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Ocean side moments near home

Sharing a few detailed moments from the beach near home.

One of our go-to beaches is steep, and when the tide and swell combine lots of mini sea debris gets deposited in the sand. Tiny shells, sea glass, and smoothed over stones sit in a vein running north to south along the beach. Finding the interesting bits and pieces takes a leisurely pace and a patient eye, but it’s fun to assemble a little collection before leaving it behind for the next person to find. 

I also found an interesting bit of sand erosion creating a miniature plateau. The creek diverted up the beach and eroded the west side bank into various sand-forms. Regular visits to the beach change your perspective on time and change. To the visitor a beach is a beach, but to the regular there are so many individual changes that are worth paying attention to. 

Ocean Beach line and wash scene

A recent watercolor sketch of the Ocean Beach San Francisco sand dunes, grass, and Marin headlands in the distance. I’ve recently been experimenting with line and wash style sketching. Starting with watercolor I will lay down shapes and introduce some unpredictability that I can build upon using a roll ball pen by adding definition and detail.

In this particular sketch I really like the way the foremost headland takes shape with the blue watercolor — lighter in value on the right with some negative space dry-brush toward the water line. A few subtle pen strokes provide definition to the hillsides. ‘

This is quite a nostalgic view for me, having spent countless mornings, afternoons, and evenings walking over the dunes to check the surf or walk the dog.

Under the Lip

Dana Shaw tucking under an offshore lip near Lincoln Boulevard at Ocean Beach on Thanksgiving morning. Ocean Beach is seemingly always good on Thanksgiving — in the 15 years I lived there I can remember 10+ Thanksgiving Days full of good surf. Sometimes in the shoulder high range seen here, and sometimes in the overhead range. November is a good time to be a surfer in San Francisco.

A trip up north

My parents recently sold our childhood home, so I packed up the wife and kid (and dog) and we ventured north to revisit past memories and make some new ones. We dipped into the City and continued further north to reconnect with the natural world around Lake Shasta. Waterfalls, glacial melt, red clay, railroad towns where my grandparents lived — all a welcome change from the I-5/405 brain scramble. A few select visions from north of the Golden Gate attached.

A recent collection of textures from around the neighborhood. 

A recent collection of textures from around the neighborhood.

Novelty fun in the City.

Novelty fun in the City.