Geological Chess: The King and His Rookery

Plein air oil painting artwork of Pebble Beach in Crescent City on the Del Norte Coast of northern California

Artwork Notes:

I rarely paint with oils, but I’ve done several over the last few years, sneaking them in to the mix here and there as I feel like it, just to remind myself that the grass really isn’t any greener in oils, the morning dew just takes a lot longer to dry.

Most of my paintings are done with acrylics- albeit a specific formula designed to dry slower than your typical art store variety, but yes, water based, dry in hours instead of days, months, or years. I love the simplicity this creates in my workflow on the road as well as the immediacy it creates on the canvas (thin coats dry in minutes) allowing bold changes of color without scraping and/or risking turning once vibrant fields of color into mud. Mix the color, place it on the canvas, don’t noodle around going for anything too painterly, or get bogged in details. Just get ‘er done and move on. Which is how I paint in oils as well, by the way, it’s just a bit more of a chess match where moves need to be planned a bit further in advance.

That said, I generally avoid discussing my medium too much. I love art in general, and truly don’t evaluate a painting I see based on it’s medium. I look for color and form and a conveyed sense of place and time. Those things speak to me. I don’t much care what was used to get there.

The 10 year old kid that wandered by and ended up watching me paint nearly this whole painting from start to finish wasn’t even slightly concerned about my chosen medium, but he would have you know that there was a seal on the beach that I did not include (to be honest I never did see it- my eyes aren’t the best), and also that this painting looks “real” if you get further away from it. So there you go.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Geological Chess: The King and His Rookery"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Year Painted: 2018

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 09/04/2018
Region: The California Coast > Northern California > Del Norte

Artwork Logistics:


Geological Hazards: Awkward Footing on Uneven Terrain
Anthropological Hazards: Sketchy Human Interactions
Weather Logistics: Painted in Full Sun with no Shade


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