Hole in the Fence

Plein air artwork from the San Luis Obispo county coast near Ragged Point in central California

Artwork Notes:

Under the barbed wire, across a bluff top meadow, promising lines appeared bending around the nearshore reefs. Don’t let the painting of this dreamy lineup fool you. Sure, in a still moment, it was a vision of perfection, but taken in the 4th dimension of time, it was nothing more than a broken promise. At least today. Broken lines, appearing, shifting, disappearing, reappearing at random across the reefs.

Except that one section, time and time again, it would suck out and rifle off a short makeable line before chaotically disembarking itself on the scattery dry rocks inside. I still don’t think it was truly rideable except perhaps with the right company and a certain state of mind, maybe not drunk on wine, but perhaps a bit intoxicated with old fashioned fun. And a beat up board. Maybe a helmet. Ok, probably not, but still maybe…

But whether the waves ever shape up or not, something happens here, as the worn path under the barbed wire fence testifies. Sometimes hunting for waves is high tech, satellite imagery and swell forecasting. Other times it’s a bit more primitive, scanning the ground for broken twigs and tracks not well covered, tracking an elusive prey. The hole in the fence here certainly falls under the latter category, though it could just be good fishing grounds. I’ve got a lot of mental notes on places like this up and down the coast.

It doesn’t matter too much to me if the clues lead to good waves or not though, it’s the process that I’ve come to love. This holy fence led to a 2 hour surf check in the early morning standing alone on a remote piece of coastline while studying the color and spacial relationships of the land and sea with paint.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Hole in the Fence"
Original Size: 16" x 12"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2017

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 08/22/2017
Region: The California Coast > Central California > San Luis Obispo
Road Trip: Southern Central California 2017

Artwork Logistics:


Access Logitics: Private Property, Fence or Gate Hopping Required, Barbed Wire
(Painted Without Permission)
Geological Hazards: Steep or Unstable Cliffs
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!
Weather Logistics: Threatening to Rain


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