Heard from Across the Valley


Artwork Notes:

4th day on the road, tenth painting completed, first one this day

Some paintings I’ve seen for a long time before I painted them. When painting plein air it can take awhile since you’re not pulling images out of your imagination, if there’s a painting rumbling around in there, you have to wait until you put yourself in the right place at the time of day that painting is asking for.

This was one of those. I’d seen this rambling creek, this cove, this shaded valley in the morning light for awhile in my mind. I had a few different locations I was hunting for it on this foggy morning. The first two were beautiful, but the angles were wrong and the morning fog was a bit too thick to work with. Pressing on to this last option I thought had potential, the clouds breaking and lifting just as I arrived, I was a bit giddy at the site before me. It looked even more like the painting than the one I was seeing in my mind.

The freshly mowed poison oak/berry brambles lining the road here provided adequate space to pull over and work from inside the van, which was great since I didn’t want to set foot on all that chopped poison oak anyway.

Nothing about this painting ever really felt like work, it was just a pure joy reacting to the scene before me and listening to the steady crack of breaking waves on the sandbar that built up around this rock stack. I could hear them clearly from all the way across this valley.

But I saw this painting coming from much further than that.


The morning fog lingers
Until we finish our last cup of coffee together
Her timing impeccable
Her exit silent and unnoticed
Some folks just hate
Saying goodbye

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Heard from Across the Valley"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2017

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 07/10/2017
Region: The California Coast > Northern California > Mendocino
Road Trip: Mendocino/Sonoma 2017

Artwork Logistics:


Parking Logistics: Questionable or Illegal Parking Required
Vehicular Logistics: Painted from Inside the Van
Access Logitics: Awkwardly Close to Cars or Trains, The Shoulder of a Busy Road/Highway
Weather Logistics: Fog Battle


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