Month: January 2023


The greatest meeting of land and water in the world.

–Landscape artist Francis McComas
Carmel Highlands, 8×16, oil on board

Point Lobos is not too far from my new home in Marina.  Considered the crown jewel of California’s coastal state parks, the views are endless and I could spend a lifetime painting just there.  Although I have painted there more times than I can count, it had been awhile!

The Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters were meeting there, so joined in.  Usually these paint-outs are as much a social event as creating great paintings.  Today, I wanted to do a good piece for possible upcoming shows, so went early, prior to the 10 o’clock meeting time, arriving before 9 am.   I was astounded being the first car in the parking lot!  Usually it’s full and congested all day long.  Although the artists were scattered over a wide area, my guess is about a dozen showed up for the paint-out.

The surf was still high from recent storms, and the biggest I have seen in the preserve.  WOW!!  Waves were pounding and crashing the rocky coast, sometimes splashing, as a guess, over 30 feet high.  You could feel the thundering surf on your chest!!  Stupendous!!

I took a little hand trolley to haul my equipment, hiked around to the south part of the preserve and painted a scene looking south.  The coast along this area is called Carmel Highlands, with a number of mansions clinging over the rocky cliffs.  The famous photographer Ansel Adams lived there in his later years, and Clint Eastwood and other Hollywood luminaries  own quite a bit of property there.  His production company, Malpaso Productions is named after a creek there.  The Eastwood movie “Play Misty for Me” was mostly filmed there, among many, many, others.

Spending a little over two hours, got a ‘keeper’.  Although I was painting from Point Lobos State Preserve, actually, none of the preserve is in the painting!  As usual, I might touch it up a bit. Simplifying the surf a bit, and add a few more strategically placed rocks, might help, but doesn’t really need much.

The Sea Otters Realm

It has been raining seemingly nonstop since Christmas and with my son in town for the holidays, there has been no time to paint. Today was the first day out painting since the new year. I joined the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove, CA.

The surf was still high from the recent storms, so we had quite a bit of wave action on the rocks. Here’s a few photos of the day—

I painted a little over an hour of the rocks at Lover’s point, it turned out OK. With a little touchup, it’s probably a keeper!

It was a sunny and glorious day. As we painted, I could see a few sea otters just offshore enjoying the sunshine and their fresh caught seafood.

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