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Sea Escapes by Clare

I have always preferred to be close to the water. I am from Canada, and grew up very close to the roar of Niagara Falls, and the Great Lakes. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University. After graduating I moved from Canada to Portland Maine on the Atlantic coast. I had the opportunity to leave Maine on a sailboat and sailed the eastern seaboard and Bahamas for several years. Florida was where I settled almost 25 years ago.

Aside from my desire to be close to the water, I have always had the desire to create and make beautiful things. The Seaescapes Collection has been by far the most dynamic, satisfying and transformative experience.

It started in 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Naples Florida. While paddle boarding the more remote beaches, I discovered large fossilized Lightening Whelk shells that had been pushed up from the sea from the surge. The desire to paint the old broken and cracked shells was instant. Overtime I realized they were limited until another storm would unearth them. This area of the coast is home to several Indian Shell Mounds which from the time when the Calusa Indians were here 12,000 years ago. I decided to photograph the newly painted shells back at the beach, thereby giving them a new life....what I didn’t realize at the time was that they were giving me a new life.....

The Lightening whelk shells have a clockwise spiral. That is unique to their species. The ancient American Indians valued them as sacred. Evidence of them has been found in archeological sites 6,000 years old. The clockwise spiral represents the cycle of life and the continuance of time. The shells promote creativity and disperse negative energy.

A Painted Shell and all is Well.

Seaescapes by Clare Sullivan

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