The Swarthmore Bluffs and Garrapata Beach

Here are a couple of larger landscape paintings done in the studio, the Swarthmore Bluffs and Garrapata Beach. They are based on plein air landscape sketches from my trips to California the last couple of years. Although they were finished earlier this year, I just got around to photographing them.

The first is a painting of the so-called Swarthmore Bluffs where I grew up as a kid in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California. I have a lot of memories of scampering around these cliffs as a kid and it is a view I’ve wanted to capture for a long time.

Painting of the Swarthmore Bluffs in Pacific Palisades, California.

The Swarthmore Bluffs, Pacific Palisades. 59 x 72 in, oil on linen.

While I’m discussing the painting, I’ve never understood why it was called the ‘Swarthmore Bluffs’. Only one of the streets that hits the cliffs is Swarthmore Avenue, and the road that runs along the bluffs is Via de Las Olas. Maybe Swarthmore was the first street they built out to the area? I lived on Mt Holyoak though, and since many of the streets are named after colleges, I assume it was a housing development.

The second is a painting done from smaller plein air sketches of Garrapata Beach in Big Sur, California. My folks moved up to Carmel Valley years ago, and I’m always incredibly inspired by the beauty of the area when I visit them.

Painting of Garrapata Beach, Big Sur.

Lifting Fog, Garrapata Beach. 59 x 72 in, oil on linen.


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