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An Artist's View of Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico

David Messick, Resident Artist and Renaissance Man in Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico
 Phyllis Davis


The paintings in the photo above are all titled 'The Beach' and numbered.  These four are The Beach XXI, XXII, XXIII, & XXVI.  They are all oil with wax on canvas.
*See below for the complete story of how David named his painting series, ‘The Beach.’
Come join us at La Jolla Condominium Development in Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico and see for yourself that paradise is possible.  
Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico, attracts many interesting and talented expats who populate some of the beautiful homes in the area. A local painter, David Messick, lives in a beautifully renovated Hacienda style home on a bluff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean with unobstructed views that seem to go on forever.   

David is a tall man with white hair and beard, with the easy movements of a dancer. When we entered the Spanish-style courtyard of his elegant home, he showed us his newly installed blue and gold tile work on a stairway, leading to a roof-top observation area overlooking the ocean. On the way into his home, David took a few moments to introduce us to the various indigenous plants and trees that are planted in his shaded courtyard.   

After walking through the enormous wooden doors entering his home, there was no doubt that David was an artist with eclectic tastes because of his use of bold colors on the walls and ceilings to highlight his beautiful paintings.  

 In order to understand David’s art, it’s important to know about him, as a person, because after a lifetime of travel, he has developed his own unique style that reflects his perspective on all things.  As an artist, father and grandfather, he pays close attention to details and ‘takes care of . . .  people, nature and things.’ It seems as if David misses nothing; he enjoys order, spatial relationships, light, shadow and quality in all things near him.  

But there’s more to David than being a painter. He is also a Retired Air Force Officer who served for 30 years. After retirement, he attended University of California and received his degree in Art History and Studio Art and then went on to receive his Master’s Degree at California State Fullerton.  

He has lived all over the world including many years in Europe, India, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Thailand. He draws inspiration from the many cultures of the world. For example, his painting of the interpretation of the Greek Islands is portrayed by a brilliant blue and turquoise sea, set behind the hard white stucco facades of the houses in the foreground, demonstrating his painting style and perspective on art. The painting pulls the viewer closer to reveal the artist’s seductive secret of dimension and depth.

One of the reasons David moved to Rosarito Beach 18 months ago was because he grew tired of politics in the US, and he did not like the direction the US is taking. He was also tired of the problems created by the growing population in Southern California, especially the traffic. After coming to Rosarito Beach for holidays and art shows for many years, when it was time for him to decide where he’d like to move, he chose Rosarito Beach because of the beauty of the area and his many art-related friendships in the local and active creative community.

When asked the question about safety in Rosarito Beach, he responded, “I am not afraid. The media has created a lot of negative attention, but I don’t see the problems of violence here. I also don’t do ‘stupid’ things by going to go dangerous places in the middle of the night. The crime isn’t worse here than it was in San Diego County. Crime in Mexico just seems to get more national media coverage than it does in the US.” 

As we said good bye to David, outside the massive wooden gate to his home, we felt as if we had made a friend, which is a common occurrence among the 14,000 expats who live the area. We said a reluctant goodbye and knew we’d see him again soon because that is part of the beauty of living in a small town in Mexico, we live together in paradise and Rosarito Beach is our center.   
Come join us at La Jolla Condominium Development in Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico and see for yourself that paradise is possible.   

* “In early spring, 1997, I received a six-month Artist’s Residency in New London, CT.  Early one cold, foggy November morning I was walking on the beach.  The sky was grey, the water in the sound was grey and the fog was grey.  It was almost impossible to see the horizon line between the ocean and the sky.

While I was standing there looking out to sea, a crow landed on the beach about five yards in front of me, between me and the water.  I thought that was strange and said to myself that I had never seen a crow on the beach in California.  Which was completely incorrect I later realized, it was just that I had never paid attention to them until that moment in Connecticut.

I liked the contrast between the grey surroundings and the black crow and went back to the studio and painted a canvas with a light grey top and a darker grey bottom and put a light orange line at the middle point where the two colors met.  And then I could not decide what to do with it and it just leaned against the wall in the studio for the rest of the time I was in Connecticut.  When I packed up my stuff at the end of the residency and returned to California the grey canvas went with me.

That grey canvas leaned against the wall in my studio at home for two years.  Once in awhile I would look at it and wonder how to complete the painting.

In late 1999 I was awarded another residency in Santa Fe, NM, which started in January 2000.  I picked January through March because I wanted to be able to ski while there (which is not relevant to the story but is one of the reasons I applied for the residency).  When I packed up my van to go to Santa Fe I put the grey canvas in with all the other stuff and leaned it against the wall of the new studio.  About a week after getting to Santa Fe, it suddenly dawned on me that all the painting was waiting for was the bird.  This obvious thought had taken more than two years to gestate for some reason.  So I painted a black bird into the center of the grey painting.

Then I did another one and put two birds into it and another with three birds and another -----.  And that started a four year obsession with painting those birds in as many ways as possible without repeating.  At times I would get so sick and tired of painting them that I would quit and go to another subject but the thought, “How many can I paint ?” kept coming back and I would start again.  I painted 63 versions of the grey painting in all and now I am over the obsession, I think.

So the title is The Beach because that is where it all started.”

Published Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:19 PM by Kanoa Biondolillo


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