Ticks Are Evil


Artwork Notes:

7th day on the road, 20th painting completed, 2nd one this day

This is another place I’ve wanted to paint for a long time, but it’s quite a walk from the road and just hadn’t had the time on previous trips. I knew the angle I was looking for, but it would require a fair bit of off-trail work to get there. Fortunately it was pretty much open grassland I’d have to cross, though the signs warning about ticks were a bit unnerving considering I the amount of shoulder high grass I was about to wade through. These paintings don’t happen without some effort though, so a quick tuck of all the loose clothing, a moment of prayer, a few deep breaths, and I was off.waawa

I made it through the grass and roughly to the vantage point I was aiming for, but off by 100 yards or so to the south.The wind was howling as it does in these parts in the summer (and, well… always) and unfortunately the vantage I was looking for faced the wind directly and the cliff face below even magnified it. I could head back through the grass or traverse the sandy cliff face over to the spot I was aiming for. Ticks being evil, I went with the cliff face. With the gusts of wind and all my gear flapping about it was dicey at best. And straight down 100 feet or so to rocks below at worst.

Did I mention these paintings don’t happen without some effort? Well, they don’t.

I was happy to get back to the van after this one. Nothing blew off the cliff (including this body I live in). I didn’t even see a single tick after an entire afternoon of constant checking. Go figure, but I still say those little buggers are evil… maybe not quite full blown evil, but somewhere on the spectrum I reckon.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Ticks Are Evil"
Original Size: 20" x 16"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2017

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 07/15/2017
Region: The California Coast > Northern California > Sonoma
Road Trip: Mendocino/Sonoma 2017

Artwork Logistics:


Travel Logistics: Had to Sleep in My Van
Miles Hiked: 2-4 Miles
Hiking Terrain: Off Trail Wilderness Tromping, Full-On Bushwhacking
Geological Hazards: Steep or Unstable Cliffs
Botanical Hazards: Some Poison Oak Observed
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!, Mysterious Insect Bites/Stings
Weather Logistics: Painted in Heavy Winds, Painted in Stupid Strong Wind that I had No Business Trying to Paint In, Painted in Full Sun with no Shade


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