“Most Wanted”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 20″
Year: 2017


I’d been wanting to paint this stretch of coast for years. It’s not a place I’ve visited much, but even driving by as a kid learning to surf years ago, this area called to me. The deepwater reefs and powerful surf was out of my league and for the most part probably still is, but the angle of the coast looking nearly due east to the place of the rising moon (no moon at this time, it was around the time of the solar eclipse, so if you’re a moon person, you know that happens around a new moon, but you should see this place when the full moon rises… oh my, but I digress). As much as I am drawn to this area, it seems the police are drawn to me here as well. I’m a slow cautious driver and don’t get pulled over much, but I was pulled over right here, maybe 8 or 10 years ago, driving an old GMC van. Pretty sure my muffler fell off just prior to being pulled over, but that’s not what the officer said I was pulled over for. He said my license plate light bulb was out… I think he just wanted to take a look in the van and scope it out all the contraband. He started by asking for my driver’s license. I handed it to him and in the photo on the license I was actually clean shaven, and he looks at my big old bushy beard and back at the photo and says “I don’t see a beard on here” to which I say “no, no it’s on there officer” and proceed to point to my last name. (These days I’d have likely been pulled out of the car and pinned down for reaching out the window like that, but like I said it was awhile back.) He laughed and changed his hole tone after that and let me go. Didn’t even write a fix-it ticket.  Fast forward to this day, and while painting up on this hill, a police car pulls up just at the base of the hill and I see the officer in the patrol car watching me up here. I knew it was fine to be here, but it stirred some fun memories. Then, I kid you not, even as I packed it all back down to the van, another officer pulls up and watches me load my gear back in the van. Not sure what that’s all about. Matt Beard. Fugitive van driving art guy.

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