Freelance artists on the beach

Yesterday was one of those flat out, fun days. We heard about the Neptune Festival  over on Virginia Beach, decided to brave the prediction of rain and check it out. The day started out amazingly by finding my prom gown (see yesterday’s blog for that whole story). With my great find tucked safely in the trunk, we headed for the beach, found a good parking space and hit the boardwalk, strolling amid the myriad of vendors.

We love that tourist stuff; cheap necklaces, greasy food and interesting crafts. The real draw however, was the sand art, with sculptors from throughout the world creating totally amazing art. It was the first time I’d really seen professional sand sculpting.

John Gowdy

We actually met one of the artists, a fascinating man named John Gowdy.  After two careers in Atlantic City as a life guard and a firefighter, John retired and moved to Italy to pursue his love of art. He’s won many championships in Sand Art, but also is a profound painter and sculptor.

I love that John left a career to pursue his passion. Although I’m not expressing my creativity in the same way, my 25 years in management never fulfilled my soul as life coaching does. I’ve been doing what I love too, for the last eight years. Taking off in May for this RV excursion has really put the icing on the cake for me!

sketch of John’s project

One thing that John did which I did not see with the other competitors, was to display his sketch next to the completed work. To look at it, and then his creation, was a real gift. Gowdy was generous with his time, explaining how the process works. The artists use forms, fill them with beach sand and lots and lots of water. After it sits for a while, the forms are removed and the sculpting starts at the top and works downward. l. The whole thing is finally sprayed with a solution of ten parts water and one part glue (like Elmer’s glue)

The front of the sculpture

The back of the sculpture

His creation, based on the imagination of a child, was totally captivating. While John did not win a prize, I found his work to be the most fascinating. Also, none of the other artists made themselves available, which made the few minutes he spent with us quite precious.

I want to be like John, available to people! Giving of ourselves is such a gift. I pray that I never become so successful that I forget where I came from. I do have some artistic talents; I have done water colors and pastels in the past, and of course, I’m a published author.  Following one’s passion however, is the greatest expend of energy that one could possibly pursue. Finding the spirituality in whatever path we take insures that people and life become our primary purpose, rather than wealth or status.

I am dedicated to being the best life coach, instructor, wife, sister, friend, mother-by-marriage and grandma that I can possibly be. That’s the spiritual part of life for me, to be there for people. Just like John Gowdy yesterday.

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