Confessions of a Florentine Pet Sitter

© 2012 Susan Canavarro. All Rights Reserved.
This fence belonged to the motel where I stayed one week when I came back to Fort Bragg for a painting vacation. The Beachcomber Motel located on the bluffs at the mouth of Pudding Creek River overlooked the river and beach, the rocks and ocean, the trestle bridge, and the foggy trees on the bluffs that I painted so many times. The motel was also adjacent to the walking and bicycling path that ran for seven miles up the coast starting at the old railroad trestle that crossed over Pudding Creek. The path followed the railroad tracks that had been ripped out years before.
Standing there on this morning, on this side of the fence, looking between the fence boards, I saw the mouth of the river and the beach. I watched the river shimmering its way around the sandbar. A misty white-light haze hovered over the distant bluffs. A few rooftops of houses and buildings on the bluff shimmered here and there. The dark fence, a perfect foil, set off the magnificence of the light on the bluffs and houses. 
I liked the idea of looking over the jagged top of the fence and seeing a sliver of bluffs and buildings emerge from the white mist. The focus of this painting is ambiguous. You don’t really know whether to look at the fence or at the distant bluffs. I liked the push/pull effect of this ambiguity and the contrasting edge created by the dark fence against the light of the bluffs: the man-made structure juxtaposed against nature, one enhancing the other. That’s what caught my eye and inspired me to paint it.
© 2012 Susan Canavarro. All Rights Reserved.

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