Leo Carrillo Beach Oil Painting – Pelican Rock – Malibu seascape art

Cormorant Rock, Malibu,
Leo Carrillo State Park Beach

5 x 7 oil painting

At Leo Carrillo Beach, I came across a rock that had a flock of cormorants roosting briefly before their next fishing mission. Their silhouettes against the fading sun intrigued me, and I thought they made a nice composition. A wedding was underway just the other side of a big rock structure, a beautiful sunset setting. I thought at first they were pelicans, but I was mistakden.

This limited palette painting was fun to do. The rocks take on different colors depending upon the lighting conditions and time of day, which presents a lot of creative possibilities.

California’s Brown Pelicans have been in the news recently as sick and dying birds have been found a distance from usual home. Their feathers are often discolored with some unknown substance. Whether is the result of red tide (algae bloom) or some other pollutant is unknown. A similar die-off happened around February of 2009. One supposition is that weather and oceanographic influences may disrupt the pelicans usual feeding patterns, causing them to starve and weaken. El Nino conditions may be a contributory factor. These birds were on home turf and looked well-feathered and plump. I love to watch them flying just over the waves, single file.


  1. Dan Robinson
    March 18, 2010

    Leo Carrillo, what a great spot. You did well there.

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