“The North Shore” | Miles Hiked: 4.4

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

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…

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