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 a similar approach, but pare down the composition even further. The starkness of the barn doors, sometimes open, sometimes closed, generates both curiosity and apprehension. Should we explore or resist?
This tension between the comfort of the familiar and the fear of the unknown is also at the heart of Rocky Point. Is the fog is encroaching or receding? Will the edge of the bluff reveal a view or an abyss? And why, despite the fog, is the foreground filled with improbably vibrant colors? It's a sort of glass-half-empty/glass-half-full Rorschach test.
The barn at Black Point on The Sea Ranch is one of my favorite subjects—it always has something new to say, no matter how many times I paint it. Where Will You Go, How Will I Find You is a meditation on loss. In contrast, it's counterpart, Portal, is a happy and life-affirming celebration of the elation we feel standing at the edge of the Pacific.