New Work. And a San Diego Popup Show!
Greetings. Been another fair while since my last send, but here we go again with a small batch of new work. I still haven’t been as productive as I was pre 2020, but stoked to get a few done when I can these days. All of these are still available.
But before we jump in, I want to give you a heads-up that I’ll be heading this week to do some painting in Arizona (Prescott/Grand Canyon/Sedona areas). It’s not my trip. I’m jumping in a van with my art pals Wade Koniakowsky, Norm Daniels, Greg Gorgas and a few others to go and seek out a different beauty than the coast can offer. I think it’ll do me some good.
And if you’re in the San Diego area, read to the end of this email for details on a quick one-day pop-up show upon our return on October 12 in Carlsbad, CA. It’s been awhile, I’d be stoked to see you there!
And by the way… did you know you can sort all the California artwork pages on my site by geographical location from north to south now? You can, it’s fun. It’s like a road trip. Check it out here. Just scroll till you find a spot you recognize and all the pieces will fall into place. Good times geeking out with art. In keeping with that theme here’s the new work from the last few months in geographical order, north to south. Enjoy!
Rags to Riches
20” x 16” | Full Price: $743 | Early-Bird Deal: $650
A road closure not too far north of this headland made for a quiet night sleeping on a highway pullout. The view I'd come for was obscured by the marine layer which hovered about 200 feet above sea level so after a quick cup of coffee and some grumbling in the mist I made my way down to a gap in the barbed wire fence that I spotted passing through the previous evening.
I'd wanted to explore this zone in the past but had been met with barbed wire, no-trespassing signs, and poison oak encroaching all over what might have been a footpath behind an abused portion of fencing. There's times we face challenges that we must dig deep to meet. That's when we see what we're really made of. On that occasion a few years back, I dug deep and found an excellent reason to go somewhere else. I don't recall the reason now, but it was pressing, let me tell you. Otherwise I'd have ventured boldly onto that sketchy poisonous path in a heartbeat. Ahem. Yes.
But I told myself I'd come back another day and this was the day. In a fortunate twist of fate, I was greeted this time by signs stating that the trail was open to the public during daylight hours. And through more frequent use the oak had been beaten back into a much more manageable submission beside the path. I should have grabbed my gear right then, but I got so excited that I charged down the path driven by curiosity and coffee and made my way out to this vista greeted by poppies and a sweeping view up the coast. Stumbling on this scene after being denied in the past was like living through my own personal rags to riches story.
Sure, I had multiple commissioned paintings I needed to get done today, and sure, the fog had lifted and mostly burned off so I could have made a mental note and come back for this after being responsible and getting my paid "work" out of the way first, but I'd already left this place for another day once and I wasn't about to do it again, so it was off to the van for my gear and back again. A good way to start the day.
Also of note: came across a big fat snake in the grass on my way back out the second time. Probably just a garter snake of some kind, but he was a thick one. I try to tread lightly out there anyway, but after seeing this bugger I tried my best to float over the trail instead.
12” x 12” | Full Price: $474 | Early-Bird Deal: $450
Ever since I’d heard about the remains of this old pier at the bottom of a steep cliff, all covered in graffiti, I knew I’d need to paint the place. The morning fog kept me from being able to paint another cliff top vista nearby so I took advantage of the weather to paint these remains from a close distance where the fog wouldn’t obscure my subject completely. I didn’t know the graffiti would read “ether”. Seemed appropriate to me on this day where even one’s own thoughts seemed to vanish in the ether of fog every few steps. Halfway through painting the sun burned the fog away and a beautiful morning light hit the remains and I went after it as people came and went for their moment of fun on the swing, only to quickly disappear into the ether and be gone again.
Sorry Not Sorry
16” x 12” | Full Price: $975 | Early-Bird Deal: $750
So this was different. There's a really great beach park 6 miles north of here that I hadn't painted for awhile. I was on my way through the area and thought it would be fun to return and see what I could do with it after a few years of pushing my art process a little further along. I had the idea to hike to a small bluff just north of the park and explore for a different view from over there. I made it about ten feet from my van and then had an idea.
I recalled reading recently that you could hike to the lighthouse 6 miles south of the park at low tides. I didn't say I had a good idea. But I did have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just before setting out from the van so I figured I'd be good to go and off I went on a whim. Just to see how far I would get. You know.
The tide seemed favorable, so I just kept going, and going, and going. All the way to the end of the beach. Now I didn't read anything too closely, I just thought I saw that I could walk to the lighthouse and when the beach came to an end at a sheer cliff, the only route to go any further was up a trail past one no-trespassing sign after another. I couldn't be sure I was doing this right, but I recognized the name on the sign as belonging the previous owners of the property and so I figured the new owners had some deal with the state worked out for access and just hadn't removed the signs yet. Sounds good, right? I thought so too.
So up the trail I went and over the bluff, marching in broad daylight right up to the turning point of all of California. Just before ascending the knoll was another gate of sorts, with new signs, this time from the Coast Guard saying that only authorized personnel were allowed. I'd come this far to see the light house that I was sure that I read I was allowed to see, so yes, authorized I was. A bit of an odd feeling, tromping past one sign after another with a creeping sense that I'd made a wrong turn or missed something somewhere.
But up I went and checked out the whole scene. Didn't see a single person out there. Desolation row. I took some photos of the lighthouse itself but the wind was beyond next level and I wasn't having that, so I settled on this view from a shaded and sheltered spot in front of some old living quarters on the back of the knoll, looking due East! It was a view I had not expected to paint this day, or any other anytime soon.
I had to work exceedingly fast as the day was getting long, the tide was coming up and I had to jam 6 miles back to the car on foot before dark since I was just parked in the day-use spot. I was hoping for a burger at the park store too, but I had a sinking feeling the grill would be long cold by the time I made it back.
Tired and half-broken from the high tide rock scrambles, but proud to have two dry boots after numerous close calls, my tired body smiled as wide as my happy soul as I raised my feet and ate my second peanut butter and jelly sandwich of the day in my van before moving on.
Later on I read a little more about the hike to the lighthouse. I was supposed to stay on the beach at the lowest tides and see the lighthouse from below. My bad. Sorry, but not sorry. It was an amazing day and my conscience was clean on this one. Ignorance can be beautiful like that.
20” x 16” | Full Price: $726 | Early-Bird Deal: $650
Not much to say here, just a nice day on the southern California coast. Just a little something easy for those going through some hard times.
Post-edit: I’m on my way to San Diego right now to meet up with the rest of the grand canyon trip crew. Passing through the Orange County coast I’ll keep my eyes out for this giant oil spill that just hit these shores. Hard times indeed. I’m hearing lots of different reports, but none of it sounds good. Hoping for the best.
Something Not So Easy
20” x 16” | Full Price: $674 | Early-Bird Deal: $650
If the previous painting of the day was titled Something Easy, well this would be the opposite of that. This place is hard. In many ways. And so was this painting. For a long few minutes, I didn’t think it was ever going to work to get this down the beach perspective. But what a dynamic place to hang and paint on a cool summer evening, I left the beach buzzing.
None Shall Pass
16” x 12” | Full Price: $695 | Early-Bird Deal: $595
An arch that’s been painted once or twice or a thousand times before this, and will be again by countless others walking these shores.
All I know is that at least on this day they’d better approach from the south, because there was no getting past the rocks on the north side like I had first tried to do. A steady stream of snap-shotters and well dressed selfie-seekers poured into this arch as I stood and painted, and everyone one of them stopped and turned around to go back to from whence they came.
None shall pass.
(For effect feel free to picture a pirate sitting on the arch spitting and cursing all of us softies down below, the dirty soles of his feet swinging in the wind overhead, while the barrel beside him leaks almost as much as the streams of rum running down his beard*. Ok, let’s try it again.)
NONE SHALL PASS.
*I am not the pirate. Any resemblance is purely coincidental and imagined.
20” x 16” | Full Price: $558 | Early-Bird Deal: $495
The pier is condemned. And the scene at the foot of the pier is… interesting. Police patrols. Dealers. All manner of modern American riff raff.
Let’s call the man by the stairs Jacob.
In the biblical narrative, Jacob “took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.”
Our Jacob sleeps with his head on the concrete.
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth…”
Ours is a cement stairway with metal handrails.
“and the top of it reached to heaven and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”
And ours is the top of the pier where couples in love stand and take in the cool salt air, because when your bed is the stone of concrete wherever you lay, and you have made some bad decisions and maybe even burned some bridges with your own family so now you have nobody to help you in your loneliness, well… the gulf that stands between your sad state and that of a couple in love on a pier in the sun may as well be the chasm that separates heaven and earth themselves.
What is wild is that it is often the Jacobs of this world that God chooses for the greatest things.
20” x 16” | Full Price: $611 | Early-Bird Deal: $595
I came with a plan.
The plan was to paint these sculpted arches and coves and the sea at work around them while ignoring everything else. Forget the palms, forget the houses, forget the sun and the sky, forget the boulevard, and forget its name along with my own and just get lost in the weathered sandstone and rhythms of water and paint.
But I also came with a van. With a roof platform. And four other artist pals. And a cooler full of ice cold beer.
Next thing I knew I was up on the van painting, well, everything.
No Van is an Island
20” x 16” | Full Price: $573 | Early-Bird Deal: $525
Another view from the roof of my van. To be honest I pretty much just painted this because the prime parking spot had just opened up. It was a busy morning on a bright summer day and I was worried if I didn’t stay here I might not find another parking place all day. I opted for the rooftop view not as much because of the compositional possibilities it offered (I actually liked the view from below a little better), but because it would give me a buffer from all the busy activity below. Throw some headphones on and I could be in my own private outdoor studio for the next few hours and that sounded just fine to me.
Even still that didn’t stop friends from passing by, climbing up on the roof to check things out, grabbing beers from my cooler below and having a generally fine time.
But what could I do? After all, it’s just like they say…
No Van is an Island.
Wade’s Driveway Open House Pop up Show!
Tuesday, October 12
2 - 6:30pm
1889 High Ridge Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008
That’s right, after this upcoming trip to Arizona and the grand canyon and all that, I’ll be posting up at my buddy Wade Koniakowsky’s house (well mostly his driveway) and showing these new works and anything else I can paint between now and then, including the Arizona pieces. I haven’t had an event in San Diego in a few years and I’d really be stoked to see anyone that can make it. We’ll stay outdoors and try to have enough beers. Bring a cold six pack to share for the best deals.
Ok, and that’s all for now. Thanks for powering through this one. Holler quick if you need one of these and we’ll sort it out. Hope to see you at Wade’s House on the 12th!
And as always, thank you for your support that has made this art life possible. Heroes, all of you.