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Capitola Village

An artist strives for the ability to see familiar places as if for the first time. Capitola Village is a famous destination for an afternoon drive. I have friends there that Nanette and I dine with in this charming California coastal village – which is as familiar as my backyard; I’ve even painted it many times.

Imagine my surprise then, when I ventured onto the cliffs above Capitola to be greeted by a dazzling new vista. In the afternoon light, the buildings seemed to glisten like the Emerald City of Oz. I returned the following week and set up my easel at this precise spot. The long wooden pier divides the ocean into gemstone color swaths – emerald and turquoise. Pinks and blues shimmer in the town; the cliffs and beach are painted rose by the setting sun. I was truly seeing Capitola Village as if for the first time.


  • Capitola is a city located in Santa Cruz County, California on the coast of Monterey Bay. Steep cliffs mark access to several popular beaches – including New Brighton Beach – or drop directly to the rocky shoreline of the Bay. Colorful houses and hotels line the slopes of the town leading back up to the higher cliff tops.
  • Capitola is a popular tourist town because of its trendy shops and restaurants on the shore directly connecting to a fishing wharf and a large, sandy beach. The area of Aptos – to the east – and the city of Santa Cruz – to the west – border Capitola.
  • Founded as Camp Capitola by Samuel A. Hall in 1874, Capitola was named for the heroine of The Hidden Hand – a novel by the popular author E.D.E.N. Southworth, favored by Hall’s daughter Lulu.
  • Capitola is known as the oldest beach resort on the West Coast. It is a quintessential beach town known for its laid-back lifestyle, skateboarding, and surfing. From the mid 1970’s to the mid 1980’s Capitola Village was well known for its annual downhill race The Capitola Classic – a skateboarding event that drew world class skaters and made its name in skateboarding history.
Title Capitola Village
Published October 2007
Subject Location Pier in Capitola, California
Classification Impressionistic

Image Sizes

12" x 16"
18" x 24"

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