Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Calendar Series: 22nd Month / Sunrise (1987)

Now I am beginning to remember that, over and over again, the ocean scene I was painting in the Calendar Series was from my memories of hours spent walking on the bluffs and beach at Montara on the San Mateo County coast in California, just about 12 miles south of San Francisco but a world away in terms of population and sense of place. 

On my way to the beach, I used to buy a "lunch" of golden raisins at the tiny organic food store (in those days it was called a "natural food" store) in Montara and then spend the afternoon walking and taking in the extraordinary multi-sensorial experience of feeling part of the ocean, clouds, sky, horizon, wind, sun, fog, gulls, killdeer, sanderlings, sandpipers, crows, sea lions, seals, orcas, whales, blue-sailed jellyfish, kelp, sand fleas, broken shells, driftwood, agates, chaparral-covered coast hills to the east, coastal plants growing on the bluffs and in the distinctively golden sand, all not far from eucalyptus groves and straw-flower fields. 

Sometimes when it was sunny but windy and cool, I would dig a bed for myself in the warm sand of that steep-sloped beach and sleep and dream. It would be almost 15 years before this experience of loving and being loved by a place would show itself in paintings. During the time when I lived within weekend afternoon driving distance of Montara Beach, I was not drawing or painting at all but working with brightly colored carpet warp, making small colorful tapestry-like images using a macrame technique.

(the photos are from an online album of splendid photos of the northern California coast by Daniel Wolf-Root that I found while looking for images of Montara)

No comments: