Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011 – Glass Beach

I have spent more than half of my life near beaches. The moment of finding some sort of “treasure” while walking down a beach never gets old. In California we have geology combined with the grinding Pacific surf. It has created some great beaches that are thick with layers of smooth pebbles. I can spend hours picking through the small rocks at Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. You can find polished little bits of serpentine that look like jade beads. And you always find a few bits of beach glass ground smooth by the surf.

If you’re really serious about beach glass, you need to go further north. Glass Beach up in Fort Bragg is amazing. A former garbage dump! It’s hard to imagine a town dumping its garbage into a cove up until the 1960’s. Fortunately, we know better nowadays. The result though is a beach thick with beach glass. It doesn’t take long to have a handful of treasure. And I owe it all to Huell Howser and California’s Gold. Without that show I would have just kept driving up Route One and never stopped.

There are many artists and craftspeople that incorporate beach glass (or sea glass) into their work. I prefer to do something different. Over the years I have done some paintings that are close-ups of magnified beach glass. They are intensive, detail-oriented exercises. Today’s piece is another portrait of one of my favorite places in California.

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