Down Harbor Blvd, Just Past the Airport

Plein air painting of the the southern coast of Santa Cruz island in Channel Islands National Park of California

Artwork Notes:

It’s like standing on holy ground. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be here today. These thoughts are never far from my mind as I stand on the edge of this steep shore cliff and paint the scene before me after a rare opportunity to walk the interior valley of one of Southern California’s more untouched regions that is generally off limits to folks that aren’t scientists, or students, or movie stars, or rock stars, or just plain wealthy. Being that I am none of the above, I know full well that I may never see this place again with my own eyes. Who knows? It’s hard to say. ⠀

This view was the glimpse of the coast and it’s chalky white cliffs at the end of a 4 mile hike down Harbor Boulevard, just a little ways past the airport where the road ends at one of the fringier edges of the North American continent. Out here, the freeways and concrete and 24-hour rush hours become a distant memory, like those of a dream long forgotten. The natural quiet is powerful, and holds up a brutally honest mirror for our noisy modern souls to reflect upon existence. It’s a beautiful place to paint, far beyond what I was able to convey, but I’m stoked to have taken a crack at it anyway even if this is the only shot I’ll ever get.⠀

Oh, and being greeted with cold beers and the smiles of friends offering a truck ride back to our accomodations where a hot meal awaited only added to the surreal experience. If every day in the life of an artist was like this one, no one would do anything else I reckon. Every path has it’s peaks and valleys though, and this would definitely be one of the higher points on my chosen route. 

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Down Harbor Blvd, Just Past the Airport"
Original Size: 16" x 20"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 06/15/2019
Region: The California Coast > The Channel Islands > Santa Barbara > Southern California
Road Trip: The Island of Bearded People - 2019

Artwork Logistics:


Miles Hiked: 4-6 Miles
Hiking Terrain: Off Trail Wilderness Tromping, Full-On Bushwhacking
Vehicular Logistics: Extra Vehicular Assistance Needed
Extra-Vehicular Requirements: Boat Required for Access, Ride on Truck/Quad/Off-Road Vehicle Required for Access
Access Logitics: Private Property, Posted: No Trespassing
(Painted With Permission)
Geological Hazards: Steep or Unstable Cliffs
Botanical Hazards: Some Poison Oak Observed
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!
Anthropological Hazards: Roaming Scientists


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