Part of what makes the northern coast of California so appealing is its sense of isolation, a feeling embodied by the old barns that cling to the bluffs along Highway 1.
On the long drive up the coast, the barn at Meyers Grade is a landmark for locals, the spot where we breathe a sigh of relief that we're nearly home. I tried to convey that sense of home and comfort by harkening back to old folk art traditions: simple forms and contrasting cool and warm colors for an almost quilt-like effect.
Gathering Storm and The Known and the Unknown Parts I and II use this same approach, with bolder forms and stronger angles. The Known and the Unknown, Parts I and II are bookends. We have the known, physical world of the land and sea around us, and the unknown, metaphysical world represented by the barn doors, one open, one closed. The stark compositions leave the viewer both curious and apprehensive. Should we explore or resist?
This tension between the familiar and the discomfiting is also at the heart of Rocky Point. Despite heavy fog, the foreground is filled with improbably vibrant colors. The fog may be encroaching or receding; the edge of the bluff may reveal an endless view or an abyss. It's a sort of glass-half-empty/glass-half-full Rorschach test.
The barn at Black Point is one of my favorite subjects -- each time I see it, it has something new to say. Where Will You Go, How Will I Find You is a contemplation on loss, whereas its counterpoint, Black Point Barn--with its stripped down composition and intense colors--is happy and life-affirming celebration of the elation we feel standing at the edge of the Pacific.
Black Point Barn