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Central Coast painters raise money for estuary, state parks 

She wanted to capture it. The light, the power—all of it.

It was December, and the waves at the dog beach between Morro Bay and Cayucos were wild. Atascadero artist Denise Schryver felt compelled to paint it.

click to enlarge NORTH COAST Atascadero artist Denise Schryver was inspired by the wild waves at the dog beach between Morro Bay and Cayucos in December when she painted the piece Sundance Pastel. - IMAGE COURTESY OF DENISE SCHRYVER
  • Image Courtesy Of Denise Schryver
  • NORTH COAST Atascadero artist Denise Schryver was inspired by the wild waves at the dog beach between Morro Bay and Cayucos in December when she painted the piece Sundance Pastel.

"I'm inspired when I have an emotional reaction to something," Schryver said. "The thing about the ocean is it's always there, kind of the same, but always different. It's challenging to try and capture that."

Pastels in hand, Schryver did just that with her piece, Sundance Pastel, which seems to move rapidly with shades of green, blue, teal, and foamy white. Schryver, a member of the San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment, is currently showing her work in the Flowing Estuary to Living Sea: Paintings by SLOPE exhibit, which shows starting Feb. 1 at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History. Artists in the show will donate a portion of art sales to two local nonprofit groups: Central Coast State Parks Association and the Morro Bay National Estuary Program.

"The estuary is so critical to a healthy ocean," Schryver said. "I would like people to learn about that and help protect it."

Dennis Curry, who's a resident artist at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, specializes in painting wildlife and landscapes in oil. His piece, Along The Coast, was inspired by a trip to Piedras Blancas and the lighting on that day and the form of the water.

click to enlarge PIEDRAS BLANCAS A trip to the lighthouse at Piedras Blancas led artist Dennis Curry to paint the piece Along The Coast. - IMAGE COURTESY OF DENNIS CURRY
  • Image Courtesy Of Dennis Curry
  • PIEDRAS BLANCAS A trip to the lighthouse at Piedras Blancas led artist Dennis Curry to paint the piece Along The Coast.

"I became an artist to explore and share with people things that interest me, hoping they'll treasure the same thing," Curry said.

Templeton artist Tracy Paz started focusing on landscapes within the last five years. She prefers to paint plein air when she can, like when she painted the aptly named October Estuary oil painting in Morro Bay.

click to enlarge MORRO BAY The rivers and rivulets within the Morro Bay Estuary are endlessly fascinating to artist Tracy Paz, who painted October Estuary. - IMAGE COURTESY OF TRACY PAZ
  • Image Courtesy Of Tracy Paz
  • MORRO BAY The rivers and rivulets within the Morro Bay Estuary are endlessly fascinating to artist Tracy Paz, who painted October Estuary.

"I never really knew that area well, but I became fascinated by the estuary," Paz said. "There aren't really rules in landscape. There are conventions that make it look truthful in paint. I love the way the little rivers and rivulets come up as the tide comes in through the estuary and the patterns and light."

Ultimately, Paz hopes that in addition to taking home a painting, viewers will also take away a new awareness of their local environment.

"We're here to benefit this gorgeous area that we live in," Paz said. "We're recording something that 20 years from now may look very different." Δ

Arts Writer Ryah Cooley is a firm believer in the curative powers of salt water. Contact her at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.

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