Trifecta: Ticks, Wind, and Poison Oak

Plein air artwork from Santa Rosa Island in the Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Southern California

Artwork Notes:

I didn’t have to hike far from the cabin for this one, I just wanted to peak a little around the corner of the beach straight out in front. There’s a small hill that blocks the view here, so I made it my mission to get on top of this hill and paint from there. The afternoon light here has always struck me as special. But just because it wasn’t far doesn’t mean it was easy. I had to tromp up a steep hill with all my gear, slow-dodging poison oak, paint in a howling wind, perched on a steep awkward grassy slope, constantly checking for ticks after picking up at least one while wading through the high grass to get here. A perfect trifecta, if you will. Ended up working a bit faster than usual, just to get out of there, but that lends the piece a nice urgent honesty and I’m glad for it in the end.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "Trifecta: Ticks, Wind, and Poison Oak"
Original Size: 16" x 12"
Medium: Acrylic on Birch Panel
Year Painted: 2019

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Plein Air
Date Painted: 03/18/2019
Region: The California Coast > The Channel Islands > Santa Barbara > Southern California
Road Trip: March 2019

Artwork Logistics:


Miles Hiked: Less than 1 Mile
Hiking Terrain: Deep Creek or River Crossing, Climbing or Vertical Scrambling Using Hands, Off Trail Wilderness Tromping, Full-On Bushwhacking
Vehicular Logistics: Extra Vehicular Assistance Needed
Extra-Vehicular Requirements: Boat Required for Access
Access Logitics: Fence or Gate Hopping Required, Barbed Wire
Geological Hazards: Steep or Unstable Cliffs, Awkward Footing on Uneven Terrain
Botanical Hazards: Lots of Poison Oak!, Thorns and Brambles
Biological Hazards: High Grass- Tick Country!, Ticks Observed on Skin or Clothing
Anthropological Hazards: Roaming Scientists
Weather Logistics: Painted in Heavy Winds


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