San Simeon to Gunnison…notes from an artist


San Simeon School House, 1909, oil on linen 9×12 2019

by cheri sabraw

My oil painting skills are maturing, a testament to instruction by self and by teacher.

This small painting above sprung from a reference photo I took several years ago when my sweet husband and I left our home in Cambria seeking tortilla soup and meatloaf sandwiches at Sebastian’s, a delightful restaurant in the San Simeon Cove.

Unfortunately, Yelp and other nasty apps have made Sebastian’s a tourist stop, so we do not go there in the summertime.

As a teacher, I am drawn to old school houses, where my imagination takes me back to a time when teachers taught multiple grade levels and multiple subjects to students captured in  rigid desks. Those were the days of spelling lists and rote memorization.

The Road to Gunnison, Colorado, 9×12 oil on linen, 2019

On our way to Gunnison, Coloado, a darling town on our road tripping down Highway 50, the Loneliest Highway in America, we passed exhausted sheepherders running along and several ragged border collies, pushing thousands of ewes down the canyon like a stream of undulating river rock. At first, I thought I was glimpsing a silver river but the bubbles of sheep backs were not river rock but bleating moving animals on their way to market.

At the turn, we passed a lovely canyon of autumn bliss set against a cerulean sky and orgasmic clouds. Cattle dotted the landscape.

I suggested we find our hotel and turn in for the night.

But not before sampling Trout Amandine at the local restaurant Trough.



About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in Life, My painting, My photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to San Simeon to Gunnison…notes from an artist

  1. shoreacres says:

    The Road to Gunnison, Colorado is my favorite of your paintings to date. One of my best travel memories is associated with Highway 50, back in the days (1985, maybe) when it truly deserved that ‘lonesome’ designation.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you, Linda. Highway 50 was a sobering experience for us in Southern Colorado and Kansas where, 4 years ago, small towns had been abandoned by the young.

  2. Lue Perrine says:

    The way you paint light in your paintings is spectacular Cheri!
    Thanks for the tip about
    Sebastian’s. We’ll have to try it!
    🥣🐟 😋

  3. 4brig says:

    Wow, love the San Simeon school house! Been there and you have captured it beautifully.

  4. Cheri says:

    Thank you Brigid. I appreciate your comment as always.

  5. wkkortas says:

    I’m getting a bit of a Thomas Hart Benton vibe from these paintings, which is not a bad thing at all, I might add.

  6. Cheri says:

    Are you kidding me? That is a lovely compliment which I will savor for at least a year.

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