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Moonlight Beach Gathering

 "Moonlight Beach with Gulls," pastel, Stephanie Rose Bird, 2015
Gathering with family, being with friends and loved ones--what could be better? My in-laws are getting on in age. My mother-in-law just turned 85. I had the pleasure of celebrating her birthday with her, a bit early but still, along with the rest of the family. There is a gentleness and knowing that comes with age, at least in her case. It's very touching. I hope to get there.

In addition to celebrating with her, I also spent time with my husband's father, brothers and my sisters-in-law. His older brother and our sister-in-law came all the way over from England. We had fun reconnecting. All of my children, apart from one who is working on the film "Chirag," were able to join. It was wonderful to be together without time, distance and work constraints.

Bird Birthday Gathering of 10, at lovely Pacific Grill in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA

We were in the coastal region of northern San Diego county. While there, we visited the place where my husband and I were married. I spent time there drawing the torrey pines, overlooking the sea, on the numerous cliffs there. I don't think I'd ever drawn cacti in the field. It was challenging!

Torrey Pines 2015, Pastel, Stephanie Rose Bird

I also visited with Yemaya-Olokun, the orisha I often talk about. In case you are unfamiliar, these orisha are of the upper and lower depths of the sea. Revered in Santeria, they encapsulate all the power, mystery and beauty of the ocean and seas.

(Liam after surfing)

This time around, I felt more compelled to capture the movements, the flickering of light and motion of the waves, than to swim. I did this observation work in pastel. Painting the sea is incredibly difficult. I enjoyed the challenge. Every day, in different light conditions, I went down to the beach called Moonlight Beach, and rendered what I could catch. Here is some of my work. I consider these sketches and hope to turn them into more in-depth paintings soon.

"Big Splash" pastel, Stephanie Rose Bird, 2015

"Moonlight Beach in the Morning" pastel, Stephanie Rose Bird, 2015


  1. There's nothing quite like the inspiration you get from the sea - these are gorgeous. And large family gatherings are such fun!

  2. Thanks Annalisa! So true about gathering. It was wonderful!

  3. Your pastels are lovely. I especially like the Torrey Pines one.

  4. Hi Stephanie .. thanks for the visit and I love Moonlight Beach ... then what fun catching up with family ... an essential as we all get older ... it sounds a very happy time. Your art is gorgeous ... love the colours - cheers Hilary

  5. What a lovely gathering Stephanie and the pastels are gorgeous. Re-connecting with others who one loves makes other re-connections also happen it seems to me. Your beautiful pastels show a deep connection thank you for sharing them with us.

    1. Thanks so much Susan. I'm glad the post resonated and happy you stopped by. I'm enjoying your series as well.


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