The week was in motion, and I was steadily pushing north to Monterey. After camping two nights in South Big Sur, my usual rapid-speed pace was steadily slowing. My mind, however, was still racing to reach Monterey before sundown. I still had a lot to pull together in preparation for the 5 days ahead. As I mentioned in Part 1, the main focus of this trip was to spend 5 days in an intensive outdoor painting workshop with one of my all-time favorite master painters. I take this stuff seriously. With a truck full of camping equipment, art supplies, and surf gear, the rearranging process was constantly evolving, according to priority. I wanted to show up to Day One of the workshop focused and prepared for some serious painting.
With that said, I did make time for one detour. (Ummm...ok, two). When I reached the north end of Big Sur, I decided to drive up to a lookout atop the Old Coast Highway, on the El Sur Ranch. The views at that point are expansive, and it's also a good spot to check the surf conditions at Andrew Molera State Beach. Slowly I climbed elevation, and the views wrapped around me, the sky growing larger and larger overhead.
I have to admit, I did notice the 'No Trespassing' signs everywhere. However, when I reached one lookout with a rolling hillside sprawled out in front of me, I naturally charged toward the fence, thinking that as long as I set up my easel outside the private fencing, I wouldn't run into any problems.
Well, that theory was quickly refuted. The nice rancher that rolled up in his diesel truck and rolled down his window, tipped his hat at me, kindly telling me to 'get along'. The private property included all areas adjacent to the roadside, and I was trespassing. This is a common happening in the world of plein air painting, I think. (?) It reminds me of a time my Dad and I were painting together at the Taos Pueblo, on New Mexico Indian Reservation land, when the Tribal Chief pulled up to have some stern words with us about trespassing on tribal lands. Needless to say, moments like these certainly make for a memorable story to tell. And in regards to the adventure with my Dad, I'll never forget sharing that funny & awkward moment with him, the Tribal Chief, and our paint-smeared clothes. Oh- life's funny moments! Lucky for me, in this intance with the Rancher, I hadn't started painting yet. He pointed me to a spot further up the road with a large pullout where I could set up to paint. Bingo! The spot turned out to be even better than the first.
After painting for about an hour, the wind picked up and became a feirce howl. In one gust my easel blew over and my hat was whipped off my head, sending it blowing down the hill. That concluded my painting session for the day, sending me on my way to Monterey.
(And my hat band was lost to the Old Coast Highway)...
Stay tuned for more stories, photos, and paintings!