Archive | Paintings

“Late Arrival” $520 | Miles Hiked: 1.2

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Price: $520
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation
Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$240 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$177.6 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$0 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$0 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$0 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$25 – Painted from Private Land: Yes, but with Permission
$75 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$36 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$0 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$0 – Poison Oak Observed: None
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$15 – Mosquitoes: Some
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$0 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$-25 – Shade/Sun: Plenty of Cool Shade
$1.5 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$0 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Nice and Quiet

$-75 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Cold Beer and Snacks
$0 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Nothing, if it looks good in the painting, I probably lied.

$ – Other:
_________________________________________________________________________

$520.1 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
I might have been a late arrival
But I’ve been here all this time
I was here when the plates collided
I passed the bread and wine

I was here when we emerged from weeds
When the heavens gave us fire
When our songs kept our mother awake
When the rainbow held us higher

Vizcaíno saw me here in 1602
He called me by my name
The island of Bearded people it was
And to this day remains

I saw them come and plant the grapes
To sip the nectar from the vine
Prohibition shut them down
I saw it happen but the idea was never mine

The sheep were led to slaughter
And silent so was I
When the cotton gin reduced thier worth
To diamonds in the sky

I saw the pigs run feral
Chased off by dogs who fell from the air
The pigs are gone and the bacon fried
You’d never know they were there

My name is Stanton now and so it was
On the day I signed
And gave the land unto the gaurds
I was ill but I wasn’t blind

They will keep it from abomination
A trampled barren place
But I’m well aware they’d sell the air if they could
As well as these lines upon my face

It’s for the good I’m sure they’d say
They’ll save the earth with money
Listen at the gate when I pass in the night
I’m laughing but nothing is funny

I did what I must and not without Caire
How I longed for a better hand
It was them and their lawyer’s greed
Or else it was the land

I’m the homesick Italian that built the Chapel
With bricks of my own red earth
And I’m the one that’s buried there
Whose death precedes his birth

At the altar I have heard
The mighty man’s confession
And to the courtyard I have marched
In his funeral procession

I stood last night beneath the moon
Where they’ve sold God for the highest bid
I may have defied their lawyers decrees
Breathing a graven image in the mist as I hid

From watching eyes I was not seen
Except by the all-seeing lens
To which I danced and jigged about
As one does when among their friends

Today I rise with a mist in my eyes
Tired from last night’s dance
I called out from among these ancient trees
And I answered with a glance

And here I stood among the saplings
When first their roots went down
The mighty eucalyptus whose beauty invades
Like a king in quest of a crown

The fox and the eagle and the vanishing trees
The trees they love to rhyme
The eagle loves the fattened calfs
But the foxes they are mine

I might have been a late arrival
But I’ve been here all this time
I was here when the plates collided
I passed the bread and wine

“Left Behind” $727 | Miles Hiked: 1.3

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Price: $727
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation

Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$400 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$177.6 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$0 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$0 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$0 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$25 – Painted from Private Land: Yes, but with Permission
$75 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$39 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$15 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$15 – Poison Oak Observed: Some
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$0 – Mosquitoes: None
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$0 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$0 – Shade/Sun: Mostly Overcast
$6 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$0 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Nice and Quiet

$-75 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Cold Beer and Snacks
$0 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Nothing, if it looks good in the painting, I probably lied.

$ – Other:
_________________________________________________________________________

$727.6 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
I have a few regrets about this one. To get here required a two hour drive across a private reserve to this far side of the island. I have to give a big shout of thanks to the California Coastal Commission for inviting me along on this island tour, to Lyndall for being our guide, to the UC system for letting us stay in the facilities on the island’s interior and to the Nature Conservancy for allowing us this access for the weekend.  The rest of the crew were headed to the furthest point west on the island, about another 45 minutes out from this outpost.

We stopped here for lunch and decided this was my opportunity to paint, being that they’d be gone for about 3 hours, just enough to paint a large 20×16. Not quite enough time to scout views to my satisfaction though, so after a few false starts trying to find a way up the hill for a better view, I settled for this one of this outbuilding and blooming cactus that I saw from the road on the way here. Only afterward did I see on a map just how close I was to the path I was looking for to get up the hill. That is my first regret.

My second has to do with the fact that behind this building, and nestled in behind these old cypress trees is one of the oldest buildings on the island, dating back to 1860. That would have been a neater thing to paint, but I just didn’t see a good angle to paint it from. Also I’m not sure I was technically allowed to paint that building after asking about some other old buildings on the island’s interior and being told that I wasn’t allowed to paint them according to the Nature Conservancy’s rules… I’m going to do my best to not speak about that anymore… but that said, I’m not even sure I was allowed to paint this building either, but what’s an artist to do? We paint stuff that catches our interest. But still the older building would have been extra cool if I’d found a good vantage point. That is my second regret.

My third regret is not seeing the furthest point on the island. This might have been the only opportunity I’ll ever have had to make it that far and see it with my own eyes. Forced to choose between a remote vista without painting, and a just-a-little-less remote vista with painting, it was an easy choice, but not without some pain.

And one final regret was the cold beer I left behind at the cabin. That would have been amazing out here, but perhaps appropriate.  After all my group left me behind here to paint an old outpost that was left behind from the ranching era on an island that in many ways seems to have been left behind by time itself.

“Her Quiet Time” $495

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2019

Price: $495
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation
Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$240 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$177.6 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$0 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$0 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$0 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$25 – Painted from Private Land: Yes, but with Permission
$75 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$0 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$0 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$0 – Poison Oak Observed: None
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$0 – Mosquitoes: None
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$0 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$-25 – Shade/Sun: Plenty of Cool Shade
$3 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$-25 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Distracting, but Nice

$-25 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Snacks
$0 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Nothing, if it looks good in the painting, I probably lied.

$ – Other:
_________________________________________________________________________

$495.6 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
The Chumash people lived here first. The Earth Mother’s name was Hutash, and she planted a particular plant on this island, from which the people emerged fully grown. They were cold until they were given fire by lighting from that old Sky Snake, the Milky Way, the Earth Mother’s husband.

The people were fruitful and multiplied. Happily. Their songs and laughter kept Hutash up at night. At last she couldn’t bear them any longer and she decided to make a bridge out of a rainbow from the distant peak in this painting all the way to a high peak on the mainland. Off they marched. Told to keep their eyes on the mainland, some looked down and became dizzy. The fallen ones were turned into dolphins by Hutash to keep them from drowning.

The people continued to prosper on the mainland as well, but they were no longer so crowded on this island and presumably the Earth Mother slept.

She must have still been sleeping when the Spaniard’s and other European’s arrived, because things got really weird at that point. In a few short generations things quieted down even more. Disease took it’s toll. The sheep’s wool was rendered obsolete by the Slavemaster’s friend, the Cotton Gin. The vineyards were thwarted by that Old Grump, the Prohibition.

A few brick buildings and rutted roads were built, but there is only area in the entire interior valley that sees regular human activity now, and even there it is generally quiet. Access is tightly controlled and looks like it will stay that way for awhile.

When she awake’s I hope the folks who now own most of this island are prompt in cooking her up a nice cup of coffee and explaining to her how it is that they wandered back over that bridge and down into the valley from Devil’s peak. And speaking of her high and beautiful mountain, the foundation of her rainbow bridge, just who named it “Devil’s Peak” anyhow? And where did the rest of her children go?  And why aren’t there more songs and laughter? Without them she overslept, and we can only hope her slumber was sweet and restful.

“Down Harbor Blvd, Just Past the Airport” $792 | Miles Hiked: 5.1

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 20″
Year: 2019

Price: $792
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation
Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$400 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$177.6 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$0 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$0 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$0 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$25 – Painted from Private Land: Yes, but with Permission
$75 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$153 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$0 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$0 – Poison Oak Observed: None
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$0 – Mosquitoes: None
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$0 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$50 – Shade/Sun: Cooking in the Hot Sun
$12 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$-25 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Distracting, but Nice

$-50 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Cold Beer
$0 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Nothing, if it looks good in the painting, I probably lied.

$-75 – Other: Picked up in Truck and Saved from 3.5 Mile Hike Back
_________________________________________________________________________

$792.6 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
How fortunate I am to be here today. That thought is never far from my mind. A rare opportunity to walk the interior of an Island generally off limits to regular folks who aren’t wealthy, or well-connected. This view was the glimpse of the coast at the end of a 4 mile hike. I may never see it again. It’s hard to say. There’s a lot more I’d like to say, but it will have to wait for another day.  For now it’s enough just to say thanks to the fine folks at the California Coastal Commission for letting me tag along and briefly enjoy a weekend on this land with them.

“Balance of Powers”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 24″ x  36″
Year: 2019

Notes: Painted live to benefit St. Joseph’s Family Medicine Residency Program.

These live paintings usually auction at events for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand on the far upper end. Not that this means a whole lot in the big picture, but we were pretty stoked to witness this one sell at the auction for $11,500. That’s the highest price I’ve seen a painting of mine go for in Humboldt. We thought that was pretty cool.

Ok back to the regular programming…

“Russian Past”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
A moment that caught me from years ago… A ship full of Russians. A profit up for grabs. An attempt, a failure, a repeatedly stillborn idea in search of an execution. A fight in the wind. A hillside unfolding. A mocking picnic. A friendly master. A seal and its fur. A life of luxury. A scouring of underbrush. An impenetrable fortess. A ruinous fog. A poverty of time. A series of perilous u-turns. A blind corner. An RV and a cop and a gang of wealthy bikers. A fort in the woods. A newspaper man. A better luck next time and a wave goodbye. A million other vistas, a thousand other years. A return. A breakthrough. A next time is now. A single car pullout. A perfect location. An elevated view from the top of the van. A car rushing past. A tap of the brakes. A question is asked. An answer is given. A lack of cash. A return to my business. A quiet allusion to our Russian past.

“Rogue Showers”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
Like a sleeping dog, I lay on the floor listening to the passing showers. There was no need to race daylight now. The smell of coffee. Slow conversations. Three times I moved toward the door with this hilltop in mind, only for the rain to return and thwart my progress. Another cup of coffee before I go. With each cup the day looks a little brighter- the results of caffeine or the weather, I’m still not sure which. When the bottom of the mug revealed itself dry, so did the pavement outside, and that was my cue. Up the hill in the ominous gray, a gusty wind keeping things interesting. The view is worth it all. My only goal was to at least get something started before the next shower chased me off this hill on which I now stood at the easel in what would prove a brief window of clarity. Frantic sketching led to frantic painting, which led to frantic packing up during the start of the next downpour.  Upon returning to shelter and looking at what was produced I was surprised at how well it came together considering the adverse conditions that birthed this scene.

“There Goes the Neighborhood”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
Painted for a family who wanted to create a memory of the view of their neighborhood from the deck of their home. They welcomed me into their home. They watched and we enjoyed conversations while this painting unfolded before them. They put me up and let me crash on their floor for a few nights as I painted the area. They showed me where the good foods are along this stretch of highway. I hope their landlord doesn’t jack their rent up yet again so they can continue to live in this great little niche they’ve found for themselves.

“Jim Denevan’s Gift” $604

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Price: $604
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation

Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$400 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$104.7 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$0 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$0 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$0 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$0 – Painted from Private Land: No
$0 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$0 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$0 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$0 – Poison Oak Observed: None
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$0 – Mosquitoes: None
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$16 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$50 – Shade/Sun: Cooking in the Hot Sun
$9 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$-25 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Distracting, but Nice

$0 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Nadda
$0 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Nothing, if it looks good in the painting, I probably lied.

$ – Other:
_________________________________________________________________________

$604.7 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
Jim Denevan is an artist whose medium is the beach. I mean that in a very littoral way. And no, that’s not a misspelling. Look it up if you need to. I’ve been aware of his work for years, but haven’t had the opportunity to watch him at work in his studio until today. I was in town for a quick visit and looking to paint somewhere along this stretch of coast when I spotted him down there raking sand into perfect alternating spiral patterns (his were far more perfect than I drew them on my canvas). The minute I saw him and the patterns he was making on the low tide sand I knew I had to paint this homage to a hero of an artist, whose work washes away daily with each incoming tide.

“Mist and Light”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
Although I had hoped for more, this was the only painting I did of California poppies on an entire monthlong May road trip… it wasn’t a massive bloom, but it was a bright band of poppies right on the side of the road. I couldn’t just pass it by. The scene was beautiful, yet subdued by a constant mist that battled the sun off and on the entire time I stopped to paint this view out of the side door of the van.

“A Window of Light” $531

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Price: $531
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation
Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$400 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$177.6 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$25 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$10 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$0 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$0 – Painted from Private Land: No
$0 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$7.5 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$0 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$0 – Poison Oak Observed: None
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$0 – Mosquitoes: None
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$0 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$10 – Shade/Sun: Partial Shade
$1.5 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$-25 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Distracting, but Nice

$-75 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Cold Beer and Snacks
$-50 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Really Fun

$ – Other:
_________________________________________________________________________

$531.6 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
I was supposed to go a lot further today. I didn’t get past this point though. After a few hours in the water, laughing at the hypnotic little waves spinning down the point, I knew I was going to paint here as well. Passing showers were visible on and off in all directions as the sun took it’s turn hiding behind the clouds. Every once in awhile a window of light would fall in such a way that made everything seem timeless- as though the surfers and their park rangers and the tourists and the railroad barons, and the cattle ranchers, and the Mexican land owners, and the Spanish elites, and the chumash who lived in a small village right here after crossing the rainbow bridge were all seated silently, just out of sight from one another admiring the same beautiful scene.

“What Lies Behind”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
Lifestyles of the rich and famous. Movie stars. Music icons. The just plain wealthy. It’s a rare day for an artist like me to walk through the gates that lead to this little slice of paradise. I had to paint fast because my host for the day was only surfing for an hour or so, and I didn’t want to keep him waiting around. The gate had a padlock on it that had to be unlocked weather going or coming. If he were to leave, I would be locked in. Trapped, with nothing but my paint gear, a bottle of water, and a granola bar. Could be worse I suppose, but the rich and famous can be pretty snooty. I was releived to make it back to the van without incident. Oh, and at least one of these rich and famous folks has no clue what they’ve done in planting bamboo in the bare ground in the little gully along the access path behind the gate. Give it time. It will win. But on the bright side, I’ve watched Gilligan’s Island and happen to know that nearly anything you can think of can be made out of bamboo, so there is that to look forward to. Ginger will be right at home.

“No Harm, No Foul”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
I was thinking this would be a simple little painting to start my day. It was in some ways. But it was also a bit nerve-wracking. Nestled between boulders I painted the morning away, and marveled at just how quiet the trains that run this line have become. I barely heard them coming. The stretched cotton canvas hummed in vibration as they passed by just a few steps away.  I was safely out of the way where I stood, but it was startling every time one snuck up on me. At one point I was visited by a security gaurd for the ex-president’s compound just behind me. I thought I was getting kicked off the tracks, but apparently he didn’t care much what I did. He had a call that some idiot was standing on the train tracks down below and had to respond to it. He made sure I knew it was stupid to be there, and I assured him that I was smart enough to know just how stupid I was, and with that he was off and back to his tea and scones or whatever ex-presidential security guys do when they’re not investigating idiots on the train tracks. No harm, no foul.

“Modern Lines”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2019

Notes:
I’ve walked over and beneath this line many a time. I’ve jumped from the tracks to flee the train. I’ve marveled at the burnt beams and wondered that entire trains could be held up by charcoal and memory. Apparently others wondered too, and decided on that eternal upgrade- smooth concrete. Impervious to the hobo’s fire. It’s not the same, but nothing is ever the same. The quiet train, now electric glides overhead. You don’t even hear it coming, you only feel the ground shake and then it’s upon you. Be careful out there. Write your name on the asphault with surf wax. Write your name on the concrete with paint. Try not get your name engraved in the concrete over your head before your proper time.

“Midday Flats”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2019

Notes:
Standing here today, it’s hard to beleive this is one of the focal points of high-performance surfing in California. At times there are thousands packed onto this beach to watch professional surfers compete at this very spot. But not today. There is no one. Looking down the coast from here brings back a lot of good memories for me as well. I’d wanted to come down and spend a whole day wandering and painting here, but the wind had come up and ripped the ocean ragged, making the chore difficult and the inspiration harder to come by. I’m not sure what it was that struck me about this little scene, but there was a simple elegance to it that caught my eye. Or that might have been a piece of sand caught in my eye. Or maybe both.

“Inclement”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
I was invited to see the view of the coast from this private community today. It did not disappoint.  Also not disaappointing was the hospitality shown by my host, who gave me the tour of the entire coastal estate’s prime views, who sent his kid off on a bike in a successful search for amazing shrimp tacos, and who welcomed me into his home for no other reason than that he liked what I was doing and wanted to open up a few views for me that would have been hard to access any other way. Hero status. Also not disappointing was the inclement weather- the passing showers and threats of rain that came and went but never quite unleashed and allowed this painting to drift to it’s completion unaffected. There was one huge disappointment though. I scraped up the remnants of the previously mentioned shrimp tacos with this rad little travel utensil set my wife gave me as a van-warming gift, and then proceeded to toss the metal fork in the waste-bin afterwards. Nuts!

“End of the West”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2019

Notes:
It’s the end of the west. It’s the setting sun. It’s a trainwreck that’s only just begun. It’s a crowded bar. It’s the law of the land. It’s illicit ativities obscured by hot sand. It’s a war at sea. It’s the first shots fired. It’s victory in sight, though not the one desired. It’s a shift in the wind. It’s an outgoing tide. It’s the last man standing as the captain died. It’s a history lesson. It’s the name of the street. It’s a blank stare from the strangers we will never meet. It’s childhood freedom. It’s only in jest. It’s just getting started but it’s the end of the west.

“The Hectic Pace of Modern Life”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
I’d started this one from the roof of my van much earlier on this trip. But there was no VW in the foreground, just that white truck. And it bothered me. The whole composition was messed up by the dead space beneath it. I’d tried to live with it. Sometimes I have the tendency to cram too much information on to every inch of canvas. Not details necessarily, just information. Lots of brush strokes, interlocked, dancing. It can be a nice effect, but sometimes equally nice to let the quiet spaces just be quiet once in a while. I think I thought that would work when I painted this, but it never really did. So I went back and parked in the same spot and waited for someone to pull in beside me and paint their car in the foreground to break up that dead zone. But it was a quiet day here. Everyone must have been busy keeping up with the hectic pace of their modern lives. Or maybe they just looked at the webcams streaming into their living room to tell them there was no waves, and just one van with a bearded dork sitting around on top of it scratching his head and drinking beer- sometimes at the same time even. No matter what the cause though, the effect was that there was no cars to paint at all. So I did the next best thing and painted my dad’s 76′ VW from memory. I grew up in that van. I was one year old when he got it, and he’s kept it all these years in great condition. My wife and I drove from Long Beach, California to Long Beach, Canada and back in that van on our honeymoon. We lived in for nearly three months. I know it pretty well, so I figured I could bluff a sloppy rendition of it just about as well as I could attempt to accurately paint something else if it had pulled into the lot.  I took my time and enjoyed myself, reveling in the hectic pace of my modern life.

“Oh No, Not Today” $522

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Price: $522
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation

Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$180 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$228 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$0 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$10 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$25 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$0 – Painted from Private Land: No
$0 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$0 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$0 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$0 – Poison Oak Observed: None
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$0 – Mosquitoes: None
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$20 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$50 – Shade/Sun: Cooking in the Hot Sun
$9 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$-25 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Distracting, but Nice

$0 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Nadda
$-25 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Good Enough

$ – Other:
_________________________________________________________________________

$522 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
I was supposed to meet some visiting Northern California friends here for an easy morning surf. I figured I’d roll down, even though I was pretty far up the coast- it’s not very often we see each other outside of Humboldt, or even in Humboldt for that matter. After a surf, I’d hang, maybe paint, just see what they day would bring.

One of them backed out the night before on account of a less than favorable forecast, but I’d already made the plan and figured I’d meet the other one that was still planning to go. On my way down, that friend backed out too, citing the same crummy conditions. Oh well, I’d already gone this far, and besides, even with a bad forecast there’s always still something to surf here.

But oh no, not today. It was the worst day of surf I’ve ever seen here. And I’ve seen some bad ones and surfed em anyway.  I could always paint, but even that was tough. My usual approach to this place is to paint the bustling parking lot full of cars and scattered surfboards. It’s a living piece of California surfing history here. But alas, not today.

And so I present to you here this iconic mecca of carpark surf culture, as absolutely empty as you may ever see it.

At least it wasn’t raining.

“Winter in Summer” $675

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Price: $675
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.

View Full Price Breakdown

Matt Beard Art- Plein Air Original Painting Documentation
Price Breakdown:

Base Price:
$400 – ($1.25 per square inch)

Travel:
$177.6 – Approximate distance from Eureka, CA ($0.3 per mile)
$50 – Overnight Travel
$0 – Sleeping in Van
$0 – Tricky Urban Camping

On the Ground Logistics:
$0 – Paid Parking
$0 – Illegal or Questionable Parking Required: Nope
$0 – Parking Ticket or Citation Issued

$0 – Painted from Roof of Van (that platform wasn’t cheap)

$0 – Painted from Private Land: No
$0 – Posted ‘No Trespassing’
$0 – Harrassed by Authorities/Told to Leave
$0 – Citation for Tresspassing Issued
$0 – Fence/Gate Hopping
$0 – Barbed Wire
$0 – Blood

$45 – Hauling Gear on Foot ($30 per mile)
$0 – Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
$0 – Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Requiring Use of Hands: None
$0 – Full On Bushwhacking: None

$0 – Poison Oak Observed: None
$0 – Bee/Wasp/Other Painful Insect Bites ($15 each)
$0 – Mosquitoes: None
$0 – Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing: None
$0 – Tick Bites ($125 each!!)

$0 – Wind ($2 per mph)
$0 – Shade/Sun: Mostly Overcast
$3 – Heat/Cold ($1.5 per degree farhenheit above/below 65)
$0 – Crowds/Questions/Human Element: Nice and Quiet

$0 – Sustenance Provided by Others Before, During or After Painting: Nadda
$0 – Fun Surf At Location Before, During, or After Painting: Nothing, if it looks good in the painting, I probably lied.

$ – Other:
_________________________________________________________________________

$675.6 – TOTAL COST

Notes:
A further experiment in letting the paint run and not developing every part of a painting equally. In this case the showers in the distance were rendered by the unpredicatable run of thin paint washes, with a bit of occasional help from the rain itself. With the exception of the yellow bloom in the foreground, I didn’t want to focus at all on the ground where I stood, and chose instead to put all the attention on the succession of points receding into the distance. An iconic view for those who know this coast. But most know it as a sunnier place. I was here painting in late may, almost summer, but the weather was decidedly winter. What could I do but embrace it?

“A Hard Rain”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
Recently I’ve been really enjoying the rough stages of my underpainting process, where the canvas is all awash in thin coats of transparent paint, dripping, running, colors bleeding together in an unhindered enjoyment. When these loose rough sketches come together, it’s often a disappointment when I go to finish them. I find there are parts of a painting that I really enjoy developing more than others. I’ve been thinking of how to leave some areas unworked and just focus on the parts I want to focus on. The rains that have been threatening and following me around on this trip have got me thinking to just let the paint run in those areas and this was a first attempt to embrace the “unfinished” in my work. In this case it was the dark foreground hillside. I was drawn to the drama of light on the distant scene, and just didn’t want to get bogged down in rendering the foreground rocks and grass with the same degree of attention as I wanted to give the ocean and cove in the distance- so I didn’t. I just painted it dark and let it run… and left it be. It’s an ominous effect, but I like it.

“The Beautiful Mountain”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2019

Notes:
The name of this place translates to Beautiful Mountain. Every evening the sun sets behind that distant hill and on an evening like this it’s easy to see why the name was chosen. Working fast in the rapidly changing end of day light, I tried to convey some sense of the crispness of color and light that saturated this scene. Not sure how successful I was in being true to what I saw and felt, but the results have their own sort of charm. I’ll call it a tie.

“Bird, As a Weapon”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 24″ x 12″
Year: 2019

Notes:
I grew up near here. Technically in this city, though a bit removed from this scene. It’s a very industrial coastline, and one I’ve mostly avoided throughout my adult life until this day. Folks come here from the hectic city to unwind on the beach, or deal drugs, or eat at hip restaurants, or mumble incoherent profanities at anyone within earshot. It’s decidedly urban, and at times urbane, at other times profane. It takes all kinds. Welcome to the beach.

I’d found this perch overlooking this beach bike/pedestrian path. Occasional walkers, joggers and bikers formed an infrequent stream of traffic on otherwise quiet day. But the real action came from the Birds. Not the ones in the air, the ones on this path, being ridden by folks of all feathers and stripes zipping from here to there. Those things are everywhere nowadays.

Right behind me, separated by a wall of plexiglass, were the well-to-do afficionados of a beach front craft brewery. I like beer. Standing in the humid sun, sweat beading down my face, lost in the minutae of industry in this painting. That thin plexiglass may as well have been a mile wide barrier of concrete and steel. I wish it had been. I tried not to look back at it, and all those cold beers being swished around.

At one point there was a commotion on the nearby pier just out of frame and to the left. Cop cars came driving down the bike path. Dozens of them gathered from all directions. I still don’t know what happened out there. Later that day I saw a news report that a woman was killed in this city, beaten by a scooter.  We… people that is… we can be monsters.

I don’t have any moral to this story. It’s just how the day unfolded as I went to revisit and paint this stretch of coast that I mostly only remember from childhood.

“The Deep South”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2019

Notes:
Not many see this major metropolitan city in California from this vantage point. Let’s call it the deep south. I was tired and cooked from a day of painting nearby in the humid sun, but couldn’t resist this view on my hike back to the van. It’s one of the faster paintings I’ve done at just under an hour, start-to-finish, in the field and another 2o minutes of minor touch up back in the studio. But it seems to work. Sometimes they just click together. Good thing too, because the mosquitoes were hungry.

And so was I.

Moving right along.

Scroll Up