Beside Clear Waters

Plein air artwork of Torrey pine tree over Black Rock on Santa Rosa Island off the coast of southern California



Artwork Notes:

This irresistible cove is overlooked by a rare Torrey Pine. I find myself today among the only Torrey Pine trees that exist outside of San Diego. The hillside behind me contains a dense grove.

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, and all that.

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. Same as everybody else.

Whatever. Stop painting. Go swimming!

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Beside Clear Waters"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Birch Panel
Year Painted: 2018

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 09/23/2018
Region: The California Coast > The Channel Islands > Santa Barbara > Southern California
Road Trip: A Bit Farther Out (Mostly) 2018

Artwork Logistics:


Miles Hiked: 4-6 Miles
Hiking Terrain: Deep Creek or River Crossing, Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
Vehicular Logistics: Extra Vehicular Assistance Needed
Extra-Vehicular Requirements: Boat Required for Access
Geological Hazards: Steep or Unstable Cliffs, Awkward Footing on Uneven Terrain
Botanical Hazards: Some Poison Oak Observed
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!
Anthropological Hazards: Roaming Scientists
Weather Logistics: Painted in Full Sun with no Shade
Temperature: Uncomfortably Warm


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