It’s funny. Here is one of the major epicenters of California. You’d think that, given its importance to the state, I’d have spent a lot of time painting this stretch of coast.
I haven’t. I’ve mostly avoided it, to be honest. It’s hard to find parking. It’s stressful. It seems to be one of those areas where people will walk right over you and not think twice. Especially if there’s a celebrity nearby. And there often is.
The most troubling part of it all is that it leaves you very few choices. Adapt, or be trampled. The aggressive side of our human nature seems tailor-made for places like this where sixteen lanes of speeding metal spiral their way around this basin in a mad rush to get down the drain.
Drive in at night for best effect. Go a little faster. Turn the radio up. Marvel at the police
helicopters shouting orders at the moon. Laugh when it resists arrest.
Love it or hate it, this is also California.
When I was asked to create this painting for the California Gold Vintage Surf Auction, I
knew I’d be keen to redeem the coast here from the stereotypes that are so common… and so commonly true. I wanted to show another side of this coast that I love.
The hills outside of the city are breathtaking, and while much of them are owned and
divided among the millionaires, they are largely undeveloped as well. These open space Old Testaments tell of the way things have always been. The moon rises and sets unimpeded out here, the same as it always has. And while the city is full of dreams and ghosts, busy chasing gold in the fast lane, the rabbit trails outside of town are paved with it.