Painting in Mendocino MOPO 2018 – Sonata No.1

Plein air oil painting and fine art print of the headlands at Mendocino, CA overlooking a bluff towards the coastline and the ocean.
Sonata No.1 Mendocino – Curtis Green

Out to the Headlands

One evening, I think on the second or third day while was Painting in Mendocino MOPO 2018. I went to the headlands on the west end of Mendocino.   It is a popular point, especially during a sunset. 

I drove down to have a look and found this view looking southward down the coastline.   The thing I found fascinating was the sparseness of the cliffsides.   My home turf near Los Angeles, California has many homes crammed side by side. There usually isn’t much space to really even see a coastline for what it is. 

Where the Land Meets the Sea

When I stand at a place where the land meets the sea, I often think about it being the edge of the continent on which I live.  There might be only ten or twenty feet of land before I can walk no further.  Yet, I could turn around and walk three thousand miles in the opposite direction and experience all that the United States has to offer.  Conversely, the rest of the world is out over the horizon somewhere should I be able to fly or sail across the open water.

The sun was setting on my right side as I turned my attention to the let of me. The land was capturing the last of the days light.  Only a few indications of human tracks were noticeable.  I was standing on a pathway leading to a cliffside look out. Barely visible on the distant shore across the bay, was a small structure.  I was virtually alone, able to tune into the sound and strength of the ocean. The wind blew past my face. The only other sound was of the brush bristles across the course surface of my canvas.

Visual Music

The cliffside basks in the last light of the setting sun, the long shadows indicate the waning of the day. The sun sets with the promise of a new day after its nights journey. The scene was an encompassing experience of the environment.  Looking at it was like listening to a beautiful piece of music, even the gestures in the act of painting was an attenuation of focus and meditation.  Sonata was the word that came to me with the sudden thought of visual music.

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