Sea urchins and crab carcassesPosted: December 26, 2019
The beach at Sanibel is known for its shells. In the past few weeks I’ve seen people wading in the shallow water, holding net bags and digging around in the sand with wire strainers. They must be pulling up some prize shells because many of them spend hours in the water, emerging only to reapply sunscreen or take a swig of beer.
I’ve drawn some of those pretty shells in the past, but on this visit I’ve been spending more time observing the dead creatures on the beach, probably because half of them end up in Alice’s mouth on our walks, and must be extracted before she swallows them. Of course we know why she’s attracted to these tangled piles of detritus — no doubt they smell so rotten and so good.
Today, I brought my sketchbook down to the beach with the intent of drawing some of them. This year there’s an abundance of sea urchins, as well as crab parts of all shapes and sizes. There’s something very satisfying about observing the minute details of these carcasses. Each one shares its beauty (and sometimes a strong smell too) as I hold it in one hand and draw it with the other.