Just the Basics

Plein air artwork of VW buses at San Onofre State Park in San Diego County on the Southern California Coast

Artwork Notes:

Written on March 24, 2020

Back when I painted this one and called it “Just the Basics” it just made sense. What I meant by that expression then seems today almost extravagant. Surfers generally tend to have a simple mindset. It doesn’t take much to make a good life, no need to chase money in circles if the good things are already at hand. A few friends and a few waves, and it’s all good. Throw in some burritos and beer and we are kings and queens in our royal court.

Now that we’re all mostly confined to our homes, watching the world crumble, it seems this episode we’re experiencing now is going to be hard on us all. For some it will bring inconvenience, for others desperation, for still others it may well be life or death. No matter where we land, I don’t think anyone will be unaffected. The world will never be the same. Looking back at all the art I’ve made over the last year and haven’t gotten around to sharing yet, it all suddenly feels out of date. From a different era.

I know the lock-down stay-at-home thing won’t and can’t last forever, but who knows what life will be like on the other side of all this? The new normal. It’s anybody’s guess.

But with all my road trips cancelled for the time being, and with all the places and people I look forward to seeing on my usual travels suddenly off limits, I look forward to the return of simple times like the day this was painted. Hanging on the beach on a long afternoon with strangers and friends alike sharing waves, food, high-fives. Just the Basics. The glorious, luxurious, extravagant basics. One day…

Be safe out there!

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Just the Basics"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 05/10/2019
Region: The California Coast > Southern California > Orange County > San Diego
Road Trip: Maycember 2019

Artwork Logistics:


Parking Logistics: Paid Park Entrance Required
Vehicular Logistics: Painted from Roof Platform on Van
Biological Hazards: Food/Drink Delivered and Consumed While Painting
Anthropological Hazards: Surfers Are The Worst
Weather Logistics: Threatening to Rain


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