The Great Escape

Plein air artwork of beachgoers escaping the heat at Carpenteria beach on the Santa Barbara coast of California

Artwork Notes:

This was from a heat wave last July that saw temps in the 100’s at the water’s edge. If you could find parking, you could attempt to cool off in the water with your family and everyone else that lives in a hundred mile radius and who have no AC at home and who are flocking to the ocean to cool off, just like you. (We’re all one family anyway when you get down to it yeah?)

You guys know I don’t paint human figures much, and it certainly shows here. I couldn’t avoid them this time though. I didn’t make much effort to get em’ right. Mostly I was just interested in conveying the activity and atmosphere of a midday heat wave at sea level.

I don’t know that I’ve ever painted in trunks at the water’s edge before, but it sure was nice to paint for 10 minutes then run out and bodysurf a little shorepound, then paint for another ten minutes, then repeat the cycle maybe 5 or 10 times throughout the painting.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "The Great Escape"
Original Size: 20" x 10"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2018

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 07/07/2018
Region: The California Coast > Santa Barbara > Southern California
Road Trip: Heat Wave Tour - July 2018

Artwork Logistics:


Miles Hiked: 1-2 Miles
Hiking Terrain: Pounding Pavement, Trudging Through Soft Sand
Geological Hazards: Surging Waves/ Wet Boots, Stinking Tar Balls
Biological Hazards: Aggressive Seagulls/Birds
Anthropological Hazards: People Drinking, Crowds with Lots of Questions
Weather Logistics: Painted in Full Sun with no Shade
Temperature: Cooking Hot


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