Eleni Debo

Something about the sea

27 July 2016

For the past couple of weeks I've relocated my atelier to the seventh floor of a seaside apartment, to work on an exciting book project with children's book author and novelist Alexander Wolfram!

When working on this picturebook, I felt that it was very hard for me to do so mixed in-between all the other work and distractions. E-mails, rush-jobs, networking, and that ever abominable laundry, are all notorious for wreaking havoc to your productivity. So I decided I needed to find a retreat, a place where I could work for hours on end without having distractions, but without going crazy in the process either. 

A seaside apartment turned out to be my resolve. Built in a little village where you first have to walk half an hour across the beach to reach the first supermarket, and with the added benefit it was probably built before the internet was born, the apartment is perfectly devoid of any means to contact the outside world. Safe from a radio, which had over time become a pleasant companion.

Eleni Debo Seaside

There really is something about the Belgian seaside. There's a whole lot of nothing, and then again there is an absolute abundance. At first glance, the seaside seems to be reduceable to a play of planes. The straight sandy beaches being the first, the sea being the second, the arch of the sky the third, all separated from one another by nearly perfect horizontal lines. Three wide strokes of colour blurring into eachother at their edges, even Rothko couldn't have painted it any better.

Then there's the second glance. And the third, the forth, the fifth... Because really, that's the thing about the sea, it's never still. It might be a cliché to repeat: the sea is always changing, but saying just that doesn't do it any justice. At its best the seaside is an ever ongoing sculpture, constantly being shaped and reshaped by wind and tide, giving way to an infinite and richly detailed display of form and color.

Eleni Debo Water

Some of you might have guessed it by now, and although I can't show you drawings just yet, I can say so much that the rich landscape of the seaside is in fact a protagonist, a pivotal even, in the picture book I'm working on with Alexander. It is also safe to say I fell in love with both the book and the sea, and I can't wait to show you more!