Don’t Eat Us

Plein air artwork from Tunitas Creek on the San Mateo coast of California

A pristine beach. But after the first impression of paradise subsides, one is greeted by the scattering of utter filth left behind by those who were here before. Oh, I know it’s not me or you. It’s Them, of course.

Sure, this painting makes it look rather nice, and no doubt if you make it down to this beach and wander far enough from the access points, you’ll find a truly beautiful remote beach, but along the way you’ll have to close your eyes to some hard truths about your fellow humans. It’s
only a bit of trash, I know in the big picture many would say that’s a fairly small thing. It’s not nuclear war, it’s not systemic genocide, it’s not violent oppression. It’s not even close to that. It’s just people, broken and flawed as we all are, looking to get away from the stress of busy lives, in need of release, getting back to nature, howling at the moon, reveling in friendships, in love, in a beautiful reckless abandon. So what if They lose their mind a bit and get a little careless about what They leave behind? I’m certainly not here to cast any stones.

But the Beast that is Us devours everything.

Forgive Them, They know not what They do.

Forgive Us, as we forgive Them.


-Entry on September 9, 2017

I’m not entirely sure what I was even getting at there with the prayer at the end of this painting’s notes. When I see what we do to these beautiful places that don’t have a maintenance staff constantlypicking up after us and hauling away our trash, it just makes me sad, that’s all. A little mad perhaps, but we’re all in this thing called life together, so yeah, mostly just sad.

And why didn’t I paint the trash then? I’ve done that before, nobody likes to see it. So I figured I’d let the art focus on the beauty and use words for the rest.

Artwork Information:

Artwork Title: "Don’t Eat Us"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2017

Additional Artwork Information:

Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 09/09/2017
Region: The California Coast > San Mateo > Central California
Road Trip: SF/San Mateo 2017

Artwork Logistics:

Miles Hiked: Less than 1 Mile
Botanical Hazards: Lots of Poison Oak!
Biological Hazards:
Weather Logistics: Painted in Full Sun with no Shade
Temperature: Uncomfortably Warm

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