Carmel-by-the-Sea, A California Artist Colony

Painter on Carmel Photographer Christine Murphy

Painter on Carmel Beach

Colorful palettes and artists abound in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Painters painting on the beaches or along the pine forest are fun to see — with their easels in locked position and their brushes flowing oils on stretched canvas. The artists are always friendly, inviting passersby to watch as they dash off the countryside with sable brush in the midst of one of California’s finest scenic locations.

Here is an artist’s palette. It has an amazing design of its own.

Artist - LA Photographer, Christine Murphy

Artist’s Palette

Artists can be seen in shops painting away, on the roadway or in a field. I call it “painter watching” and I can watch them for hours as the hills, ocean, and waves materialize into a landscape on canvas. Just like me with my camera in hand, the artists are out among the rocks and shoals of this wild coast as they work to capture it’s stunning beauty.

Artists Painting,, LA Photographer, Christine Murphy

Artist’s Painting

I think there is beauty in simplicity. Although the oil paintings in progress are brilliant next to the landscape subject, the pallets themselves are just so colorful and creative, they strike me as stand-alone works of art. Am I right?

Pallet and Photographer, Christine Murphy

Pallets and Paints

R. Doane Hoag, a local Carmel artist, stands among the Monterey Pines overlooking a breathtaking ocean backdrop, as he studies the scene and captures the seascapes, the trees and the hills on his canvas.

A glimpse of the Carmel coastline from the vantage point of a high cliff where the local painters like to take a nice early morning position.

Pacific Coastline - Photographer Christine Murphy

Pacific Coastline

With my camera in hand, Mr. Hoag posed for a portrait in his Carmel bungalow in front of a portion of his incredible collection of paintings and artifacts. He grew up surrounded by artists. His father was an architech. His mother, Betty Lochrie Hoag McGlynn, was a Northern California art historian.  Elizabeth (Tangye) Davey Lochrie, his grandmother, was a respected artist in Montana, known for her portraits of the local Native Americans.

Robert Doane Hogue Photographer Christine Murphy

Carmel artist, R. Doane Hoag, at home

Mr. Hoag toured me through his cottage, showing me his art works. He is holding his oil palette and showing me his painting of the cottage gate on his easel — that he gifted to my mother.

Doane Houge Photographer Christine Murphy

Doane Hoag

Many famous photographic artists found inspiration in Camel’s  rugged beauty. The landscape’s majestic seascape  brings romance to the area — which draws in those who feel this area quenches their creative thirst.

Two of these influential photographers were Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Ansel Adams moved to Carmel in 1962 and spent his last years photographing the Big Sur coast, printing photographs not previously printed and writing in support of environmental protection. He was eventually awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Edward Weston, a photographer, famous for his natural forms, close-ups, nudes and landscapes,moved to Carmel in 1929 and shot the first of many photographs of rocks and trees at Point Lobos. Today the Weston Gallery lives on in downtown Carmel and Weston’s photography, and that of his family, can be seen at::

Even the doors in Carmel have character. Here is one on Ocean Avenue that is one of the most photographed doors in Carmel. It reminds me of one of those colorful artist’s palettes.

Carmel Door,, LA Photographer, Christine Murphy

An interesting Carmel door.

Thank you for joining me on this stroll through the artist’s colony in the village by the sea.

Stay tuned for more Carmel-by-the-Sea adventures and beautiful spots along the Carmel coast that I have uncovered in my wanderings as I explore more about California and the beauty it holds.
I hope you will join me.

Please join us on Facebook and I hope you’ll check out my photo website at

-Christine Murphy

Christine Murphy

Our photo-poetry book, “While Wandering: A Photo-Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes”…

While wandering-A Photo-Poetic Journey Through California Landscapes

8 thoughts on “Carmel-by-the-Sea, A California Artist Colony

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