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The Peaceful Sea: Paintings by Kevin A. Short

Santa Barbara, CA. July 7, 2022 –  Continuing its celebration of coastal living, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) presents The Peaceful Sea: Paintings by Kevin A. Short, an exhibition featuring more than 30 seascapes and ocean-themed landscapes by the renowned contemporary painter and Santa Barbara native. Thanks to the generous support of Mimi Michaelis, June G. Outhwaite Charitable Trust, the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, and American Rivera Bank, the presentation will be on view to the public from August 11 through December 31, 2022.

Short began his art training with a toy watercolor set and a pile of crayons, drawing on leftover butcher paper in the middle of the kitchen floor. He went on to formally study  oil painting at the University of New Mexico, Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. 

Now internationally recognized for his contemporary landscapes of the Pacific Coast, Short is considered a particularly intelligent observer of the ocean who paints the surfing and coastal subcultures using his signature heavy, impressionist brushstrokes and rich, saturated color palettes. Short grew up along California’s coast. Born in San Diego and raised in Santa Barbara, he developed his love of the ocean through sailing, fishing, and spending long days in the surf.  The Peaceful Sea: Paintings by Kevin A. Short presents a selection of the artist’s paintings that capture this lifelong passion.  It conjures specific moments in time, both imagined and remembered, and celebrates all the living colors of the sea.

A group of people standing on a beach

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“There is magnetism in looking at glare and the effects of sunlight—something magical and calming that somehow makes our troubles seem smaller and our thinking become clearer,” says Short of his work.

Emily Falke, Director of Collections and Curator at SBMM, says, “Short’s paintings are imbued with narrative and emotion. They chronicle our experiences as a coastal community, depicting all the outdoor joys available to us–paddling, boating, surfing, swimming, just being at the beach—and pay tribute to the beauty of the ocean and the culture that has helped form this part of the world.” 

Short’s book TRESTLES (2007, privately printed)—which captures the spirit of California’s famous Trestles surfing area and sounds an urgent call for nature conservation in the area—features lavish illustrations of the artist’s paintings and text by Mike Evans. The monograph will be available for purchase at the Maritime Museum’s store.

About the Artist

Kevin A Short’s paintings have been featured on the covers of the Los Angeles Times and the Surfer’s Journal. The Pasadena Museum of California Art (MCA) selected Short’s work, for the landmark exhibition, In The Land of Sunshine, numbering Kevin as one of the California Coast’s most influential narrative painters.  Other notable shows of his work have been held at the Irvine Museum in California, the Carnegie Art Museum, and the California Surf Museum, featuring Kevin’s paintings of Pt. San Mateo –Trestles. In addition to these shows, Short’s work is in the permanent collections of the Irvine Museum, the Hilbert Museum, the First Foundation Bank Sprint Nextel Art Collection, US Steel Corporation, and the Scripps Cardiac Center Collection. 


Since 2000, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum has featured many artifacts and stories to share the history of the Santa Barbara Channel with more than 40,000 visitors annually and provides year-round experiential maritime history and marine science education for local youth. Featuring the impressive First-Order Fresnel Lighthouse Lens from Point Conception, SBMM’s current exhibits explore the History of Oil in Santa Barbara Channel & Chumash Use of Asphaltum, the Honda Disaster, Wives and Daughters: Keepers of the Light, and Whales Are Superheroes!

SBMM is located at the historic Santa Barbara Harbor at 113 Harbor Way, Suite 190, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.  Visit or call (805) 962-8404 for details. 

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Maybe there's a happy little waterfall happening over here. A little happy sunlight shining through there. Take your time. Speed will come later. God gave you this gift of imagination. Use it. Once you learn the technique, ohhh! Turn you loose on the world; you become a tiger. Work on one thing at a time.