Dance of Days

A plein air artwork painting of Moonstone Beach on the Trinidad coast of Humboldt County in northern California

Artwork Notes:

I have some playlists of music that take me back to my school days- 80’s punk mostly with a slant toward anything connected to the D.C. bands that followed and evolved from Minor Threat and got caught up in the Dischord Records slipstream. One of these must have been playing when I painted and I ended up naming this one after a song by one such band called Embrace. I also remember a hippy lady dancing on the beach below as I painted the scene from the roof of my van. It was an interesting juxtaposition, the jarring noise and rapid tempos of the music in my headphones, while this flowing nature woman grooved to some other internal rhythm only she could hear, each in our own world- creating, and recreating in our own ways. ⠀

Come to think of it, there were people all over this beach that day, I’m not sure why I didn’t include any of them in the painting. It’s not usually an intentional decision. I just see right past them. Maybe it has to do with being a bit of a recluse naturally. I’m not anti-social, I love people, and all kinds of people, even the crazy ones, but personally I may have some anti-social… tendencies… I suppose. ⠀

There’s nothing better than painting on the edge of a cliff far from the well-worn trails where I’m more likely to be startled by a racoon than another human. I only paint in the more crowded places out of necessity (my goal is to paint the entire California Coast- or as much of it as I possibly can, and it certainly does get crowded at certain times and places). ⠀

When I do find myself in these situations, it’s often standing on the roof of my van with headphones on cranked to 11 in order to tune out all distractions and just fall in love with the land and sea all over again. Nobody can get in my world when I’m up there unless I let them in. ⠀

In these days of social-distancing, I admit I have enjoyed the reduction of social activities. But darn it if I don’t miss you guys out there. If you see me painting on the van, come on up if you like, or at least give a shout from below. And if you’re a groovy nature lady, well, just keep dancing that dance of days.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Dance of Days"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 06/30/2019
Region: The California Coast > Northern California > Humboldt

Artwork Logistics:


Vehicular Logistics: Painted from Roof Platform on Van
Anthropological Hazards: Other Painters
Weather Logistics: Painted in Full Sun with no Shade


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