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Crystal Cove and the Benefits of Working on Location

Usually I try to get several reference photos when painting on location. Once I’ve visited and painted a place, I feel comfortable painting it again in the studio. Even though I know how much I unconsciously edit the scene, sometimes I’m still surprised at the changes. This is an example of that. Drawings, sketches and paintings are really each individual artist’s response to the place – thus the powerful draw of working on location.

Crystal is a wonderful, historic beach between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. Several years ago, our family was lucky enough to rent the tall cottage on the right of the images. It belonged to Alice and Roger Armstrong, both artists. It was a magical week and we only went “outside” for a visit to the art fairs and the grocery. Otherwise we stayed close by watching sunsets, taking long walks, feeling the gentle sea air and eating on the porch.

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