“Head Games”

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

After a long morning walking around the coast here, showing the out of town crew the lay of the land, I wanted to take them to this vantage point. I had my reasons, though I didn’t tell them. This is one of the most iconic perches on the coast. The view (looking north, not the way I painted) is incredible, and one of the most painted and photographed vantage points in Humboldt. But for me, it’s always a struggle how to make it work as a painting. Something always seems off. A rock placement here, a compositional problem there. It’s so good, but at the same time, it’s full of spacing problems that are easily missed until a painting is fully committed to at which point it’s too late to do anything about. At least for me. I wanted to see how these guys would approach this scene, seeing it for the first time in their lives. As for myself, I found what shade I could while it lasted and painted this direction instead. I like to check the surf from here on small days off this headland, so it was a painting I knew I would enjoy and it would spare me from the problems facing the other direction. Was I playing head games with these guys, or just trying to learn from them. It’s a hard call. But they nailed some beauties, so it certainly didn’t faze them either way.

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