When Larry Moore returns to his favorite place to paint, things are going to be a little different. Moore is intent on venturing past his representational comfort zone and going more abstract.

“Lobos Looking North,” by Larry Moore, oil, 16 x 20 in.

“If I could live and paint at Point Lobos, on the California coast near Carmel, I’d be very happy,” says Moore. “It has the ultimate combination of everything. Monolithic rocks, cliffs, blue water, and the cypress trees with their amazing shapes—I could paint just on the path that goes from the parking lot to the tip of the point and never get tired of it.”

“Teal Sea and Foam,” by Larry Moore. A semi-abstracted work 

Moore suspects that a major reason he loves the area around Point Lobos is that it is so different from the landscape where he lives in Florida. But his affinity for the coast around Monterey is not just due to its colors—Moore says he appreciates when a fog-like condition rules, and all one can see is murky forms. “I love when the marine layer comes in and turns things into really graphic shapes and you see the true silhouettes of rocks and trees,” says the artist.

“Aerial,” by Larry Moore. A semi-abstracted work 

Perhaps he likes it because it points toward another idea Moore enjoys: abstraction. “I grew up as a graphic designer and an illustrator, so my job has been to solve visual problems in some compelling way,” says Moore. “I love plein air, but now it’s time to take that information and move ahead. I don’t really desire to be another plein air guy. I want to go where–well, where a lot of people have gone before,” he says with a laugh.

“Burton’s Point,” by Larry Moore, oil on canvas panel, 12 x 16 in.

To that end, he has been painting abstracted scenes from nature, be it surf or canyon. In February, he’s teaching a workshop at Carmel Visual Arts titled “Abstraction From Nature.” He feels passionately about opening up this avenue to other artists, especially developing artists. “The stumbling block that many people have is the drawing,” says Moore. “Half of the people in my classes have limited drawing skills. So I came up with a class where representational drawing is off the table. I work on other fundamentals. It just gets painful otherwise. I thought it would be a lot more fun and productive if we dealt with the abstract portion.”

“Evening at Lobos,” by Larry Moore, oil, 16 x 20 in. Best in Oil at 2009 Carmel Art Festival

Abstraction isn’t just for the studio, although Moore admits that it’s easier to tackle in a studio. “It’s better as a studio opportunity because one of the things we have a hard time doing outdoors is really separating ourselves from what’s there, especially in a place like Point Lobos,” says the artist. “We say to ourselves, we must get that tree, that color, that color relationship. But we can pick and choose elements you want and expand on them.”

Larry Moore painting at Point Lobos

In fact, that’s exactly what Moore plans to do, the next time his in Point Lobos. Abstract nature in plein air pieces.

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