Holy Ground

Plein air painting from a volcanic hill on Santa Rosa Island in the Channel Islands National Park in southern California

Artwork Notes:

This is the view from the top of a hill that overlooks the entire crescent of this coast. Though there was no trail up here, and no clear signs of humanity in this refreshingly pristine landscape, I know I wasn’t the first to stand in this exact spot. The way the peak looms over the landscape beckoning the human spirit to ascend, it’s only natural that others have heeded that same call- both in our times and long before them. From the peak, you can feel a human presence. An old presence. A place where eyes kept watch. There is an ancient history here that doesn’t belong to our age, but to a people that did not believe they migrated here, but were rather created here (or at least just across the channel). Sure the volcanic rock where I stood is full of holes but there’s more to this title than that. Just a feeling really, but some places seem to carry a significance all their own. This is one of them. Holy ground indeed.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Holy Ground"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 03/21/2019
Region: The California Coast > The Channel Islands > Santa Barbara > Southern California
Road Trip: March 2019

Artwork Logistics:


Miles Hiked: 6-10 Miles
Hiking Terrain: Trudging Through Soft Sand, Deep Creek or River Crossing, Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Using Hands, Off Trail Wilderness Tromping, Full-On Bushwhacking
Vehicular Logistics: Extra Vehicular Assistance Needed
Extra-Vehicular Requirements: Boat Required for Access
Geological Hazards: Awkward Footing on Uneven Terrain
Botanical Hazards: Some Poison Oak Observed
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!
Weather Logistics: Painted in Heavy Winds, Painted in Stupid Strong Wind that I had No Business Trying to Paint In, Painted in Full Sun with no Shade, Threatening to Rain


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