The lure of the boardwalk

September 21, 1996 § Leave a comment

Vanilla Ice Cream | Francis Livingston

Two Palms | Francis Livingston

His recent paintings of the Southwest had just gone on exhibit, but already Francis Livingston was driving south on Highway 1 headed back to Santa Cruz.

“It’s one of those places — there’s something there that pulls me back,” he says of his continuing fascination with the Santa Cruz boardwalk.

Livingston has been painting Santa Cruz since he moved to California in the 1970s. His Santa Cruz series — landscapes, figurative paintings and still lifes of ice cream cones and saltwater taffy — has drawn wide praise. Even after he and his family left California and moved back to the Rockies in 1994, Livingston has continued to find inspiration for his paintings in Santa Cruz.

“We had dinner out on the wharf when I was there in June,” he recalled from his studio in Sun Valley, Idaho. “The old fishing boats, with their old fading colors, were sprinkled out in the harbor. It was wonderful.”

Livingston admits he is a little surprised by his continuing attraction to paintings set in Santa Cruz. “Generally when I paint something, I’ve done it and I want to move on,” he said. “But not here. There’s something that’s comforting about getting back to it. It’s kind of like an old friend.”

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