beach scene from early on


I made this beach scene In 1982 and haven’t seen it in all these years. Recently, I had the opportunity to borrow it from its owner, so that Rob could take a decent photograph. It’s funny how time and memory can play tricks. The old slide from 1982 was of such poor quality, that not much detail was visible. In my imagination, the piece had shrunk and the composition had changed. I was surprised to see that the piece actually measures 18″ W x 24″ H, utilizes a sewing machine and is mounted on a wooden board. Now-a-days, I hand stitch everything and attach the background fabric to a stretcher.


During this time, I experimented with small figures, creating bodies with cloth covered wire. These 2″ sunbathers are made with some kind of shiny polyester fabric, something I would be hard pressed to use today. But, I think it gives the illusion of sun tan oiled skin. You can see how I tried to stitch fingers and toes, but they look more like paws.


Back then, my designs were so much more graphic, with lots of open space. Now, I have a hard time keeping myself from filling in every inch. I’m inspired to find a happy balance somewhere in between. It’s helpful to revisit these pieces from early on, to notice the continuity, as well as changes that inform what I do today.


6 thoughts on “beach scene from early on

  1. Thanks to you and the lucky owner for sharing these wonderful memories!
    It’s so exciting to be able to tap into earlier days and compare the creative progress!
    Interesting that you went from machine to hand, and not vice versa!
    What a wonderful journey you’ve been on, Salley!
    I feel blessed to have just discovered you and your phenomenal art!
    In JOY, Antoinette

    • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Antoinette. As a sign of the passage of time, the original couple who bought the beach scene have passed away and it’s now owned by their daughter, who graciously loaned it for a spell.


  2. Salley, Even your earlier works are inspiring! Thank you to the current owner for allowing you to share it with all whom admire your work. ~ GOD Bless.

  3. Thanks for sharing this piece Salley! It’s interesting to compare to your current work. I think my favorite component is the reading lady’s bag full of beach supplies…

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