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"The Last Frontier", Michael Ward, 2010

Michael Ward: “The Last Frontier”, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24 inches (Dana Point, CA, circa 1983, © 2010 Michael Ward).

On his blog, Michael Ward commented this painting in the following way:

This is a painting of a view of Dana Point, when I lived there, circa 1983. At that time it was a sleepy beach town, truly the last frontier of southern California. The laundromat is still there, but most else has changed dramatically since then. Del Prado St., seen here, is now a busy one-way offshoot of Pacific Coast Highway. The beach bums & surfers are long gone, replaced by latte sippers and the upwardly mobile. (Michael Ward Artwork: “The Last Frontier”, September 6, 2012)

About Michael Ward:

I began my artistic career doing pen and ink renderings of historical architecture. I began painting in 1980, first in gouache, then in acrylics. Artists whose work I admire and draw inspiration from include Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Richard Estes and Vermeer. I am most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting.

Nearly all my paintings are based on photographs I have taken, primarily of Southern California scenes, over the years. Though it was never my intention to depict nostalgic scenes, many of the images I have painted have disappeared or been radically altered in the ever-changing landscape that is Southern California. Thus nostalgia is thrust upon the works. But the distinctive light remains, which is what I attempt to capture in my painting. That, and the built environment that we humans inhabit, where nature manifests itself only in weeds and palms emerging from cracks in the hardscape, and the smooth blue sky. (read more)

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