Thursday, November 24, 2011

17-Mile Drive and Cannery Row

We continued our explorations with a drive up to Pacific Grove and Monterey.  One famous route north is the 17-Mile Drive, which snakes through the Pebble Beach community.  Pebble Beach isn't just noted for its golf course; some of the oldest Monterey cypresses can be found along this route, and a good deal of dramatic scenery.  You'll have to be careful as a painter, though, because any images you make can't be used for commercial purposes - the Pebble Beach Company owns the landscape.  When you go out to the Lone Pine, which occupies a tiny foothold at the edge of a cliff, you'll see a note saying that the tree is a trademark and "photographs and artistic renderings" of not just it but anything owned by PBC are for personal use only.  (I don't make any money off this blog, so I can post a picture or two.)

That doesn't mean, of course, that you can't collect lots of reference material.  I didn't see any sign saying you couldn't take photos or paint.  Any photos and color sketches would be useful in creating a commerical work that depicts, for example, Monterey cypresses but without actually representing a particular, individual tree.  Of course, spectacularly-gnarled Monterey cypresses can be found elsewhere in the area, and you might just want to go paint those, instead.

Next, we parked in Pacific Grove and walked through Cannery Row and on to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch.  Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck in the eponymous book, crashed after World War II when sardines began to disappear from overfishing and people could afford to eat something other than canned sardines.  (Few people really liked them; sardines were one of the few "meats" that were readily and cheaply available during the war.)  But today, many of the old buildings remain.  One was turned into the Monterey Aquarium and the rest of them into hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.  Here is a photo from long ago, and one I took yesterday.  Things look just about as busy in both.

We had lunch at Abalonetti.  It was hard to decide on the many restaurants - each had a barker out front, enticing customers with samples and coupons - but we chose Abalonetti mostly because its barker told us he had outdoor, oceanside dining for dogs.  But what a find!  I'd only had calamari once before, years ago, and didn't care for it.  But Abalonetti's Baja calamari appetizer was superb.  (And so was my entree, freshly-grilled sand dabs.)  Here's a link to the Abalonetti calamari story.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I give thanks for many things but also for the opportunity to visit the Monterey Bay area for a litle time off with the family.  I promise I'll get back to talking about painting real soon.

Just as a reminder, my studio painting sale continues for a little while longer.  I'm posting sketches and demos daily.  If you would, please check it out at my studio store where you can see the full list of what's available -

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