Before for the Lifeguard Trials

Before for the Lifeguard Trials, 4×6″

The best way to start the day is an early morning walk on the beach in Santa Monica. I love the wonderful air, the sounds and scents of the sea and the damp sand on bare feet for miles. My son, his girlfriend, their dog and I drove down there to visit my mom a few weeks ago.

After the Lifeguard Trials swim, lining up at the pier

After the Lifeguard Trials swim, lining up at the pier, 4×6″

We stayed at a motel two blocks from the beach so that each morning I could get out and walk the beach. One day they were holding lifeguard trials with hundreds of people lined up on the shore, all wearing green bathing caps, ready to try out for the first round of trials. After the big swim they lined up again at the pier.

Santa Monica Morning Beach Walk #1, ink & watercolor

Santa Monica Morning Beach Walk, ink & watercolor, 4×6″

My mother grew up in a house half a block from the beach. It would still be in our family if the city hadn’t claimed eminent domain to build fancy high-rise apartments and forced my grandparents out. Their wonderful old house had a great front porch and a backyard that was mostly sand. I always loved visiting them and spending the day at the beach. My grandparents fought the city as long as they could until their house was one of the last standing. Finally they moved about a mile from the beach to the house where my mother lives now.

Although I don’t care for the stereotypical L.A. lifestyle which is all about appearances and money, I miss the southern California beaches where I grew up. Northern California beaches are beautiful but they’re just not the same: rocky, cold, windy and foggy.

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Category:
Drawing, Ink and watercolor wash, Landscape, Life in general, Outdoors/Landscape, Painting, Places, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. I love these sketches capturing a different aspect of beach life. It’s too bad about your family home :( but I hope you had a great trip.

  2. Wonderful ocean sensations captured in your drawings. How lovely that you could spend the time near the places of your memories, sad the loss of your grandparents house, but lovely at least to revisit their home in thought.

    • I lived at the next beach down (in Venice, CA) when I went to college, also just half a block from the beach. It was great to do my studying on the beach though I probably would have done more if I lived inland! Jana

  3. I just found your blog, because I am looking for Santa Monica beach/pier photos. Your scetches are beautiful :-) I grew up right by the Santa Monica beach, too, not far for the pier, many, many years ago. Maybe your mother and I lived close then? Does Seaview ring a bell?
    Have a wonderful and HAPPY weekend :-)

    • Thanks for the nice note! Seaview does sound familiar. My mother grew up living half a block from the beach in Santa Monica but sadly the house where my mom grew up and my grandparents lived for 40 years was taken by the city under eminent domain. They replaced several blocks of cool old beach houses with expensive condos. The city gave them a house about a mile away, near Santa Monica College. It’s a nice neighborhood, I think called Sunset Park, but if they still had the beach house it would be worth a fortune now.

      I like your email and blog name. I imagine if I renamed myself happyface I might be a cheerier person. You’ve inspired me to stop being grumpy (after a few difficult days) and be happy right now! I’m smiling as I write this! THANKS!!!!

      I think I’ll mention your happy blog name in my next blog post.

      Jana

      • Thank you, dear Jana!
        I just read your latest blog post and it brought a HUGE SMILE to my face :-D
        Donuts, yum! Every now and then I indulge in them (I hope the grammar is right here) and because I don’t do it too often, I eat two at a time and enjoy totally without regrets :-)
        I heard about the stuff going on Ocean Avenue from my American part of the family long ago. Must have been horrible for those who had to move. – I’ve had wonderful times there as a kid and wouldn’t want to miss any of it – the Merry-Go-Round and the big slide on the S.M. pier, the snow cones and corn dogs on the Boardwalk…
        Have a lovely and very HAPPY Sunday! :-)

      • Thanks for the lovely note and the wonderful memories of the pier and boardwalk. I live in Northern California now and miss the beach! Jana

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