The Charming Channel… Pacific-style!

I’ve headed south from last month’s sub-arctic Pacific archipelago to the warm and sunny climes of southernmost California for my current subject.

“The Channel Islands” are clustered odd the coast of the Los Angeles – San Diego coast. Four of the islands constitute Channel Islands National Park, which attracts campers, hikers, and wildlife watchers from around the world.  The U.S. National Park service has a very informative website about the islands, including a very well-filmed video feature.

In my case, the only way that I could present the islands in a visually interesting way was to spread an image across several canvasses of varying sizes and positions.  The initial intent was to simply outline the islands as if they were splash zones rippling out across the sea.

After starting the painting I realized that it needed some sort of distinction between the genuine Pacific Ocean to the south and west of the islands, and the somewhat less predictable flow to their north and east, between the islands and the mainland. Thus the swirly “blobby”  – even “groovy”, like California – shapes came about, while the cold cold Pacific Current is shown as a sooth, if somewhat unfriendly flow.

These photos of the piece were taken somewhat hastily, but they do show some of the very “shifty” colors of the piece, many of which change sharply as viewing and lighting angles change.


Still, the name “Channel Islands” always strikes me as out of place, since The Channel Islands  I  first learned about are actually British possessions off the coast of France, with a unique and interesting history all their own. If they’re not my next project, they’ll certainly be one of the next few!