In 1988 while painting beach scenes and events from Laguna Beach north, an acquaintance from South Orange County requested that I do a scene of Dana Point Harbor. She pointed out that no one had taken the time to paint more than an occasional picture of the area, believed there would be a demand for limited editions, and commissioned this piece to support her idea.
It took a while for me to find what I thought was the best view from which to paint. The two Dana Point Harbor images of which I was aware at the time as well as those images painted since Dana Dreams have all been painted from nearly the same view — from the old gazebo looking south and away from land. When doing a landscape or scene painting, I try to find what would be considered the ultimate view, or that view which captures the subject's essence.
This ultimate view turned out to be from the Headlands looking back into land as it provided a comprehensive view of both the harbor and the surrounding communities. The piece took a little over 265 hours and 80% of the work was done on location, providing both special advantages and challenges.
The advantages were seeing special activities and happenings that I was able to add to the painting. One of these was a sailing instructor in a small skiff trying to keep a gaggle of student sailors together as they zigged and zagged around themselves and other boats.
Some of the challenges were foggy mornings when I couldn't even see the water below or the blinding morning sun reflecting off the harbor that prevented my viewing the subject. It was during these times that having photos of the subject proved helpful.
This image was the first of what was to become the Premier Coastal Series.