Thursday, May 28, 2009

El Matador State Beach, Malibu California

El Matador 22 x 30" watercolor
© 1994 Katherine Kean

I thought I'd keep a beach theme going this week - my way of acknowledging that we're moving into summer, with another post on inspiring locations to paint. California is loaded with dramatic natural beauty. There are 70 miles of coastline in Southern California, some of it wonderfully rugged. One of the most beautiful spots is El Matador State Beach. The combination of rock formations and ocean is a sure lure for landscape painters. You can find a few pictures of this stunning location here.

I have only visited this beach early in the day when it’s easier to find a place to park. If I’m carrying a lot of painting gear I try to get as close to my painting location as possible. However I suspect it may be even more striking near the end of the day and I plan to go at that time one day soon.

To get to the beach you have to descend a steep stairway, but there are also some great views looking down on the beach from above. One trick to this location is that once on the beach when the tide is out it is easy to walk north up the beach, but if the tide comes in you might have to dash between the waves and the cliff on the return trip to get back to the stairs.

El Matador State Beach
32215 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265


Palmer said...

Ummmmm!! Beautiful! Just love it.

Katherine Kean said...

Thanks Palmer!

Anonymous said...

Katherine: As a third generation native California who has lived in both northern and southern California I am embarrassed to say I never even heard of El Matador Beach. Your painting is beautiful. I love the

Katherine Kean said...

Thanks Marianne. There are so many beaches on California's coast - it's easy to miss one or two!

Gary Keimig said...

A really great watercolor. You picked a great subject for this. I moved my grand daughter out to San Luis Obispo 4 years ago where she worked in a hospital [now attending Graduate School]Got to the beach then which is totally different from my part of the world. She sure loves it.

Katherine Kean said...


It sounds like you're going to have to visit your daughter more so you can see the beach more often - although you have the rivers and streams and forests too.

José Carrilho (Go Detail) said...


You've picked a really good palette and its distribution throughout the painting contributes to a well balanced and unified result.
The perspective is also good.



Katherine Kean said...

Thank you José - and thanks for visiting. Come back soon.

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