This painting is named (partly) for what is NOT in it. Just to the left of my selected view, about twenty wetsuited diehards are out on well-waxed boards, riding the waves. We arrive at Indian Beach at 9 AM, plenty early, I think, to beat the crowds. But already picnickers are setting up barbecues, and surfers are putting on wetsuits. The park is hoppin’.
Mist comes in and out of the hills, creating stepped tree silhouettes like shadow-box cutouts. I would love to paint the wind-sculpted trees, but I know that the mist is far too ephemeral, and the sun will be burning through within an hour. Out on the ocean, the cloud layer pulls back to a violet stratus, lined with dusky gold.
I am always amazed at the variety of color on the same stretch of ocean. Yesterday’s surf was almost khaki. Today it is violet and blue. Something about the quality of light glints orange on the rocks.
I love the energy of this place, and spend a few moments imagining that I am 20 again and getting ready to surf. Okay, maybe 25 was better--less angst. On my way back from the rest room, I pass a guy walking with a backpack and playing his guitar. Families have umbrellas down on the beach, and little kids run in and out of the waves’ edge. When we leave, cars are lined up on the narrow road, waiting to get into the already full park. I guess we had it pretty good.