Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cannon Beach

3/4/16 watercolor (high tide)

We’ve been going to Cannon Beach nearly every year for the past three decades. We honeymooned there, we’ve been there for Christmas, and we’ve seen it in every season except summer (when it’s mobbed). We’ve been there during very low tides, when starfish, anemone and other sea critters could be seen clinging to every rock. We’ve been there when huge piles of debris were washing up years after the 2011 Japan tsunami. And we’ve seen the annual return of the tufted puffins to Haystack Rock, where they nest each spring.
3/3/16 watercolor (low tide)

The first night of our visit last week, a huge storm – rain, wind, even hail! – battered the windows of our hotel room, and even the floor shook. The next morning we walked along the surf for hours in the sunshine, shedding layers as we went, with hardly a breeze. That’s the way it is at Cannon Beach – you never know what you’ll get, hour to hour, but the weather doesn’t matter.

Despite the number of times I’ve seen Cannon Beach, I’ve only been a sketcher for the last four visits, so I can’t get enough of sketching the same view, again and again. Monolithic Haystack is my touchstone to the universe. In its presence, I feel immensely tiny, and yet never more whole. Every time we visit, we experience something new, and at the same time, nothing ever changes. It’s why we go back, year after year.

(See my Flickr album for more sketches and photos of Cannon Beach.)

3/3/16 ink
3/3/16 watercolor
3/3/16 ink
3/3/16 inks
3/3/16 inks
3/2/16 watercolor, ink
3/1/16 ink, colored pencil (Greg blocking my view of Haystack)

Haystack at high tide

Haystack at low tide


  1. Beautiful renderings of Haystack! Also love the people walking with those wonderful shadows. I also try to get to Cannon Beach every year -- my little dog Truman loves romping in the sand. I do prefer the warmth of summer -- I tried it the third week of June last year and it was not crowded (weekdays) because school had not yet let out, and it was warm. Do you ever go down the road a ways to Manzanita? It's much less crowded, no monolithic rocks but a lovely beach and a nice little town.

    1. Thanks, Alex! Yes, we've also been to Manzanita and some of the other nearby beaches, but we always come back to C.B.!

      - Tina

  2. Spots like that are so special to enjoy over and over again. Love the sketches!!! You both look great.

  3. This is beautiful .I love the rendering and the story behind it all.


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