I went to a cliff over the sea and considered the Monterey cypresses standing in attitudes. Here are the two oil paintings that came of it.
For my part I find it fascinating what shapes my brain seized upon in each of these, what’s missing, what’s not. One is brutally simple, almost like a wood block, the other fretted and trammeled with the little urgencies of branches and twigs as they trap the negative spaces like prey. I also see some darkness in the eye on the second one, the true brilliance of the day didn’t make it through, though I can argue that’s not important– both are interpretations, my own translations of the place and time.
Every time I have come here, the wind was blowing, and never seemed to stop. Shining oatgrass, under an open sky. In the night the gray shining grain moved in waves, like some moonlit sea. It made me think of a Ray Bradbury story I read long ago of a house set among wide fields where however long you stared, no other features but grass and sky were seen. The men inside that house floating in the grass were isolated like a crew upon a ship, the illusion of sailing unending.
We have camped near the slope I painted in the picture above, several times. An owl frequented the place, you could hear the calls over the susurration of the grass. Never when we were there did we see more than a few other folk, all seemed content to give a token wave from the distance and let the grass blades speak.