Huge sand dunes line the southeastern side of Monterey Bay, some, I am guessing, over 60 feet high. Created by the constant ocean and winds, the dunes form a barrier between the bay and inland areas such as the towns of Marina and Seaside, plus the fertile Salinas Valley. The dunes are a patchwork of sand, ice-plant, grasses, and other vegetation. Wildlife is also found here with shorebirds, raccoons, coyotes, squirrels, and a unique legless lizard.
At one time, when this was part of Fort Ord, the dunes were populated with rifle ranges, munition depots, and other military installations. There was even an immense officers club and recreational facility overlooking the bay, which eventually fell into disrepair as the coast eroded beneath.
We frequently take walks along the coastal dunes of Monterey Bay near our new home in Marina. This painting is a pathway to Marina Dunes Beach and Preserve. What drew me to this scene is the late afternoon sun filtering through the trees and lighting up the colorful ice-plant. The ocean was not visible from this viewpoint but I wanted to orient the viewer to where you are. So, I did use a little artists license, and removed some of the dunes so you could see the bay and surf. I did this piece several months ago, but was not entirely satisfied, so dabbled on it a bit off and on. I might dabble a bit more, but call it finished…for now.