i’ve run off to a seaside cottage for the week. it’s in a lovely old complex of other cottages by the sea and i’m truly madly deeply in love with it.
it does not have an ocean view because it’s in the back, but this is one of the paths to the beach.
this very scenic (and probably v.v.v. expensive rental cottage is one of the ones that face the ocean).
i snapped this shot of myself as i walked over to joyce’s place for coffee the other morning. lucky for me she rises early!
later that night she, sharron, and i watched the sun sink into the dark mercurial water.
dawn, dusk, and everything in between. i am an alert witness to the unfolding drama on the shore.
for the first time ever, i’m exploring with oil paint on paper. i met the california artist sterling hoffmann on the headlands of mendocino painting en plein air. over the years i have been attracted more and more to california landscape & seascape oil painters. when i retire i shall plant my easel by the sea and paint my way up and down the coast!
first though i have to learn what the hell i’m doing.
my friend pam has been exploring with oil paint on paper for the last couple of years and i decided to join her. oh what fun i’m having.
this cottage has the perfect countertop for painting. i go out many times per day to visit the ocean and take pics with my phone.
then i try and capture what i’ve seen.
…while i paint i watch youtube videos on brush cleaning, oil paint mediums, paper preparation, and listen to music and the crashing waves!
i’ve made 3 trips to the art supply store in santa babs to pick up various mediums, brushes, and more paint.
i found some sort of sea plant on the sand my first day and started with that.
it’s dreadful, but you’ve gotta start somewhere then i painted this apple and banana:
a cat friend leaped onto the dutch door to encourage and supervise my progress.
my favorite medium so far is a solvent-free gel in a tube. it speeds drying and makes the paint creamier. there’s a lot to know about oil painting and i know absolutely nothing. but i have learned to clean my brushes really well in some odorless mineral spirits followed by some safflower oil. also i found a soft pink rag on the street, washed it, and i use it for the final swipe after washing with soap at the end of the day.
it’s all terribly fun. i wish i had another month here, but alas my week has sped by and i’ll be heading back to los angeles soon.
most nights i meet dear sharron for sunset watching.
i also am keeping my eyes on the santa ynez mountains which make up the coast range. i have the ocean at my front, and mountains at my back.
this morning there was snow on the tippy tops.
great flotillas of clouds rumbled by overhead. i stayed on the beach until i felt raindrops.
earlier in the week sharron, joyce and i got together for one of our mini art retreats. we all horsed around in our sketchbooks with ink, watercolor, and gouache.
i added more shells to this page below that i started at joyce’s back in september.
i painted the persimmon in gouache then added some oil to the top once i was back “home”.
happy thanksgiving dear ones (americans) and to everyone else blowing kisses out across the waters to wherever you are.
i’ll just be here. exploring, expressing, writing, reading, and being gloriously ALIVE.
see you soon!
I deeply enjoy your blog and all the beautiful inspiration. This post combined all things most adored…..the beautiful photographs of your world and sketchbook. And the rarest jewel….a fabulous selfie of the delightful MAM! Honestly, a lovely photo……such a contentedly happy smile! I return to your dispatch regularly to enjoy the beautiful CA landscapes and hear of your wild arting adventures……I am in the Northern Midwest (currently wallowing in deep snow) and live vicariously in the mild CA world through your lens and brush strokes! Do carry on, lovely Mary Ann, carry on!
Toni Antonetti says
Hi Mary Ann! I so love your blog — art and photos are amazing! I applied for an extension to Stitchbookery — my favorite online class — several times and did not hear from you. Maybe my messages ended up in spam…
karen colson says
Hi Mary Ann… I am certainly your soul sister…my journeys and longings seem so aligned with yours, so I always enjoy and soak in your posts. They are guideposts for me. I was in Carp a couple weeks ago…and felt at home there too. I can almost deduce your cottage location — near the salt marsh and beach i think. I was staying on Lindon (near the seal sculpture) and walked the trails and beach daily. Will you be adding the cottage to “places Ive stayed” or is this one too secret to share?
Gratefully, crossing your path now and again,
Mary Ann Moss says
i know someone through my blog who is staying there 5-6 times per year and i’ll be staying 2x/year now, so i hesitate to share the link. HOWEVER…i’ll email you privately with it. i usually stay in santa babs or montecito – love both v. much, but this ones proximity to the water and the light and work space just can’t be beat! if you ever see me on the beach do say “hi”! i never say no to meeting a soul sister 🙂
Sister! I LOVE all your paintings – that pink sky, the waves, she shells, the sea glass, the fruit. LOVE LOVE LOVE. And of course the ever-changing sea right there in front of you is simply marvelous.
Lovely photos as always. I enjoy your blog very much, it’s a relaxing peek at fun art and lovely views.
Your photos of the ocean, the sunsets……..amazingly beautiful!!! And I love the little cottages. You find the neatest places to stay on your travels.
Lots of people delving into oils these days. You’re off to a great start. I’m getting the urge to revisit them (haven’t since my long ago college days).
Thanks for sharing. Always love to see what you’re up to.
I enjoyed your gorgeous photos and words vv much! Such a nice post thanksgiving treat.
I am always amazed at all the wonderful photographs and sketches you manage to get done while you are travelling. Once again, your work has me dreaming of far away places! Thanks for sharing!
Judy H. says
Wonderful! So enjoyed all the nature, art pix, and your shared thoughts!
Carol Kitchell says
I wish I was there with you! I’ve been tampering with a seascapes class and your sea photos are glorious inspiration.
Terry Woodruff says
Looks like a total immersion in wonderment . Love it.
Gorgeous pix and paintings, MAM! The pix made me home-sick for the central CA coast, and fun to see you branching out with a new medium!
Happy Thanksgiving ~
Sheila Earhart says
Ahhhh, divine! Happy Thanksgiving!🍁
Linda Watson says
So glad you’re enjoying the cottage. I knew when I found it last spring that it was a treasure. Something about spilling out onto the beach for sunrise, still in my jammies, plus the work space is wonderful. I’ll be there first part of Dec for 12 nights. Such luxury!
Mary Ann Moss says
i’m glad you found it too so that by and by i could discover its many charms. i’m hooked and returning in april. rolling out of bed and tumbling across the sand is a real bonus. enjoy your december sojourn.
Linda Watson says
Ha! I’ll be there in April also. I think I told you earlier that I come to Carp every other month, and April is one of my months. But, being retired means my time is quite flexible, so I can easily work around your dates. Have you made your reservation yet? I won’t be scheduling any until closer to the time.
Happy Thanksgiving to you Ms. Moss. I truly love this post. I was an oil painter all through college and then more years until I developed an allergic reaction to the smell. I have tried the new non-smell oils but still, have the same reaction. Now I am a watercolorist, etc. It is wonderful to see what you are up to. I love the ocean and the mountains. I presently live in the foothills of the Cascades in a log home I had built in Montana and brought over here. It is way too big now (4000 sq.ft.) so I am thinking it is time for a cottage by the sea. We will see. You must be close to retiring as I have been following your search for the place you want to be. Won’t you miss Moss Cottage?
Love to the cats. Have fun.
Mary Ann Moss says
i will miss moss cottage indeed, but i feel i must “throw myself at the future even if it means one day coming down in the sea” ( a line from the wonderful book, virgil wander) my longing for the ocean might be a bit stronger than the coziness of the nest i’ve built at moss cottage and the trees that live there. we’ll see how it all plays out. your foothill log cabin must be wonderful indeed. keep me posted on where you land. xo
kathleen codyrachel says
I love this! I’m still doing watercolour and acrylics, I very tried water based oils – admire your work a great deal! Oils can be difficult yet the results are so wonderful! Love all the Beautiful photos of the sea ! I live in NH not a view of the ocean but only an hour at most away from the Atlantic. I am sure I couldn’t live further away ithere or on the Pacific! I have a new journal made by the fabulous Kim Collister,I am going to use some of your ocean views for a couple of watercolours! Thank you very much!
CATHERINE MONDRUS says
A wonderful post chock full of lovely photos, stories and art.
Mary Ann Moss says
Mary Ann Moss says
new hampshire is a foreign country to me, i imagine it filled with all sorts of beauty! enjoy the seascapes and capturing them in watercolor. wish i could see!