This summer, showing my paintings in the Morro Bay Art Association was great success… It was a show of the favorite places that visitors to our town love to see… “Morro Rock.” I’ve sketched and painted it numerous times. We all love the “rock” in all its personalities. The one below is a bright day with a bit of the marine layer in the distance. It often creeps in gradually…
Morro Rock, a State Historic Landmark, was formed about 23 million years ago from the plugs of long-extinct volcanoes. Morro Rock was an important navigational aid for mariners for over 300 years because the rock is approximately 576 feet tall which made it the most visible, however not the tallest, in a chain of 9 peaks. Portuguese explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo named the rock “El Morro” in 1542. In Spanish “Morro” means crown shaped hill. Morro Rock, sometimes called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific,” is the last peak of the Nine Sisters, which extend from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.
The rock itself was quarried on and off until 1963. Morro Rock provided material for the break waters of Morro Bay and Port San Luis Harbor and other coastal jetties in addition to walls and houses in San Luis Obispo. In 1966, a bill was introduced which transferred the full title to the State of California. Later the San Luis Obispo County Historical Society and the City of Morro Bay succeeded in getting the Morro Rock declared as a California Registered Historical Landmark #821. Morro Rock, also, became State Landmark #801 in 1968. The rock has since been designated a bird sanctuary for the peregrine falcon and other bird species. Bird enthusiasts may follow the peregrine activities on the website Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch.
This painting has a marine layer building over the cold Pacific Ocean while the foreground where I stood is bright and sunny. No wonder that we all love it so much and see artists gazing at it and painting it frequently.
These two oil paintings were SOLD. That put my spirits and bank account in a very positive mode. If you ever see a piece of artwork that you’d like to have, please contact me. Many can be made into notecards.
Remember that the San Luis Obispo County 2017 Open Studios Tour is coming up in October 14-15, 21-22.
Until the next sketch…peace, Heather