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Painting Transformation

I have been known to completely paint over a painting! And most of the time those become my favorites. "Capitola Beach" is a perfect example of that. In fact this one had a few transformations. From a dreamy florals to Carmel, CA to Capitola Beach, CA.

It all started with a floral painting about 10 years ago, I loved it so much I even created greeting cards from it. A few years later after playing + practicing with my art while finding my style I decided to use this floral painting as the under-layer to a new one.

I had been thinking about painting landscapes for some time, and as I live in the Pacific Northwest I have all I need for inspiration right outside. I decided I would paint a Carmel scene as I loved the Cypress trees along the beach so much. I went there for the day and sketched lots of different things, but mainly focused on the trees and how they are all windswept.

Sketches in hand, I set out with my idea and was ready to paint. When I paint over a painting I often use chalk so I won’t be distracted by the background. It’s a great way to play with a composition as you can just wipe it off until you get it right, and then I will paint right over the chalk!

I chose the view looking south toward Pebble Beach, adding in hills and the beach with the intention of adding the Cypress trees last. I love adding layers to my painting instead of having the final image planned out.

The trees were so hard to do! I spent days and days trying to get these right, but after many failed attempts I gave up. I could have easily left it like this, but it just didn’t “feel” right. My goal was to paint a landscape that I loved so I decided to switch locations and decided on Capitola Beach, our nextdoor town.

I kept what I loved so far, the beach and the hills and then painted the idyllic scene of this colorful seaside town. I painted in the famous hotel, pier and waterfront including the river mouth.

I could FEEL it, the excitement as I started to build this new painting up. It was clicking. It’s hard to describe but it’s like a magical feeling when you know it’s right. I’m sure this happens to any type of creative endeavor. You just know.

This painting was sold shortly after to a couple who used to come to Capitola Beach as kids to visit their grandparents during the summer. But the story of this painting doesn’t end there, the following year I was asked if this image could represent the Capitola Art + Wine Festival on their annual poster. It’s always been my favorite art festival, I was over-the-moon excited and so honored to have been selected!

The moral of this story is keep practicing your creative craft no matter what it is and pay attention to what feels right, move in that direction and then watch the magic appear!

If you would like a little piece of Capitola Beach in your home, gallery wraps and prints are available in my shop, and I also have posters still available (email me for those:

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