Music at High Tide

We always have fun when we walk along the South Promenade in Blackpool, and the last couple of times we have been lucky to have been there when the tide has been coming in. This is because we get to listen to the Hide Tide Organ, which is a sculpture that has pipes running through the centre and down to the shoreline, so when the tide comes in it makes the most amazing sounds. You can imagine my joy on hearing it so I had to capture this in my journal.


I mixed blue, green, apricot, yellow and parchment acrylic paints to produce the background colours that represent the sea, sky and golden sand, and then applied them to the page with a baby wipe. I kept the paint strokes angled towards the right of the page so it looked like the tide was moving into the shoreline. Next I added strips of music note washi tape to represent the musical sound the tidal organ makes and merged them into the background using paint. Then I splattered white acrylic paint over the page, I did this by applying the paint to an acrylic block adding a little water and flicking the paint from the block with a paintbrush. This represents sea foam and I concentrated my splatters on the left of the page fading out to the right. The seaweed leaves are fussy cut from paper by Kaisercraft from their Rock Pool Collection, they are stuck to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium. I painted two wave-shaped paper borders blue and then added wavy detail with a white Uniball gel pen; they were easy to stick to the page as they are self-adhesive. To make my tidal organ sculpture I created a rust effect on a piece of card. Firstly, I stippled modelling paste onto the card to give a rough textured foundation and let it dry thoroughly. I then mixed yellow, red and black acrylic paints to produce brown and orange rusty hues, and then I stippled these colours along with black acrylic over the top of the modelling paste trying not to overwork the colours to avoid them blending together; the idea was to create texture and for it to look patchy like rust. Once the paint had dried I used a template which I had drawn to cut out my sculpture, then I coloured the cut edges with a Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt marker and I stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. I stamped the words in an undulating pattern using a Docrafts Alphas Folk alphabet set and black Archival Ink. To finish I added a couple of seagulls, which are cut from white paper and stuck down using a UHU Stic; we often see a seagull perched on the top of the sculpture.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s way who is hosting this month’s challenge “Out and About” over at Art Journal Journey.


The High Tide Organ is a sculpture which is 15 metres (49 ft 3 in) tall and is described as a “musical manifestation of the sea”; it is one of a few examples of a tidal organ.


“The sculpture was designed by the artists Liam Curtin and John Gooding, and was constructed in concrete, steel, zinc and copper sheet. The harnessing of wave energy, and the sculpting of the concrete and metals is said to produce a unique interpretation of Blackpool’s natural and man-made environments. The instrument is played by the sea at high tide through eight pipes which are attached to the sea wall. These are connected under the promenade to 18 organ pipes within the sculpture. The swell of seawater at high tide pushes air up the sea-wall pipes and causes the organ pipes to sound. The best time to hear the High Tide Organ is two to three hours before or after high tide. On very calm days the organ is silent for part of its cycle. The pitches of the pipes are based on the harmonic series in B flat” (Wikipedia). It makes quite an eerie sound, as you can hear for yourself on this link.


Being by the sea, you would expect this metal structure to rust and it has a lovely texture to it as a result.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Swedush Blue, Christmas Green, Ivory Black, Apricot, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium Hue/Lacquer Red)
  • Colvin & Co Artist’s Acrylic (White Titanium)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alpha Folk DCE907115)
  • Kaisercraft Rock Pool Collection paper (Seaweed P834)
  • Hobbycraft Paper Borders (White 5895891000)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Tape (Assorted Black & White 5971481007)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste High Density
  • Cardboard
  • White paper
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

28 thoughts on “Music at High Tide

    • Thanks so much! The sculpture was built in 2002 as part of a series of outdoor art installations commissioned by Blackpool Council, so it wouldn’t have been there when you visited :-). Happy Thursday! J 🙂


  1. Wow.. your page is such an eyecatcher – just beautiful and I would love to hear that interesting organ as well!
    Thank you very much for joining Art Journal Journey again this month dear Jo!
    Happy rest of the week to you!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Alison! I like to walk the promenade this time of year as it’s quieter and you have time to admire the different artworks. And I’m always amazed how this sculpture harnesses the natural forces of the sea to make musical sounds :-). Enjoy the rest of your week! J 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an amazing sculpture, it must be wonderful to hear it while you are walking. The artisst who created it are so talented.
    The journal page you made is amazing, I love the way you captured the movement of the waves and added the music, its fabulous.
    I am so pleased you liked the theme and joined the fun at AJJ.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never heard of seen a seaside organ like that. Its interesting. I love the page you made about your day in Blackpool. I like how you made the seaweed different colors. 🙂 And thanks for sharing the sound of the organ. Happy new month Jo. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Erica! I believe there aren’t many musical sculptures that harness nature to make their music – it is fascinating! The sound it quite amazing – eerie and not really tuneful :-). Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend! J 🙂


  4. I was SO impressed with your journal page, which captures the curvature of the real High Tide Organ. I loved how you shared both your page and the real piece of art and sculpture which is so unique and unusual. I adored everything about this post, but most of all, I adored the rust. Rust is something I can’t get enough of in my life. You have captured that rust perfectly, right down to the bits and pieces that look like you could chip them away with your fingernails.

    Thanks for taking us with you on this journey to Blackpool and the High Tide Organ.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your page is beautiful Jo and really captured the essence of that wonderful musical sculpture.
    I guess for anyone that didn’t know about this, it would be really eerie if they suddenly heard that sound and not know where it came from.
    Have a great weekend…. hope your weather hasn’t been too bad where you are… hopefully
    it will improve soon 🙂
    Gill xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. oh my gosh jo,your page with the leaves,remind of waves,and the music organ fantastic too,love this so much,this its a good idea,we have here wonderful objects of art,when i going walking make a photo for my page,thanks for the inspiration 🙂
    wishing you a happy weekend,my dear.

    hugs jenny

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The organ sounds, and looks like, something out of a fantasy world. What an original idea, I would love to hear it. The actual sculpture looks magnificent too.
    Your page is also magnificent, it gives the whole image of the sea’s tides and the organ.
    You fussy cut the seaweed! Oh my goodness.
    I am also bowled over by the variety of ways you make your art pages, I know I’ve said it before but I am struck by it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Sheila! The seaweed was a bit fiddly to fussy cut and took some time, so listening to some music while I was doing this helped … Lol 🙂 I like that I’m able to use different mediums and I’m always looking to try new techniques, it’s one of the things I love about creating my journal pages. Wishing you a happy start to the week! J 🙂


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