Primary Swell

A new painting from the Neff Studio.

“Primary Swell, Marina”, 22×28, oil on canvas

We can normally hear the surf faintly in the distance two miles inland at our home inn Marina, CA, especially at night. But this was different. It sounded like distant crackling thunder as if a huge squall was hovering over Monterey Bay. The sound seemed to reverberate through the neighborhood.

Last January, Monterey Bay was experiencing unusually high surf and tides due to confluence of the moon, storms, etc. Some call it a primary swell. I went out early morning and did a little droning and video, eventually producing a short video, shown below.

This new painting is a drones eye view of the Monterey Bay coastline in Marina, CA. I extracted a still shot from the video I took that morning as my study for this piece. I was taken with this view as it shows the back of the wave and not your normal seascape. The sun is just starting to peek over the dunes and cliffs of Marina Dunes Beach illuminating the crest of the waves.

In case you missed it, here is the original video I produced back in January .

Marina Dunes Pathway

“Marina Dunes Pathway”, 16×20, oil on panel

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.

Fort Ord Dunes

“Fort Ord Dunes”, 12×24, oil on canvas

With sweeping views of Monterey Bay and 4 miles of beaches, Fort Ord Dunes is one of the newer California state parks.   The afternoon sun turns the foaming waves a bright silvery color, and illuminates the red, orange, yellow and green ice plant fields along the dunes. 

We have been walking the trails along this beautiful Marina coastline near our new home in Marina, CA recently and I just had to put it to canvas.