12.03.2008

Lost Coast Sketches in Northern California

It was a winding 23 mile trek over King Mountain to arrive at Shelter Cove from Route 101 (or as Californians call roads, "the" 101) and the Avenue of the Giants. Shelter Cove is true to its name, a Lost Coast haven which seemed to favor campers who enjoyed their perch between a mountain and a cliff. We'd literally traversed into the light after having been in overcast conditions for two days.

After walking a little on the black sand beach, I went back up the stairs to paint at a handy picnic table near the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse, a beacon which looked short according to East Coast standards, but when added to the cliff below equaled one of East Coast stature according to the plaque. I painted less than an hour, decided I was happy with the sketch, and opted to go for a stroke limited sketch considering the appropriate pastels were still out and accessible, also considering I wasn't being beckoned back to the car just yet.

I guess my approach going from more complex to less was bassackwards, but it was fun to do. I enjoy challenging muscle memory and the second one is clearly done after the first with confident and distinct strokes. I'd begun with the idea of doing 20 strokes, then was laughed at by my companions in good natured fashion when I actually stopped counting. Regardless, it took less than five minutes. They were on to me for being sneaky and getting in a second painting, so it was time to head out.

Shelter Cove
5x8.5" White Wallis

Shelter Cove in Limited Number of Strokes
5x8.5" White Wallis