Sea Sketches, photo essay by Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
Since I was a little girl my parents insisted that my brother and I accompany them almost every weekend to see an exhibition, a museum or an historic house. What was excruciating at first slowly became a real pleasure. Thanks to them, I had the privilege to see incredible exhibitions both in Paris and London where I grew up. Depending on my age and moods at the time, I favored a century, a movement, a painter…
It was love at first sight when I discovered “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” by Caspar David Friedrich. In the foreground, a young man stands upon a rocky precipice with his back to the viewer. He overlooks a landscape covered in a thick sea of fog. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, the subtle colors, the calm and yet the movement that came from the wind.
I perceived the character as content and in harmony with nature and I wondered if one day I would find my perfect place… and many years later, I did. On the west coast of Florida lies Ana Maria, a quaint barrier island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. The water is warm and turquoise, the sand is white. Well preserved, the birds and turtles come here to nest while the respectful tourists lie on the sand every night to witness the incredible sunsets. Time is suspended.
With the romantic painters Turner and Friedrich in mind, I captured a glimpse of Ana Maria, its light, its beaches, its movement, its unleashed elements… I hope you will immerse yourself in my Sea Sketches “paintings” and escape with me, even for the length of a sigh, from the harsh realities of life and share my happy place.