WHILE I T’S PRET T Y obvious what would get people out to Marin’s beautiful outdoor spaces, the story of what got John Deckert out to California in the first place might fit better in a movie. “I was living in Long Island when the first girl I ever dated saw a self- portrait of me on my website and said, ‘I know him,’ ” Deckert says, adding
Deckert noticed something else about Marin (the couple now lives in Santa Rosa, where
that the t wo started a correspondence shortly after. “And 35 years after we dated I came to
live with her in Mill Valley.”
They’ve now been married 13 years and, according to Deckert, it was his wife, Anne, a
member of the Friends of Mt. Tam and Mountain Play boards, who showed him the natural
riches of the county. “She was dragging me up on Mount Tam and getting me out on the
mountain,” he says.
John has a large studio in his two-car garage). “People love the landscape and the natural
environment here,” the artist says. “People stop their cars to watch the sun go down.” And that
is certainly true at one of Marin’s most beautiful places: Point Bonita.
The point and the lighthouse were a subject the oil painter, who once wrote for Arts
Magazine and had a display in the window at Tiffany’s on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, had to
tackle. “To get there you walk down this peninsula and then through a tunnel, and as soon as
you exit you are blasted by this incredible light,” Deckert says.
Given the short amount of time the attraction is open each week, the narrow trails and the
fierce winds, there was no way to paint it on the spot, so Deckert brought some Bristol paper
and boards, pens and a camera to get the basics down. “My pen was dancing. I just loved this
series of sketches.”
When he later applied paint to the sunset image he captured, he knew he had created some-
thing special. “It was truly a magical moment,” he says.
• Meet John Deckert and the
finalists at our Get Covered
Contest Celebration event
May 11, 5: 30 p.m. to 7: 30
p.m., at Suite 325 in Town
Center Corte Madera. It’s a
great chance to celebrate with
the contest winner and to view
art by this year’s Marin Open
Point Bonita Light
11” x 14”, oil