Meet Me in St. Louis

Plein air painting of kayaks on the beach at Port San Luis on the central California coast

Artwork Notes:

A little further than the road will take you, this little cove is accessed mainly by kayak or paddleboard which means getting out here to paint while armed with just a van and a backpack is a tricky matter of… logistics! Oh, how I love logistics.

And also my friends, like my good art pal, who lives just over the hill from this spot (check her art out, she paints like she means it, you’ll be stoked). Wade and I met her at the beach a mile or so into the harbor and joined her on her family’s kayaks and paddleboards for this little venture. All the art gear secured in our fancy dry bags (hefty trash bags, good for only the quickest of dunks), we paddled across on a sheet smooth blue-bird day that gave no hints of the howling wind that would greet us on the bluff over the cove where the coast makes its turn.

I typically like to get as high as I can while painting… elevation-wise (art is its own good buzz), but the wind just wasn’t having it up on the cliffs overhead, this little perch in a nook at the top of the stairs was pretty much the only option, but thankfully not a bad option at all for telling the story of this little kayak party cove.

After an afternoon of painting in the hot dry sun, I was looking forward to the paddle back on the cool water once again. Though now that we had finished paintings in our fancy hefty sacks, riddled with holes from the sharp corners of various bits of gear, the stakes were certainly a little higher. Don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall.

We didn’t fall. (Well maybe a little bit on the final step off to the beach, but that didn’t count because the art and gear were not affected.)

Beers and fish sandwiches afterwards never tasted so good. Huge thanks to Colleen Gnos for taking Wade and I out there. 

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Meet Me in St. Louis"
Original Size: 16" x 12"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 07/17/2019
Region: The California Coast > Central California > San Luis Obispo
Road Trip: SLO 2019

Artwork Logistics:


Travel Logistics: Had to Sleep in My Van
Miles Hiked: 2-4 Miles
Hiking Terrain:
Vehicular Logistics: Extra Vehicular Assistance Needed
Extra-Vehicular Requirements: Kayak/Paddleboard Required for Access
Anthropological Hazards: Other Painters, Crowds with Lots of Questions
Weather Logistics: Painted in Heavy Winds, Painted in Full Sun with no Shade
Temperature: Uncomfortably Warm


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