Proof of Concept

Plein air painting by Matt Beard of the California coast just north of Point Conception

Proof of Concept

Painted this one en route to a lighthouse at California’s greatest turning point. I was originally going to paint the beach park about 5 miles north of this point, just around that first bend in the distance of this painting. After walking about 30 feet north to seek a nearby view, not even getting out of the parking lot, I turned on a whim and walked south. For 5 miles. I did some things wrong. I didn’t check the tide. I didn’t consult a map. I didn’t bring any food. All I remember is reading that you could walk to the lighthouse now, so off I went.

When I reached the 5 mile mark I couldn’t go any further on the beach, blocked by the massive cliffs jutting right into the water. No lighthouse in sight, I figured I would just follow the road that came down the ravine here. Lots of no trespassing signs, I mean, they really wanted to let people know, but I recognized the name on the sign as the previous landowners and so I thought that surely these must be out of date. When I got up on the bluff I could make out the lighthouse in the distance a little less than a mile away.

I could also make out a white truck. It’s always a white truck. I don’t know why. It just is.

Well, I figured the worst that might happen is that I’d be asked to leave. I figured I could talk my way out of any situation that arose, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to talk my way into permission to pass if that’s what it came to. So after getting this far without thinking things through, I did the first smart thing I’d done all day. I retreated about 30 feet below the crest of the hill, out of sight from whoever was rolling around in that white truck, and painted this scene looking back over the coast I’d just traversed. This way even if I got kicked out of here on my way to ascend the knoll where the lighthouse was, I’d at least go home with this painting done. Proof of Concept, if you will.

-Matt Beard

Artwork Information:

Artwork Title: "Proof of Concept"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2021

Additional Artwork Information:

Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 05/03/2021
Region: The California Coast > Santa Barbara > Southern California

Artwork Logistics:

Travel Logistics: Had to Sleep in My Van
Miles Hiked: Over 10 Miles
Hiking Terrain: Trudging Through Soft Sand
Access Logitics: Posted: No Trespassing, Run ins with the Authorities, Private Property
(Painted Without Permission)
Weather Logistics: Painted in Heavy Winds, Painted in Full Sun with no Shade

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