If These Walls Could Speak

Plein air artwork from the cove at Rincon Point on the Santa Barbara/Ventura coast of southern California

Artwork Notes:

This is a busy place. Especially after spending a week painting in virtual solitude on one of our offshore islands. Back to humanity. Parking lots. Attitudes. Spandex bikers. Beach joggers. Warring 12 year olds. Addicts teetering on the razor’s edge of their future. Social media selfie hounds. Freeway traffic. All of this and a perfectly foiled right point. Some call her the queen, but few are those who truly respect her crown. Her benevolent rule is oft mistaken for an invitation to take, take, and take some more.

I failed to convey all the day’s action in this painting. Instead I was drawn to this little driftwood shack (itself a satellite shack from a much larger and heavily used complex of impromptu structures) and the contrast it provided to the exclusive beachfront homes that line this fabled shore.

Solid walls of plaster. Crumbling walls of driftwood. Holy walls of water.

The things these walls have seen. All of them. The stories could fill volumes.

They won’t be told here.

The walls themselves are the only story I saw today.

Oh and the squirrel that nabbed my trail mix from my bag…gone. And the very oddly placed cooler full of Coronas that was set next to the driver door of my van when I returned. Was that intentional? No other cars in the lot. I figured if they were left accidentally, someone might return for them and be bummed to find them gone so I left them where they lie. Well, I may or may not have borrowed one, but still… a nice gesture if it was meant to be one. Thank you, if you meant it… or even if you didn’t.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "If These Walls Could Speak"
Original Size: 24" x 12"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2018

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 09/25/2018
Region: The California Coast > Santa Barbara > Southern California > Ventura
Road Trip: A Bit Farther Out (Mostly) 2018

Artwork Logistics:


Miles Hiked: 1-2 Miles
Geological Hazards: Awkward Footing on Uneven Terrain
Biological Hazards:
Anthropological Hazards: Surfers Are The Worst


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