Archive | Channel Islands

“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

PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE

 

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.

“Time Waits for No Man… And Neither Does the Boat” | Miles Hiked: 0.6

Medium: Acrylic on Birch Wood Panel
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2018
Miles Hiked: 0.6

Notes:
I’ve heard it said that “time waits for no man”, well… neither does the boat.

It was a pretty rushed scramble taking on this scene just before the boat was to depart for home. I was half-tempted to “miss the boat” just to stay a bit longer, but thought better of it.

When I started this painting of the entire scene before me, I may have bit off a bit more than I could chew in such a short time and wasn’t able to quite finish this one on location, but a bit of studio work at home from memory and I think it conveys the place pretty well.  

They say visiting these shores is like going back in time, to an older California… well, there you have it.

“The North Shore” | Miles Hiked: 4.4

Medium: Acrylic on Birch Wood Panel
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2018
Miles Hiked: 4.4

Notes:
After two days of painting one stretch of coast in this off-the-beaten-path outpost of California, I was eager to see a different part of it before leaving later this day. It would require 2.5 mile hike, while carrying a ton of art supplies up and over the low hills without a soul in sight to bring me to a completely different shoreline, facing nearly due north- an unusual arrangement on California’s coast.

I knew there were waves down below, but the trail remained steadfastly set back from the water, leaving only the unbroken lines of swell visible. Though I had not seen anyone out here, I did see a park ranger’s truck nearby at an old cattle gate. I assumed they might be out here somewhere.

What to do? Go off trail and find the view of breaking waves that I knew would await, but risk a good talking-to for my transgression if I was caught?  Or be good, and paint the nice view from the trail further up?

I really enjoyed painting these waves. Nothing spectacular, but the wind stayed light and the yellow bloom of succulents on this typically wind-swept hillside was pure joy to take in, and paint. Plus I was far enough down the hill that I don’t think anyone could have found me even if they tried.

I tread as lightly as possible and hope the beauty it shares with you offsets the trouble I may have caused to the fragile landscape. Besides, I weigh much less than a cow, and didn’t eat a single plant along the way, so there is that…

“Moonlit Echoes” $451 | Miles Hiked: 0.1

Medium: Acrylic on Birch Wood Panel
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2018
Miles Hiked: 0.1

Price: $451
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.
click here for full cost breakdown

Notes:
5th painting completed today… well sorta today. Technically I only did four during the daylight hours but then snuck this one in the late hours of night.

The moonlight falling on the crushed gravel paths made walking the trails at night a beautiful experience. The reflective white surface of the path glowed in comparison to the grass on either side. The old building here are relics from the previous era of sheep and cattle ranching- of which the cumulative effects on the islands native species and coastal topographies are still being studied today.

In the daytime it gets apparent pretty quickly that these old buildings are no longer used, but in the quiet of night it’s somehow easier to imagine them resting from the noisy activity of a long day’s work, only to rise at first light and go about it all over again. Each clanking chain blown in the wind creates another echo from a not so distant past.

In reality though, the sun has set for good on these operations. These moonlit echoes are a reminder that each day has its own dawn and its own sunset. But the moon comes and goes as it pleases

“Torrey Pine Sentinel” | Miles Hiked: 6.1

Medium: Acrylic on Birch Wood Panel
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2018
Miles Hiked: 6.1

Notes:
When most folks hear the words “Torrey Pines” they think as much about a rare variety of pine tree as they do a very specific location in San Diego- the state park named for the tree and often touted as the only place in the world where these trees grow.

But don’t worry, I’m not naming locations here, this is nowhere near San Diego, and just happens to be the only other place on earth where these pines are found.

I had hoped to march further up the hill and get a more expansive view of this grove, but sometimes when I see a painting before me, it’s hard to pass up. Especially if the day is getting late and I still have a 3 mile hike ahead of me. In this case I was battling a sense of urgency and perhaps over rushed this one. I had been out on the hills in the late afternoon the day before and really enjoyed the way the sun set behind them but still illuminated the flat alluvial plains that sweep out and form this long crescent bay. I went after it a bit prematurely, anticipating the changing light shift to come, but it wouldn’t happen for another hour or so after I was done with my shift standing watch beside this old Torrey Pine sentinel.

Some plein air paintings are created by reacting to the moment, but sometimes they are a reaction to a memory as well. That was this one.

“Beside Clear Waters” | Miles Hiked: 5.2

Medium: Acrylic on Birch Wood Panel
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2018
Miles Hiked: 5.2

Notes:
This irresistible cove is overlooked by a rare Torrey Pine. I find myself today among the only grove of Torrey Pine trees that exists outside of San Diego. The hillside behind me contains a dense grove. Do trees travel in herds?

I was drawn to this one, standing alone beside these clear waters. It seemed to me a bit of a fragile metaphor for an artist’s life. There’s safety in the herd, the job, the career, the retirement funds, stock options and all that. But the view from that office just looks at another office.

The art life is often about stepping away from the pack just a bit. Safety and comfort are traded for meaning and beauty. Like this tree by the ocean, the artist remains exposed to the battering winds that life brings. The salty air may even stunt our growth and cause our beards to whither, but out here we are alive.

Until we aren’t.

Whatever. Stop painting. Go swimming.

“Our Farther” $611 | Miles Hiked: 6.1

Medium: Acrylic on Birch Wood Panel
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2018
Miles Hiked: 6.1

Price: $611
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for more info.
click here for full cost breakdown

Notes:
I usually grumble about my heavy pack whenever I have to hike more than a mile. This turned out to be a six mile round trip to make this painting happen. But I could not complain about the heavy pack this time. My hiking companions on this morning sunrise walk were a couple of scientist fellows intent on monitoring frogs on the far side of this island, which somehow required them to carry a massive metal post and post-driver. (I’m no scientist, so don’t ask me). I guess we all have our crosses to bear, but theirs was definitely heavier today. And they were traveling twice as far. I made it back to our cabin with time for a dip in the ocean and another quick painting before dinner. We didn’t see them back until several hours after dark.

Along the way this morning, I kept seeing plenty of places to stop and paint, but something kept driving me farther along the path.

I think it was simply the desire to go farther itself. There’s something about spending yourself to get out there off the beaten paths and be alone on the face of a wild earth that gets in your blood.

The scientists and I approach this place from completely different angles, but we have a lot of common ground as well, it’s just a bit farther out.

“We Must Keep Our Eyes Open” | Miles Hiked: 3.46

Medium: Acrylic on Birch Wood Panel
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2018
Miles Hiked: 3.46

Notes:
We must keep our eyes open. First two syllables: We-muh. Wordplay for the name of the tribe that lived here for thousands of years before they were scooped up and sent away to make room for sheep and cattle and now a national park.

The opportunity to come visit this place was part of a program through CSUCI that brings students here to study this unique natural environment. This trip was designed with an emphasis on “seeing the landscape”.

That’s my bread and butter. Happy to join these wide-eyed kids who get excited about the announcement of an “ethnobotany hike” in 30 minutes.

I lasted about 20 minutes on the educational hike and then my need to see the landscape from the top of this hill won out and they sent me on my way.

What a joy to set up an easel and paint on this hill, where not many feet travel, and even fewer easels get dragged up and put to use.

Life is hard to predict, so keeping my eyes open, I know this opportunity may not come again. How thankful I am to be here today. And this is what I saw…

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