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Matt Stanton Beard  Curious about purchasing original artwork? Check the link below. If the painting you're after isn't there, it's already sold. Commissions welcome.

Next week.

Water is one of the best things ever. Stoked to be showing my homage to water next week at the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The show kicks off on Friday in conjunction with the Redwood Coast Music Festival where I'll be on location upstairs frantically working out an entirely different take on the theme live throughout the music festival. Be sure to stop, dance, and heckle a bit before or after making your way downstairs to the ground floor to see the original paintings of my favorite series of all time, my Insinuation Series. I don't even show these in my own gallery because I have them hanging throughout my home and I love what they bring to each room. Gonna miss them when they go.

One week from tomorrow I'll be kicking off the gnarliest live art project I've ever taken on. 7 paintings in three days at one music festival. This series of pieces, titled Chromatic Wave Theories will be an exploration of rhythm and water. Think wave forms within a loose framework of jazz-minded abstraction. That's about all I can say. The pieces will be up for bidding at the event, but we've made them available to claim in advance at super reasonable prices for those who are keen on this stuff. 6 are left as of right now. Benefits a bunch of local Humboldt nonprofits too. Check my site at for all the details. Or just come to the Redwood Coast Music Festival where I'll be working primarily in the main hall of the Morris Graves Museum of Art, one of the liveliest jazz venues of the festival from what I've heard.

"Speaking Softly Like Light"
Plein air
Painted this one not too long ago down on the central coast of California. This is the one I did during that video that I posted yesterday from @stwcoalition. They kept telling me to speak up, cause the light wind was muffling everything in the microphone. It was a bit of a challenge to stay focused on the painting and bring it through while talking art extensively with the Save the Waves crew. All in all, a great day at work.

Seems like these days I'm either on a road trip to paint another section of California coast, or I'm preparing for the next one. I've been working on a long-term goal of painting the entire California coastline for over 15 years now. It's been full of challenges, but good grief has it been rewarding; the places, the people, the waves, the secrets, and all that's still out there waiting to be discovered even after all these years. It's made me more aware than ever of the ongoing issues we face on this coast; environmental threats, access, private property and such. Save the Waves Coalition has been addressing these issues on a global scale for years, so I'm happy to help them protect these zones that mean so much to so many people all over the world.
So yeah, @stwcoalition rocks. Thanks for the clippage!

Chiefly instagated by Gavin Comstock @gavinobambino
Film and edit by Lauren Parrino @lo.parrino & Lennon Stankavich @badboylenlen on location. 
Special thanks to Kyle Thiermann @kyle_tman and @zorro_del_mar for their help

Random Monday post.

"Watch Your Step"
16″ x 20″
Plein air

Here is what I was working on when my daughter captured the moment in sketch format the other day. Its a place I tried to paint recently but couldn't because of the wind. Even with a better light wind forecast it was still a bit dicey out here at times. Wind funnel slot canyon on a north facing cliff in spring in Humboldt. Yep. Translation: windy, even on a calm day. Took a bit of extra thought during setup and breakdown as the drop is vertical just to the left of the frame and a long way straight down to the water. One bad gust whipping the wrong way and there'd be no retrieving anything that took flight. Nothing blew away, though so it's all good.

Lots of studio work to do these days, but this is where my heart is: out on the edge of a 200 foot vertical cliff, painting the view of a very special piece of California. (As seen through the eyes and pencil of my daughter the other day).

"Ghosts of 1963: Salvador Dali, His Wife, The Witch and an Absolute Bomb"
66″ x 30″

My newest studio painting, recently finished during a very wet month in Humboldt. It was commissioned over a year ago by some collectors that have been slowly growing a collection of my work for several years now. I was excited to tackle it, especially considering the Monterey coastline and it's iconic beauty and historical significance in the history of art in California, being one of the early focal points for the California Impressionists of the early 20th century.
The collectors wanted a painting of the Ghost Tree on 17 Mile Drive. While doing research on just which gnarled old snag was "THE" Ghost Tree, I learned it's a stump that is mostly overlooked, except for a handy sign next to it marking the location of the tourist stop of the same name. It's on the inland side of the road, and upon arrival one is greeted immediately by an array of more impressive old snags scattered about among the granite boulders on the much more scenic ocean side of the road. Years ago, though, it was an impressive landmark on this stretch of dirt road. Grainy old postcards from the early days show this stump to have once been a large, sweeping river of weathered dying cypress standing out stark and white against a dark and lush green forest of living cypress trees.
While digging through these old postcards, I came across images of another behemoth of dying cypress standing out in the boulders directly overlooking the Pacific Ocean in all it's Monterific Glory. This one, dubbed the Witch Tree, captured the attention of many an artist and passerby until it blew down in a storm in 1964 or so. One fellow who was drawn to this surreal spectacle of arboreal struggle was the Surrealist himself, Salvador Dali. The Getty Archives contain a shot of him I couldn't get out of my head, sitting on a boulder with his wife, sketching the towering Witch Tree, no doubt drawn to it's gnarled form.

So I put him in the painting. And his wife. And the Witch Tree. Oh and a tribute to the massive waves ridden here until the area was declared off limits to all human recreation a few years ago. Those guys were nuts.

One more closeup from the new studio piece. Now you have basically seen the whole thing in separate pieces, tomorrow I'll share the whole and we'll see if it's amounts to something more than the sum of it's parts. There's a magic word for that. I don't recall what it is. Take that, Pi Day.

Just the left side of my newest studio piece. The wider format at 66"x 30" doesn't show well on these social medias. I really enjoyed painting this tree and figured the least I could do to show it my appreciation would be to give it the chance to let you all see it on its own terms before sharing the rest of the painting. Tree, meet The People... People, meet the tree. Hope you all hit it off swimmingly.

Really zoomed in detail, maybe a 4" x 5" section of a larger format 66" x 30", my newest studio piece. I'll get the rest of it up here soon, but wanted to start with this and point out the small figures, barely discernable, sitting on that boulder next to the large dying Cypress.
You may need to use your imagination a bit, but they are modeled after a photo from the Getty archives of Salvador Dali sitting with his wife and sketching this tree that I came across while researching the area for this painting. The tree was called the Witch Tree and it blew over in a storm around 1964 or so. Dali really doesn't have anything to do with the painting, but I couldn't help adding them both in anyway. Maybe it was more personal than pure whim.
I didn't really get into art until I was 16, it was the year Rick Griffin passed away and seeing Griffin's art in the tribute pieces that all the surf magazines ran was the catalyst that really opened my eyes that art could be ANYTHING. Rick's work destroyed the small box that previous art classes had left it in, packed up tight and boring.
I dove in head first from that day forward and it wasn't long before I was turned on to Salvador Dali's madness as well. His mode of surrealism really wasn't too many beats removed from Rick's psychedelia and I feasted on both for several years.
Interestingly, they both turned to Jesus in their later years and produced some of their most powerful work as they wrestled with their faith. But that's another story...

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