The Back Road

Plein air artwork of a ranch road leading up to Hollister peak near San Luis Obispo on the central California coast

Artwork Notes:

 As it happens, on this morning all of my plans were thwarted by that mother of all disruptions… No, not the pandemic, this was 2019- way before all of that. No, this diabolical mocker of all my good designs for spending a day under the sun will be with us long after this covid stuff is just a blip in our memory. I’m talking about a far more formidable foe here.  

Fog. On. The. Coast.  

Couldn’t even see the other side of the highway, let alone the ocean, so I found myself scouring the hillsides and back roads on this otherwise bright and clear morning for something to paint. Once I’m off the coast I get a little bewildered and turned around. It’s a struggle to stay motivated. But I was here to paint so I kept on and this little ranch road caught my eye leading up toward one of the many rocky peaks that dot this landscape. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but this would be a significant piece to kick off this tour of the area, the peak itself being one of the most personally meaningful locations I’d paint on this trip- hallowed ground for sure. But that’s a story for later on… 

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "The Back Road"
Original Size: 16" x 12"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 07/13/2019
Region: The California Coast > Central California > Not the California Coast > Somewhere in California (Just not the Coast) > San Luis Obispo
Road Trip: SLO 2019

Artwork Logistics:


Vehicular Logistics: Painted from Roof Platform on Van
Weather Logistics: Painted in Full Sun with no Shade
Temperature: Uncomfortably Warm


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