" Ice Plant Season" 14x11, oil on linen board
We drove up the California coast a couple years ago all the way from Santa Monica north to San Francesco, and the beauty of the California coast was truly an amazing thing to behold. The ride was long but we broke it up by stopping at Cambria to visit with my husband's brother and his wife and we stayed at a beautiful Inn right on the Pacific ocean. Cambria was a small Western-style town with a couple art galleries on the main road and even some adorable Victorian buildings!
The next day we were back on the road and traveled the coastal highway all along Big Sur and the Santa Cruz mountain range where the scenery was beyond spectacular. Since I hate heights, I was a little freaked out by the highway, but I managed to catch some great views nonetheless. We had a late lunch in Fisherman's Village in Monterey right before we got to San Francesco. I think I caught this scene somewhere near Monterey or Santa Cruz, but we hit so many spots during that trip that it's kind of a blur.
The scene was clearly spectacular. There were these weird icy pink-purple flowers all over the place and the trees there were so wind-swept it was as though the winds had bent their frail backbones for centuries! I think these were cypress trees and I must confess that between these Cypress trees and the California eucalyptus trees, I could move to California just for the trees alone!
Since then I have returned to California quite a few times, and I have seen these ice plants all along the southern coast as well. The first time that I saw these ice plants I think that my mouth dropped open and I gasped out loud. They were grouped in mounds of gorgeous vivacious pink flowers and you can find them clustered together on hilltops and in valleys and wherever the eye can see. Sometimes you'll catch them mingled with the California blue lupine and that is truly a scene of paradise on earth!
In this painting, I decided to combine two treasures of the Monterey Coast- the ice plants cascading down the beach right along the leaning cypress grove. Such drama is second to none if you are painting landscapes!
I have been painting my favorite places on earth recently- from Maine to Provence to the coast of California. We are truly blessed to live in an age where trips to these wonderful places are just a fingertip away!