this time of year, Emily x

shore, 2013

She ran down to the seashore because he had told her to run, and she didn’t know where else to go. Her faithful chocolate lab, Chess, galloping at her side, long pink tongue flapping in the wind. It was cold – bitingly cold – so she pulled the hood of her fur-lined anorak tightly around her face, still smarting with indignation. At least she had had the foresight to grab her coat; silly she hadn’t thought to change her shoes, she scolded herself regretfully and rather pointlessly as she felt the wet sand squelch uncomfortably into her flimsy ballet slippers and between her toes. When she got there she didn’t know what to do so she stood and threw stones into the shallow water, watching the ripples expand and disappear. Through her tear-filled eyes the horizon looked pleasantly blurry. In fact, it was as if the whole world was out of focus, at that very moment. She watched the tide wrinkle in and out, gently, rhythmically, for some time. It was something she could rely on. As sure as her breath: in-out, in-out. She turned to look at Chess, whose eager brown eyes were fixed on her as he panted noisily, awaiting instruction it seemed. But she had none to give. Her frenzied gaze steadied, resting on the horizon ahead. As she looked on, she realised at that moment that she didn’t know what was coming next, but whatever it was, it didn’t scare her. Suddenly, decisively, she turned her sodden, sand-caked heels away from the shore and didn’t look back.

This image is available to buy in my artfinder shop.

© image and words by Emily Hughes, 2013 and 2016

 

surf

A one-off commission I created for a special surf-loving couple of the Welsh coastline near Bridgend. I overlaid textures from the rocks and cliffs nearby to give a feel of the local landscape.

surf

 

© images and words Emily Hughes, 2015

 

 

beach days #6

beach days - Cancun

beach days #6

 

This one was tricky to perfect, and I almost gave up on it altogether. Alex didn’t like the hibiscus, but I thought it worked, so I went with it anyhow. It’s actually been the most popular of the whole series, I would say, so I’m glad I stuck to my instincts. It is set in Cancun, Mexico.

 

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

Beach days (III)

 

beach days - Sidmouth #3

Beach days #4

beach days - Sidmouth #2

Beach days #5

 

I’ve been working on this beach series for the past couple of months. I started work on it because a gallery owner local to West Kirby (where I grew up) liked some of my layered work, but wanted something coastal. I’ve struggled with naming them, though (it’s always a problem!), because even though they are all from very specific locations, they are deliberately quite abstract.

For me, working with layers give me greater freedom to explore the local environment: the texture, colour, form and atmosphere of the landscape, and (hopefully) create something fresh and new, which is at the same time recognisable to its particular location.

These two images are from Sidmouth, which is a place we visit often as a family because my dad and step mum live there. The children love the beach, and searching for crabs in the rock pools.

You can find the whole series so far on my website, or in my artfinder shop.

 

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

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