Last year I painted PANHE to be used for the cover of The San Clemente Times Earth Day edition.
To prepare for the painting, I spent the day at last year’s Panhe Earth Day celebration and learned as much as I could about the history of the area.
PANHE is a beautiful place in San Clemente that was inhabited by the ancient Acjachmen Indians and is estimated to be about 9,500 years old. Me, Maria and Dylan go hiking back there sometimes. There’s an ancient Indian burial ground up on the hill that’s protected by law.
One of the reasons I live in San Clemente is the beautiful natural setting of this San Onofre and Trestles surfing area.
It is the LAST undeveloped, naturally intact coastal area in Southern California. It’s filled with wildlife that you can see while walking down the trails to go surfing.
I’ve seen deer, bobcats, coyotes and giant rattlesnakes on the trails.
Then there’s the sea life: whales, dolphins, sharks, halibut and calico bass. I have yet to see the elusive mountain lion, but I know they’re out there.
I find it extraordinary that as little as a few hundred years ago, this valley and San Mateo Creek was filled with thousands of Indians living off the land, calling this place home.
This beauty is under constant threat of development from outsiders, who do not know or care about its wonders. If we can get enough people to care about the area, we can keep it intact.
The painting is meant to show how special this place is and that it should be preserved for all time. Now, this year the artwork is being used for the PANHE Earth Day Celebration posters and advertising.
I’ll be there at noon, signing posters and enjoying the native dancers and story tellers. If you are local, come on by!
Life is Good, Drew
PS: The original painting was sold to a local realtor, who gave it to one of her clients as a gift.