A carer who has created up to 100 huge sand art drawings at Aberdeen Beach has told how he uses his skills to help people with mental health problems.
Dougie Bogie, 58, of Torry, began making the often painstakingly intricate drawings in the sand years ago after coming across a New Zealand artist on YouTube who did the same thing.
The full-time carer works for community justice charity Sacro which supports people with behavioural and mental health problems as well as ex-armed forces personnel and those suffering from isolation.
He spends around two hours at a time creating artworks for his unusual hobby, only to see them washed away by the tide soon afterwards.
He also uses his art to help people relax in his job.
Dougie said: “I use the sand art and rock balancing as well in my work as a carer to help people let go of things.
“People who have got mental health problems, it just helps them relax and it also stops them hanging on to things in their heads.
“I show them by doing this at the beach, they can do the same with their thoughts.”
He added: “They enjoy doing it and they keep doing the stuff I show them. I always try and find things that don’t cost anything so they can go and do it even if they haven’t got any money.
“It definitely makes people happier when they’re doing art.”
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The garden at Sacro’s Aberdeen base on Crown Street has recently been renovated and is used as a safe space for people to relax. It also has a sandpit where people can try their hand at drawing.
Dougie said: “We generally work with people with behaviour problems and people with mental health problems who are coming out of hospital.
“In the past our job used to be mainly working with people coming out of prison but now it’s more learning disabilities, mental health problems and post-traumatic stress.
“We work with a wide range of people.”
Over the last seven or eight years Dougie has created artworks depicting everything from a clown, skull and crossbones and pirate ship, to love hearts, birthday messages, birds, animals and flowers.
He said: “When I can’t be bothered thinking of anything, my favourite thing to do is a big sun or do big birds like eagles or owls.
“I’ve done words for people’s birthdays, weddings and for folk celebrating passing their university degrees.
“I get a lot of requests.
“I do it all year round but obviously I do a lot more in the summer than I do in the winter.
“Sometimes you come down and there’s not much sand to draw on.
“But in the summer it’s the opposite problem. I can come down in the morning and then again in the evening. Come down twice if I’m not too tired.”
Dougie said he isn’t put off by the fact his hard work washes away within hours.
He said: “I quite like the fact that it disappears as soon as the tide comes in. It’s not permanent, I quite like that.
“Sometimes I’m quite critical of the work I do – so I quite like it when the tide comes in so I can start again.
“At first I didn’t like all the attention I got with people watching me, but now it doesn’t bother me and I quite like meeting all the people.
“There’s children of three or four who come up and speak to me, right up to pensioners.
“I like the dogs as well, they add to it with their footprints.”