Going through a phase. That’s what parents say when their kids want to wear their hair funny, or dress in some unique way. Or when they run amok in their personal behavior, at least in their parent’s eyes. If it’s someone else’s kid of course, it’s simply a weird kid. Phases aren’t limited to kids though. And sometimes they last long enough to move from phase to personality trait. It’s all part of a person’s personal history. And all worth capturing.
The beach always throws me into a recurring phase. Suntan, bushy blond hair do. Pull out the surfboard again. Somehow the ocean is my fountain of youth. But besides thinking I’m a youngster again, the phase creeps into other parts of my world. Art galleries and t-shirt shops call my name at the beach. Sometimes there is a fine line between the two. A t-shirt could be an art form, but for the most part what we are talking about here are either mass produced items advertising the beach, or custom made airbrushed work. Neither created to last generations. Shops like this often also sell sea shells, shot glasses, two dollar prints of fish and stuffed alligator heads. These things are intriguing when you’re at the beach, but when you get them home you have to ask yourself, “what the hell was I thinking?” And into obscurity they go.
Art galleries are a little different, but not always much. Those oil paintings of sea oats on the dunes with a wave splashing in the background, full of shades of blue, may look good at the shop, but when you get it home the question is, “where does it fit in?” Sometimes you’ll actually find some good work. And it’s not even always related to the beach. Maybe a good artist just happens to live at the beach, but their subject matter crosses many lines.
I’m trying to decide. Is the piece I found today a part of the phase I’m in based on my being at the beach, or do I really like it and does it fit into my world long term? I can see it at my home. Away from the beach. It fits. Vibrant colors. Maybe it’s not part of the phase, just another example for the eclectic art that I enjoy. My collection is growing. And it’s part of my personal history.