CASA Magazine Review

In Search of the Dark Watchers by Mark M. Whitehunt PhD

The intriguing beauty of Big Sur has given birth to many stories, drawings, and paintings.  A rich tradition to this oeuvre was recently introduced in the book In Search of the Dark Watchers (2014) by artist Benjamin Brode and author Thomas Steinbeck.  It’s divinely simple narrative of field notes, sketches and paintings capture the landscape and lore of this pristine portion of California’s unique and stunning coastline.
Explorers with keen eyes and big hearts themselves, both Brode and Steinbeck peer into many meadows and caves to discover the mystical wonders of a great forest.
The field sketches by Brode add both life and relationship to his landscape paintings that offer a glimpse of this special space in the heart of the Los padres National Forest.  In all there are 15 sketches and 25 oil paintings along with a thoughtful and brief narrative annotating the journey of explorations and memory, like the musings of an old friend.