Many will ask when they examine this curious website full of paintings of the California Coast why no specific locations are named anywhere on this site. If this thing was supposed to be some sort of guide to the California Coast, it would surely be one of the worst ever made. So be it. For as long as I can recall I’ve had a sometimes awkward policy of refusing to name locations.
The primary reason for my restraint is respect. As a lifelong surfer, I know the frustrations that crowds can bring. As a lifelong lover of the outdoors, I also know the damage that we can collectively do to the natural beauty of a place when we arrive en masse. Many places I paint are vulnerable to both of these problems and out of respect for those that live there and seek regular solace in these off-the-beaten path settings, I make every effort to celebrate their beauty without handing the keys to the kingdom over to the Legions of the Unjazzed, to borrow a phrase from Phil Edwards.
Sure, I could name the obvious ones and not worry about revealing what is already widely known, but even that could bring unwelcome attention by making those hidden treasures all the more conspicuous just by their lack of specifics. By withholding the easy answers, I am providing something greater in exchange- a journey of open-ended discovery. Those who know will know, those who don’t will instead wonder and seek and find on their own.
The world is an open book out there, but you gotta turn your own pages…
Welcome to California. Please enjoy the trip. And remember to do your part when you’re out exploring your own Golden State- be kind, drive safe, pack your trash, and leave no trace. Thanks!
– Matt Beard