Linda Mehnert '96 Alumni Online Exhibition 2013
When I stand at the edge of the ocean my eyes scan the horizon and see nothing, but an endless expanse of blue. My mind struggles to wrap itself around the body of water at my feet. I cannot help but contemplate its vastness and its depths, an immensity that seems unfathomable to me. The very thought of the ocean’s magnitude fills me with awe and fear. It makes me feel small and alone even on a crowded beach. The ocean travels far, far beyond my eyesight making my sense of powerlessness palpable and a feeling of isolation that is profound.
Yet the ocean is also a source of comfort and refuge. Its sound and scent alone are synonymous with serenity. It is upon the beach that we feel the sun warm our skin, the soft sand beneath our feet and the rush of the waves. It is a treat for our senses. It recharges our soul. There is a kind of comfort in the solitude and the powerlessness that is felt in the face of an amazing force of nature. As small as I feel before it – my troubles feel even smaller.
It is this seeming contradiction that draws me to paint
children by the ocean. They are there at peace with the magnitude of things.
Everything is magnified (and magnificent) when we are children. This body of work is set along the shore
where sand sea and sky combine. It deals
with themes of solitude and contemplation as well as the simple joys of feeling
the sun on your skin and sand between your toes.