Two Weeks to Discover Reality . . .

“Oregon Sunshine”
Watercolor 15 x 22 inches
This month my wife and I took a road trip from south of San Francisco, California to the northern most tip of Washington State.   Some 4300 km and two weeks later, we found ourselves at home and I was completely excited about getting to the easel.   We had seen some of the most incredible views of the coastline during the entire trip.  The Oregon Coast and the Washington Coast hold surprises around every corner!
Huge rocks jut unexpectedly up out of the water displaying their immensity against the sands and flotsam of the shoreline.   When seen in photographs, one cannot imagine the scale of these behemoths. People appear as teeny insects when near them!
I took my paints along for the ride hoping to get the chance to execute some endearing scenes, but, alas, the weather was wet most of the time.  When it wasn’t wet, we seemed to be on some mission to be someplace other than at the easel.   On another note, I have always shunned painting in the fog.  To me it has always been depressing . . . . too gray, no shadows, no contrast, etc.  But this trip up the coast of the Pacific Northwest really changed my view of the fog.  I came home completely excited to attempt to capture the restful, beautiful mood of it.   And so I tackled it.  Or so I thought . . . .
What I discovered was the dreaded fear of forgetting how to paint had come true!   I have been so far away from daily painting and improving my skills that I had to face the reality of my fear.   All of us artists have such fears (and others).   For the last two years I have been doing everything BUT painting!  
So a day of reckoning has presented itself.
What am I doing about it?   Painting, of course.   Every single day since we returned home.   Not only painting, but I am putting myself into the toughest circumstances . . . painting outdoors, in the wind, the cold and the fog . . . . right next to the crashing waves here in Santa Cruz.   I have more to post about this in the coming days, so stay tuned.

5 thoughts on “Two Weeks to Discover Reality . . .”

  1. HI Mike,

    If you like the coast and find the fog interesting and beautiful in its own way, you should contact Mendocino Art Center and teach a workshop there. You stay on the campus and can just walk right down to the headlands and drink in the enormity of the waves, rocks and yes the fog. Also you have a key to your classroom so after class you can go to the headlands and then come back inside the classroom where it is warm and paint what you got out of your walk to the ocean. Really cool!

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