Carmel and Big Sur

Sandy-by-the-Sea Gallery in Carmel wanted a few more of my miniatures, so I took a day trip to Carmel to drop off paintings and do a little plein air work. Nick White, one of my good plein air painting buddies came along. I decided I wanted to paint along the Big Sur coast in the afternoon rather than my usual morning stints, so we left around mid morning.

We arrived in Carmel around 11:00 and stopped by the gallery to drop off 5 small paintings, including one I just did at Elkhorn Slough, shown below.

Elkhorn Slough

Misty Elkhorn * 8×16 * Oil on board

After lunch, we headed down the coast to scout out a place to paint. What a wonderful day!! A large northwestern storm had sent huge swells down the coast and the entire Big Sur area looked like a sea of churning whipped cream. This same storm system was pounding Washington and Oregon with floods, even closing Interstate Highway 5.  I remarked to Nick that what looked like fog was actually mist kicked up from the churning water. The waves were probably 15 to 20 feet high and the ocean churn probably went over a quarter mile out.

We were at the southernmost tip of this storm system, so the sun was peeking in and out of the cloud cover. The painting mood today was definitely misty, gray, churning coastline! What a great time to paint!  Below is a shot from where we painted.


I had been doing a number of 8×16 paintings lately and really enjoyed the change from some of the more standard plein air sizes. With the grand panoramas before me, today was a good day to paint in that horizontally elongated size again. I set up fairly close to my car with a nice camping chair to occasionally rest and spare my back, so we painted for a couple hours.
Below is a shot of my easel with Nick painting down the hill a bit.


Here is me beside my easel and painting.


This is a quick snapshot of the painting sitting on my easel, the snapshot a poor representation of the painting, definitely a keeper, but maybe needs a little further touch-up.  I’ll try to get a better image in the next couple days.


We finished around 2:30 and then drove further down the coast for some picture taking and general sight seeing. We went as far as Bixby Creek Bridge, shown below. Notice what looks like fog in the background is actually mist kicked up by the surf.


All too soon, it was time to head home. What a great day trip!!