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ONE bright December mid-day lately I spent down on the New Jersey sea-shore, reaching it by a little more than an hour’s railroad trip over the old Camden and Atlantic. I had started betimes, fortified by nice strong coffee and a good breakfast (cook’d by the hands I love, my dear sister Lou’s—how much better it makes the victuals taste, and then assimilate, strengthen you, perhaps make the whole day comfortable afterwards.)
Five or six miles at the last, our track enter’d a broad region of salt grass meadows, intersected by lagoons, and cut up everywhere by watery runs. The sedgy perfume, delightful to my nostrils, reminded me of “the mash” and south bay of my native island.
I could have journey’d contentedly till night through these flat and odorous sea-prairies. From half-past 11 till 2 I was nearly all the time along the beach, or in sight of the ocean, listening to its hoarse murmur, and inhaling the bracing and welcome breezes. First, a rapid five-mile drive over the hard sand—our carriage wheels hardly made dents in it. Then after dinner (as there were nearly two hours to spare) I walk’d off in another direction, (hardly met or saw a person,) and taking possession of what appear’d to have been the reception-room of an old bathhouse range, had a broad expanse of view all to myself—quaint, refreshing, unimpeded—a dry area of sedge and Indian grass immediately before and around me—space, simple, unornamented space. Distant vessels, and the far-off, just visible trailing smoke of an inward bound steamer; more plainly, ships, brigs, schooners, in sight, most of them with every sail set to the firm and steady wind.
The attractions, fascinations there are in sea and shore! How one dwells on their simplicity, even vacuity!
What is it in us, arous’d by those indirections and directions? That spread of waves and gray-white beach, salt, monotonous, senseless—such an entire absence of art, books, talk, elegance—so indescribably comforting, even this winter day—grim, yet so delicate-looking, so spiritual—striking emotional, impalpable depths, subtler than all the poems, paintings, music, I have ever read, seen, heard. (Yet let me be fair, perhaps it is because I have read those poems and heard that music
.)"Walt Whitman

“Something there is,
(With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
(Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades
" excerpt Walt Whitman “On the Beach at Night”.

The Beaches at night in winter with light glowing from the grassy dunes…
I was inspired by Whitman’s prose which at times verges on poetry….he calls the beach “indescribably comforting, spiritual, striking emotional depths” and I hope I was able to convey that mood here


In Watercolour on Arches Not Paper…View large…

Tags

snow, winter, sand, sand dunes, lake, water, season, blue, white, weeds, canada, toronto, beach, beaches, empty, december, january, february, whitman, walt whitman, sea

I paint in many different styles and feature a myriad of subject matter, which I show as individual collections….
I am inspired by the world interpreting it in brilliant colours, often influenced by the writings of famous authors and poets..
© All rights reserved. All images contained on these pages are © copyright protected by Janis Zroback and any use of these images in any form without her written permission will be considered an infringement of these copyrights.

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  • © Janis Zroback
    © Janis Zrobackover 1 year ago


    ONE bright December mid-day lately I spent down on the New Jersey sea-shore, reaching it by a little more than an hour’s railroad trip over the old Camden and Atlantic. I had started betimes..to learn more about this painting, click description above…


  • “Something there is,
    (With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
    I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
    Something there is more immortal even than the stars
    "..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 1 year ago

    SO evocative, Janis, & the Whitman quote is dear to my heart. I recently sent a card of your ‘Silence’ as a birthday card to a friend who loves our inland seas as well. Your work continues to charm.

  • Thank you so much…it is really good to know you enjoyed the work enough to send it to a friend…was the title just “Silence”? or was the word silence part of the title…it is a popular word with me….

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsover 1 year ago

    Love the heavy use of those warm colours in a scene where normally that wouldn’t be that present. Gives it strong emotional feeling. Very nicely done Janis.

  • It’s funny but my strongest colours in winter scenes still read as white…the power of persuasion I guess…I am so glad you like it Jim…thanks so much..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Danica Radman
  • Wonderful news…thanks so much..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...over 1 year ago

    I need to get my thesaurus out again…..you sure you don’t have that magic brush and palette….I bet you do…..
    The colors set the mood so well…..hipahipa wahini Janis

  • You are doing perfectly well KJ…thanks so much for all your support throughout these five years…my fifth anniversary is on Monday…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehover 1 year ago

    I love the lively motion of the grass amongst the sand vibrantly coloured in contrast to the night sky. The seemingly moving colours feel as thought the smell is swirling and mixing in the air; reminiscent of Whitman’s prose.

  • Hs words are always s inspiring…it’s as if they propel the brush to evoke the atmosphere he creates…thanks so much for the lovely compliment MuiLing…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackelover 1 year ago

    Beautiful!

  • Thank you so much Cindy…very nice of you..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • deborah zaragoza
    deborah zaragozaover 1 year ago


    Please Congratulate your Fellow Artists in this Forum! Click Here

  • Wonderful news…thank you so much…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • JolanteHesse
    JolanteHesseover 1 year ago

    Superb work Janis!

  • Thank you so much Jolante…very nice of you

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanover 1 year ago

    lovely work Janis …beautiful colour choices…

  • Thank you so much Linda…very nice of you

    – © Janis Zroback

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