This is the last painting I recall painting along our local coastline before the summer road trip season kicked in. I had recently rebuilt my painting kit to be lighter and fit on a smaller pack with the ability to carry multiple freshly painted still-wet stretched canvases hands-free on a single outing. This was the maiden voyage for the new setup. It performed quite well and has since been trail-tested (and off-trail-tested) all over California, from the border fence at Tijuana, to the Smith river on the Oregon border- hiking through terrain that would a have been a nightmare with my old giant rig and no way to safely carry a wet canvas, let alone 4 at a time.
This coast is so beautiful here in Humboldt, I sometimes wonder why I bother to leave it at all and why don’t I just paint here all the time? It really boils down to a lifelong passion for exploring the California coast. After all, that’s what brought me here in the first place. I’ve never had more fun in my life than in these recent years taking the time to put myself out there in the fringe places and walking off into the mist and returning not just with paintings, but with experiences of new places and the joy of revisiting old favorites. Still though, when it’s time to leave here and hit the road it’s like plowing forward into a mighty headwind. You have to really want it. The easy path is to just stay and paint these vistas here and keep it easy and sleep in a real bed without wondering about a cop tapping on the window of the van in the middle of the night.