Mourning and Remembrance

Plein air artwork of a shipwreck near Cayucos on the San Luis Obispo coast of Central California

Artwork Notes:

By day they theorize, philosophize, and lay their eyes on this predicament from old lawn chairs behind a makeshift barrier of plastic tape. By night they await the higher tide under the spotlight, searching for answers, but generating none. Once a proud vessel, named for nobility, now on the rocks, without the gin, or perhaps because of it if the wind spoke truly. Each morning brings a new revelation, coffee and binoculars the potent ingredients of this daily vision quest. She is a solar eclipse, her shining brightness now darkened by the lesser light. Shucked like an oyster, removed from her shell of open water, she now sits waiting for the ocean to swallow her hull.

The heiress watches on, a mix of rage and longing, as she carves an homage of color to the one she once knew. All the while they watched this maiden work and no one said a word. It is no different with you or I. While our voyages may end differently, still every voyage must end and we can only hope there is a daughter by our side to mourn and remember us when our day arrives.

True story.

The boat got stuck on the rocks here just before the solar eclipse last year, and over a meal of oysters with my friend in the area, @gnosart, I learned the boat used to belong to her grandfather and was originally named after her brother. I told her I wanted to paint it, and convinced her to come with me the next day and we stood on the bluff and painted while the captains came and went. I could have just told you this plainly right off the bat, but the whole thing was too poetic to introduce like that. 

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Mourning and Remembrance"
Original Size: 16" x 12"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2017

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 08/24/2017
Region: The California Coast > Central California > San Luis Obispo
Road Trip: Southern Central California 2017

Artwork Logistics:


Travel Logistics: Had to Sleep in My Van
Miles Hiked: Less than 1 Mile
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!
Anthropological Hazards: Other Painters


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