25 New Paintings! Part II
Paintings 11-16: Catalina. Humboldt. Monterey.
Thanks for continuing along this journey. Hope you enjoy part two!
Part II: Catalina. Humboldt. Monterey.
3 days. 4 paintings. 1 painting in the middle of the night. 2 minivans, 1 boat, 4 golf carts, and 1 kayak used for transportation.
It was a summer of anniversaries. Prior to our 20th, it was my wife’s folks’ 50th and what they wanted to do to celebrate was invite all of their kids and grandkids (and even son-in-laws) to Catalina for a few days. A little awkward with the pandemic/distancing rules in full effect, but it was well into summer when things were a little more relaxed for a while. Another not-exactly-a-painting trip, but somehow when I packed my bags all sorts of art stuff just jumped in there. What to do?
Houses of the Doves
The view from where we stayed (thanks mom-and-pops-in-law!). Sometimes I hike miles for a painting. Other times I stumble out the back door after a long slow morning and there it is.
Idylls of the King
Did you know that King Arthur’s famed sword, the Excalibur, was forged here, and that this is the island where King Arthur himself passed away? Ok, that’s not true, but the little town tucked behind this little cove on this desert island was named after the island in that very legend, as recorded in the English poet Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Idylls of the King in the late 1880’s. I’m no king but this was a rather idyllic setting to paint an afternoon away, that’s for sure.
Tower of Song
There’s a tower that watches over the city here and has been tolling its chimes on the quarter of the hour between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm since 1925. Unless Jani Eisenhut is feeling musical. I’ve heard that this lifetime local hops in and and plays whatever she wants on the organ’s chimes, whenever she wants. What a beautiful freedom. Two things. One, she is my hero. And two, we should all have our own tower of song in which to play for the town whenever we please. These paintings are mine. I hope they’re ringing clear to wherever you are right now.
The Gamble of Art and Culture
They call it a casino, and yet aside from placing the riskiest bet known to man - betting on art and culture - no gambling has ever taken place in this building. When it was built, Vegas wasn’t much of a thing yet, and the word “casino” was still just an Italian word that means “gathering place”. And so it was the gathering place for art, music, performance, film, dancing and culture in general in this small island town.
This Will Never Be Shut Down
Painted during the first week or so of lockdowns back in March of 2020. Businesses were shutting down. The roads were growing quiet. The air was crowded with questions, but the land and sea had answers of their own. Some things will never be shut down. You can shut your eyes, but you can’t stop the world around you. And the waves keep rolling in, and the flowers keep blooming, and the birds keep flying, and we know deep down that we won’t be confined to these bodies forever.
The End of Love
We knew things were about to get interesting, news of the pandemic was just ramping up in February. And here I was in Tourist Central, painting one of Monterey’s iconic focal points. We were not social distancing. We were in each other’s faces, breathing each other’s breath, like lovers but still strangers from all different parts of the world. The sun was setting and things were about to change. The Distance was about to come to us all - that new cold distance where fear would become an illegitimate surrogate for love.
But I wasn’t thinking about any of that yet, I was headed for Big Sur the day after I painted this, and I was stoked. Read Part III and you’ll see why.