Mendocino Coast

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On this MLK three day weekend I headed north with no other agenda than a location: the Mendocino coast, and a place to lay my head (and put up my feet): Mar Vista Cottage Number 7 and my sketchbook and paints.

The Mar Vista cottages are located in Anchor Bay, just north of the Sonoma-Mendocino border. The cast of characters at Mar Vista include the welcoming Renata and Tom, a car chasing black dog named Rascal, two goats, four feral cats named Sally, Farrell, Romeo and Juliette, and about 40 chickens. The organic garden outside my front door was open for the pickings and the feathered ladies of Mar Vista provided four fresh eggs every evening. I was in one of the cottages with a wood burning fireplace. So I had to sketch and paint it. What else is a sketcher supposed to do?


One of the free range chickens of Mar Vista.

When I left San Francisco, I left one of those mild, sunny winter’s days that somehow is repayment for the long cold summer and traded it for a drizzly, grey and wet Mendocino day, very reminiscent of a cold San Franciscan summer. This was not going to stop me from sketching so I headed north to Bowling Ball Beach, just south of Point Arena. I hiked a mile south from Highway 1 into an alien landscape, shrouded in a dense drizzle. I had timed my visit so the “bowling balls” would be visible, which requires a low tide below 1.5 feet. These round boulders are called concretions and are formed by minerals in the sedimentary rock as the softer sediments erode away. Sketching and painting in the drizzle was like someone standing behind my left shoulder with a huge spray bottle, constantly misting my pages. The mist gave the rocks a diffused and mottled look. It is now a record of the conditions I worked in and a drizzle was never going to stop me from sketching outdoors.

Bowling Ball Beach

Bowling Ball Beach, Mendocino County.



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