Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Impermanence in Santa Barbara: Beach Art

The building on the right is the old East Beach Bath House,
now housing the East Beach Grill
where you can eat and enjoy the beach simultaneously.

Recently we spent a few days in Santa Barbara staying in a sweet beach cottage, just a block off East Beach. Our days focused on the beach. We walked every morning to the East, then in the evening to the West. When the low tide allowed us to walk all the way to Butterfly Beach, which is the beach in front of the old Biltmore Hotel, we were honored to watch an "impermanence" artist at work: an artist who creates beautiful designs on the beach where he knows the channel waters will rise with high tide and erase his creations. I was awe struck by this creative man openingly demonstrating such ease with "being in the present," "letting go" and embracing impermanence. When I asked him if he did different designs or the same, he answered, "different but I am limited by my imagination."

Our Shasta just loves the beach. She seemed to find a playmate each beach walk.

Daisy and Shasta.  Shasta, like three of my earlier dogs,
is named after flowers from which flower essences are created.
Shasta's flower is Shasta Daisy and here she is playing with her other half, so to speak.
I wanted to name her Daisy and Dwight said, "she's not a Daisy. Let's name her Shasta."

On our morning walks at low tide the beach presented much inspirational beauty for the day.

Sea anemones exposed thus closed up.

Barnacles up close and personal.

The view from Butterfly Beach with her abrupt sandstone cliffs looking towards East Beach never ceases to take my breath away and amaze me!

Another morning's walk along the beach brought Tucker down the steps onto Butterfly Beach fresh and rested to tussle with Shasta.  Shasta and Tucker had met the day before but Tucker was tuckered out from his long romp on the beach before meeting up with Shasta.

And before our arrival the impermanence artist had already been onto the beach creating.

And another opportunity to capture the beauty of the sandstone cliffs. The shore birds are not as plentiful during the Spring and Summer as in the Winter; however, we were presented with a few of these awesome creatures.

Marbled godwits finding breakfast in the freshly surf washed sand.

Visting Santa Barbara is filled with glorious experience with food: buying wonderfully fresh, tasty organic produce at the Saturday morning Farmer's Market and the Tuesday evening Farmer's Market right on State Street in the 500-600 blocks, then preparing tasty meals in the kitchen of our East Beach cottage; partaking of mouth watering Mexican meals at La Super Rica, and enjoying a celebratory birthday dinner at Toma (new in Santa Barbara since our last visit and voted #1 on TripAdvisor Santa Barbara).  Additionally what a wonderful culinary foray as I relaxed in the warm sunshine reading The Nourished KItchen: Farm-to-Table: Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle by Jennifer McGruther, a birthday gift from Dwight's daughter, Katie. More of this book In a future post. 

And may you


  1. Glorious - felt like a vicarious trip to the beach. Love the impermanent art! thanks for a great post.

  2. Happy Special Day dear one! So glad you had such a wonderful escape/adventure.

  3. Email received: "wanted to wish you a truly great 70th year..and to thank you for the santa barbara pics and beach art which i muchly's hopin' you keep growing as you have been and keep sharing it with the rest of us!
    we are all unique, but you really shine beautifully into the lives of others."

  4. Email received: "THANK YOU CATHIE !
    What beauty and inspiration ! ! Like you...
    Happy Birthday! -- Ann"

  5. Email received: "Nice photos Cathie! I spent a morning watching a similar artist at Ocean Beach last month: Dogs and joggers ran right through the piece before it was finished and then the tide eventually washed it away. I like what the artist you saw was doing with a shovel. It gives more texture than the rake Amador uses.
    Glad you are enjoying the book. I read about it through a few food sites I follow and it sounded like something you might be interested in.

  6. Email received: "Cathie-Thank- you for sharing your trip to Santa Barbara. The environment there seems to abound with so much of what gives meaning to"

  7. Email received: "AWESOME pics & updates!! What a fantastic trip you all deserved! Thanks again for sharing!! xoxo vickie"