Mixed media: Acrylic and beach sand on canvas 35.5x 45.5 2018
Sand is the texture of childhood summer holidays: warm wet sand squidging up between the toes, and my four-year-old fascination with wormcasts on the beach- where did they come from and who made them? Sand getting onto towels, and blown into sandwiches, mouths and hair by sudden gusts of wind; sandcastles made with bucket, spade and tongue-out concentration, my small hands patting seawater over the walls to stop them crumbling.
Fast forward many years, and the sand is freezing and wet when I take my boots and socks off one December evening on a quiet Anglesey beach, and walk with the sun setting into a red-gold line on the horizon.
I know I'm getting strange, amused looks from the dog-walkers I pass but really, I don't care. The last time I remember feeling sand under my feet was with the heat of a New Zealand summer soaking through my shirt, and someone else walking with me; even though this welsh sand has long ago lost any summer warmth, the feeling is glorious, and I'm briefly back to the freedom of childhood again.
On the morning I go home I return to this beach and carefully pour a handful of sand into a jar. A few weeks later, with a freshly painted canvas in front of me, I scatter some sand onto the still-wet foreground, where it becomes part of this painting's texture, and of its new memory.