Yesterday while plein air painting on the cliff overlooking Bean Hollow State Beach, I watched legions of families troop down to the pebbly beach. Every so often kids would stop and politely ask if they might look at my painting; My goodness, yes!
A small boy sat at the edge of the cliff next to me, a packet of colored pens and a sketchbook in hand.
“Yes,” he said quietly, “I think this will do nicely.” And he opened his sketchbook, ready to draw.
But those cliffs are slippery; it’s best to be careful on the California coast. Absorbed in the view, the little boy leaned forward, and in a scraping of dust and sand he slid down the cliff to the beach below. (Don’t worry. The cliff face is shallow, the surface smooth from generations of kids zooming down on their bottoms, and the sand and pebbles below make the landing soft and delightfully scrunchy.)
He never dropped his art supplies. He stood, brushed himself off and gazed out to sea. Then he turned and ran up the stairs, around my easel, and, still grasping pens and sketchbook, slid down the cliff again.
Gentle painters and sketchers, take a lesson from this small boy. Even though life might send you sliding down a cliff, never let go of your sketchbook!