Hold Your Ground

Plein air artwork overlooking Becher's Bay and Santa Cruz Island from Santa Rosa Island off the coast of California

Artwork Notes:

I spent this morning drinking a bit too much coffee in the kitchen of a bunkhouse with a group of college students. Well not drinking coffee with them, I was just on a trip here with them. They had science to do, and science doesn’t care if it’s raining or not, so they were out counting species along designated transects to compile a visitor’s guide in the nearterm and add to the overall observations for future reference in the longterm. Or something like that. I was just the resident artist on this trip. At any rate, they were out there counting in the rain, so there I sat sipping away, watching out the windows for blue skies as the downpours came and went.

At last, the blue skies won out and it was time to go hunt a painting. I’d had my eye on this old Cypress tree that overlooks this bay so I went straight to it and went to work. During the course of the painting a few showers passed by, some getting pretty close. It was a battle of nerves for a tense while as the sky grew dark with one final band of showers that passed by a little too close for comfort. I was in deep on the painting and didn’t want to pack up, so I just nervously worked through it, holding my ground. The weather is a mean opponent in these games of plein air chicken, but in this case she swerved at the last minute and I was spared for the time being…

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Hold Your Ground"
Original Size: 16" x 12"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 03/18/2019
Region: The California Coast > The Channel Islands > Santa Barbara > Southern California
Road Trip: March 2019

Artwork Logistics:


Miles Hiked: 2-4 Miles
Hiking Terrain: Off Trail Wilderness Tromping
Vehicular Logistics: Extra Vehicular Assistance Needed
Extra-Vehicular Requirements: Boat Required for Access
Botanical Hazards: Some Poison Oak Observed
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!
Anthropological Hazards: Roaming Scientists
Weather Logistics: Threatening to Rain, Rain!


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