A Message At Sea

I’ve wanted to create this piece for so long now. Remember how I mentioned the idea of a message in the bottle seams to show up in my work from time to time. Well here’s the lates addition to that theme. Heres to enduring the pandemic, and a little inside into why I decided to create some sandpiper artwork.

Artwork Featuring A Sandpiper

I’ve known I wanted to include a bird accompanying the bottle on its journey since I first illustrated sketches for my greeting card series “A Message in a Bottle” This piece has secretly been on the back burner for a few years. 

It wasn’t until I moved to the west coast that it started demanding attention. My surroundings have started to inspire new work. 

I remember the day I decided to actually start planning and painting this piece. I was feeling some art block after finishing some client work, and we had some unusually nice weather. So I decided to visit the beach. So after a quick google search, I ended up on Iona beach. Stunning nature conservation not far from the YVR Airport. 

I had my sketchbook with me, I was sitting on some driftwood, enjoying the afternoon. There were crabs hiding in the shade, sandpipers running across the beach, seagulls screaming. It was awesome. 

Expect to see new paintings featuring more from this page.

The way sandpipers scoot across the shore made me laugh. I eventually decided that was the bird I would feature in this painting. Especially after looking into their symbolism. 

What Does The Sandpiper Symbolize

Regardless of subspecies, a Sandpipers symbolism represents going a great distance to achieve ones goals. 

I thought it was perfect for the theme of the painting. 

Sandpiper Artwork

What is the Story Behind This Painting

I consider a message in a bottle fairly romantic in nature. Surrounded in mystery! Who is the sender, what does the message say? Was it intended for you? Is it filled with advice? What hardships did it face on its journey?

In this piece I like to think that the bottle was sent from your past self for your future self to discover. A forgotten goal or dream to be rediscovered on the other side of the journey. 

Yes, the pandemic certainly had a role to play in that theme. It’s put so many of my goals and ambitions on hold. In a way it has been very cathartic working on this piece. At first the clouds were going to be darker, and fill more of the sky. Then I received news I can register for my vaccine. I adjusted the composition to be a bit more sunny. Hopeful. 

Despite the difficulties, and the uncertainties the pandemic has presented to me, it has not entirely been doom and gloom. 

In the painting the bottle is in the middle of its adventure. 

Just like we are in the middle of ours. In the distance clouds can be seen. We just weathered a storm, perhaps the next one will miss us or maybe this is just a moments rest before the next begins. 

To summarize this painting is about giving yourself a goal. Even if it is as simple as surviving.  Sending that goal along with your hope and ambitions into the unknown, so that it can endure and carry you through the hardships of this journey. 

We may not all be in the same boat, but we are certainly witnessing the same storm. 

About the Original

Framed Sandpiper Artwork

The original is technically a mixed media painting. Created using a combination of coloured pencils, and watercolour. 

It measures 7” x 10” inches. Displayed beneath two white mats, and set in a modern Beachwood frame. The outside measurements of the frame are 14.5” x 17.5’ inches.

The original is looking for a good home.

Prints are officially available!

Once again if you enjoyed this article, or the painting itself please give it a share. It means a lot to me. Thanks for stopping by. 

Stay Creative,

Justin Erickson

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