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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Adventures of a Plein Air Painter Wanna-Be

"Pirates Cove"  9 x 12 pastel

We recently visited the Morro Bay, California area.  My hubby went off to golf, and I had a few hours to go paint somewhere.

It was very, very WINDY the entire visit, and I was having problems with watery eyes and worry over my easel taking flight.  First, I went to a winery in the San Luis Obispo area because I heard it had a picnic area and a lovely view.  TOO WINDY AND COLD.

Next, I drove to Avila Beach, because a friend said it was much more protected than Morro Bay.  TOO WINDY there too, in fact, the sand on the beach was blowing.

I remembered seeing a little winery in the canyon that I passed on the way to Avila Beach, so I started to head out there.  But as I drove out of the town, a road that wound up the southern side of the bluff looked like it might offer a great view of the ocean from the top (for a photo only).  It said it was a dead end, so there was no worry of getting lost.  The name of the road was Cave Landing Road, named after the caves that are in the sea cliff that was saw from Avila Beach.

At the end of the road was a large dirt parking lot and people hiking.  So I took my camera and headed south on the trail.  On the other side of the sea cliff was a beautiful (AND CALM) cove and beach!  It looked protected and quiet - not too many people there.

So I went back to my car and got my backpack and pastel box and tripod and headed down the trail.  A man who had arrived on his motorcycle while I was getting my gear out of the trunk, was headed down after me.  He started to chat with me.  He said he noticed I was from Nevada from my plates, and asked if I'd ever been here before.  No, I said, this is the first time.

"Do you know that this is a nudist beach?" he asked.....

Uhhhhh, noooooo.....I said.

"Just thought I'd give you a heads up" he said.

"Yeah......thanks....I think I'll paint from the bluff.....Does this beach have a name?"  I asked.

"Pirates Cove" he said.  (It is not listed on the map!)

So, just before I went down the last set of beach access steps, there was a grassy area I could set up and still be away from the people (who, by the way, were way far away at the most southern part of the beach).

I had a great time and it was a sheltered area that only got a few gusts.  I got to enjoy watching the seals sunning on the few rocks in the water, and sea otters playing in the seaweed that was in the cove.  The water was gently ebbing and flowing.  People came and left via the stairs and spoke to me about the painting and the seals and what a nice beach it was.  Some other people like me just happened on this beach and they said they "stayed away from the far end"!

Just as I was finishing up, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a male "bather" walking toward me along the beach.  TIME TO GO!


jeremycgreen said...

Great piece !

ti-igra said...

Carolyn, your story - is a fantastic trip for me! :)))
And I love your pastel! I feel like I am sitting on the bank with you and looking on the ocean's waves! I love this point of looking!!! :)))
P.S. Sorry for my silent, my dear friend!
I am always looking on your news ;) I missed you so much!