“Awkward Guy” illustrations

realsurfersI did some illustrations a year or so ago for a friend of mine, Franco Bertucci. The drawings go along, sort of, with poems he wrote about raising kids out in the country (he and his wife and three kids live on a working farm), love, poetic stuff like that. Franco is a musician and song writer, heads up a professional band, Locust Street Taxi; very tight, very showy. And Franco, the most low key guy in person; on stage, is radical. AND he can leap, flat-footed, like, amazingly high.

http://www.amazon.com/Awkward-Guy-Poems-embarrassing-things-ebook/dp/B01EIOLDI6/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461706483&sr=1-3&keywords=awkward+guy

The book is available, so far, on kindle. Jeez, let me check that. Yeah; kindle. Franco offered me (some undetermined amount of) money to do the drawings, but, very non-characteristically for someone who always takes the short money, I chose to take a (similarly non-determined) percentage of future profits.

We’ll see how that works out. I checked out the little sampler, and, whoa, and maybe it’s because I haven’t seen the drawings in a while… they looked awesome.

I mean, objectively speaking.

 

 

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Buy This Classic Hobie Now, Now, Now

Real Surfer/surf journalist/Drewslist owner/operator Drew Kampion contacted me to see if I could use my contacts among the surfing community in the Great Northwest. So, you; whichever sub-tribe you sort of belong to, or maybe just, too cool to belong-to, you hang, loosely, on the periphery of. Yeah, Drew kind of kissed-up to me, so, now, I’m passing the love on to you.

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Drew was contacted by a friend who wants to sell this 50th anniversary Hobie, shaped by renowned shaper Terry Martin. Drew took the photos, and says it’s in pristine condition. I thought maybe P.T., soon to be P.A. local Clint (still don’t know his last name), who has been on a board-buying tear of late, might be interested. Maybe he is, but, in case he isn’t, some hip (didn’t say Hipster) surfer who knows a classic collectible when it’s available might be ready to own a piece of history. So, I’m taking a a breath before I give the price out, but the asking price is…

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$2,000.00.

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Yeah. I know. It’s not like I can afford it; but I am really happy with my Hobie 10’6″ SUP I’m buying (easy payments) from Adam Wipeout James, who, if you scroll down, is in possession of a board he found on the southbound side of Surf Route 101 down by Shelton. But, that’s that and this is this. If you’re interested, or know some one who would just love to decorate his life with a classic, contact Erick at conundrum@yahoo.com.

And, incidentally, when Adam Wipeout said he would fix my thrashed, never-been-patched, ridden-over-every-rock-on the Strait SUP, I thought I might get a break on the Hobie I’m buying. Didn’t work. He’s a professional negotiator; I’m not. Whether you are or aren’t, contact Erick (jeez, couldn’t his parents decide which way to spell it?). My sister’s first board, first one I rode, was a 1962 Hobie 9’4″. Loved it, thrashed it. In fact, I’ve thrashed every board I ever owned; part of the reason I had to BUY the SUP.

Lost/Found Surfboard on Surf Route 101 and Panama Surf Revealed

Adam ‘Lucky and or Wipeout’ James called me yesterday, Thursday, April 21, just after 2pm. I was talking to a client and told him he’d have to call back. He did, five minutes later; quite excited, maybe more excited than the time he called me back to go over the incredible barrel he made the other evening in Westport on the new 6’4″ Takayama he purchased, or was able to justify the purchase of, because I’m buying his 9’6″ Hobie SUP. Making payments. Soon. Really.

“Dude,” he started out, “I just found a surfboard… on the side of the road… 101… Yeah, okay, surf route 101. Down by Shelton. What? Wait. What?”

What he meant is, “What do you think I should do?”

I recommended taking a photo of the board some traveling surfer evidently, unknowingly lost off his or her southbound vehicle, and sending it to me. I could post it and tag it, “surfboard lost/found on 101 near Shelton,” or something.

But then… wait a minute; if there’s a photo, no one has to describe it to reclaim it. Hmmm, better think of something else.

steve5steve2steve3indexFirst we have some shots Hydrosexual Stephen Davis sent to Keith “Stealth” Darrock via Facebook (because Trish hasn’t friend-requested Stephen yet). I think the first one is the local surf club. Steve is down there with his son, Emmett, and Scrimshaw Peter; and I told Steve before he left that I’d love to reveal all the secret spots in Panama because, durn it, I’m not going.  And I would reveal all, but I don’t have the information.  I’m sure if Steve described it, or when he does, it’ll start with, “Dude; you can’t even imagine how awesome it was.” And I’ll say, “Hey; why does everyone call me Dude?”IMG_2163Here’s a photo of Steve on his boat, about to say, “Dude, you can’t even begin to know…” Yeah, yeah.

MEANWHILE, thinking it’s probably not the best to give out Adam’s phone number; and it’s actually kind of a pain to write a comment on this site; if you, by some miracle, find this posting, and you, indeed, lost a surfboard that you can describe accurately, give me a call, (360) 774-6354. Limited time offer.

Real Surfers “Real-ly” For Surf Literature

…the first one, ever; goes to William Finnegan for “Barbarian Days.”

I’m sure he would be stoked. Okay, maybe mildly amused. Maybe just cool about the whole thing. I just heard the last of the hourly NPR newscast the other day, announcing the winner of some award. Didn’t hear what award, but something literary.  I was excited. I called up Port Townsend librarian (and surfer) Keith Darrock, who had saved the book for me when they got it in. I may have been the second one to check it out. My friend Archie Endo also mentioned the book was out. Real life surf writer/editor Drew Kampion endorsed Finnegan as a writer, quite impressed he had written a two issue (unheard of in its rarity) “New Yorker” piece on Doc Renneker, legendary surfer. “Yeah, he’s legit.”

So, I read it. Not straight through; but as straight through as I could manage.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s the Booker Prize. Don’t they have something like that?”

No, I found out; it’s the Pulitzer! Whoa. Now, that’s something.

It might be that part of the reason I loved the book so much more than some other books on surfing I’ve read, or started to read, or scimmed and abandoned, is that Mr. Finnegan is a real writer; a really good writer. And…he’s been there; surfing and other war zones; and he can maintain a coolness that most of us cannot; he can put into words what we can feel, not explain, and yet recognize as authentic. Passion and critical situations are sometimes best described from just a bit of distance;  with the right amount of objectivity. “Yeah, that’s it. He got it right.”

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The explanation for why the book had a bigger impact on me than it seems to have had on Keith is, perhaps, that Finnegan and I are contemporaries. I looked it up, he’s actually a year younger than I am; started surfing at a similar time. He is able to describe the beginnings of what his reviewers always seem to call “a lifelong passion;” trying to learn, to improve, to fit into whatever tribe one finds himself among.

While he was exploring now-well known spots around the world, I was surfing now-way-more-crowded spots in a less crowded Southern California. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear how that went for him.

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I actually was impressed enough to hold off of returning the book after I’d read it, asking Keith what would happen if I went over the deadline. And (this is actually unusual) I watched a video of Mr. Finnegan doing a reading at some event in New York City, with non-surfers making up most of the audience.

And he was cool; not talking down, now rolling his eyes, not even, noticeably smirking as he looked back to the page he was reading.

I have to admit I take some (probably improper) solace in knowing that, possibly to make up for his wanderings during his youth, he’s still working. Of course, when he’s not, he might be snagging a few tubes at Tavarua, staying at the now-known island, with a real bed and untainted water.  So, a minor honor, indeed, but the first ever “Real-ly” is for you, Mr. William Finnegan, Jr.

Surfing To You

Maybe it’s because I suffered the triple skunking the other day… a trip to a spot on the Strait that should have been, according to the buoys, working, but wasn’t. At all. Then a backtrack to a backup spot that also wasn’t working; but, while in cell phone territory, I discovered the buoy readings were even better. With various theories of tidal influences, ebb, flow, playing in my head, and not wanting to miss it (never wanting to miss the small windows) I headed back out.

That’s the double; didn’t have the triple until I got a report that several surfers near where I would have been if I hadn’t driven out, got a session (as in, after the session). This probably, with nothing showing in the forecast, bothered me more than it should. It’s only surfing, after all; not like it’s critical.

So I resumed my occasional contemplation of what surfing means. Fifty plus years of some participation in this; I still don’t have it figured out.

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This (below) is an edited version of something I wrote the day after I was triple-skunked.

When you finally, having, perhaps, exhausted all the cheap and easy options, admitting that being among the waves fills some void in your heart, and, possibly unaware of how brave and foolish and true this confession is; it’s impossible to do anything else but agree.

Still, this is not an empty heart; it is a heart; and as long as it’s beating, as long as the liquid flows…

I'm considering putting together a coloring book (all the rage I hear) of black and white drawings. It's not like you can't color them in as well as I do. I always feel like I need more colors.

I’m considering putting together a coloring book (all the rage I hear) of black and white drawings. It’s not like you can’t color them in as well as I do. I always feel like I need more colors in my quiver.  Three sizes of ink pens does fine, but color, color… imagine the possibilities.

Setting Out the Beach Chairs

The title has nothing to do with the drawings; but it has everything to do with surfers who check out every spot on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, then get to a place that’s actually working at about the time it stops doing so.

Image (47)Not that it’s happened to me. No, of course it has. Right now, trying to figure angles and tides; I wouldn’t bet on going to…you know, one of those spots… but, if I screw around, it might even be too late to go to… darn. Let me check those buoys again.

Image (48)I drew this larger, to fit a found frame, and, when I got it reduced, it was on paper a little too slick for the color. Not an excuse, an explanation. I have a load of wood and roofing in and on my work van, and no gas, and… checking the buoy. Oops, gotta go.

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Border-Line and Colorized Version

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Here’s the colored version of what I imagined as a more typical surf illustration than I usually do.

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I originally planned this as a border, with the woman probably less defined, kind of out of focus, and more linear so I could put a more focused wave, with someone on it, in the background.  I’m saving this in steps so I can have some options. I’ve already done more to the original; some swoops in the clouds, something coming from the horizon.We’ll see.

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Classic Surf Drawings in Progress

I got ink for the printer. The correct ink, now installed and properly aligned. Here are a couple of drawings in progress.

Image (43)Image (44)Since I can, I’m probably going to go a couple of different directions with the second drawing: part of a border with… well, there are options. I have another drawing I completed over a lost weekend of watching the WSL live from Australia, DVR’d from the earlier Snapper Rocks competition, watching “Gidget,” the original, not actually going surfing, which I’m ready… or not quite ready to go do now.  Okay, now.

What Are You Looking At? Some Color Added

I’m not sure how to get the colors, which are certainly bright and vivid enough on the drawings, transferred to the screen with the same intensity. I did probably over-color this drawing, and yet… by comparison, it still seems a bit washed-out.

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Now, if I tilt the screen backwards… oh, too much. I recently took a batch of drawings to The Printery in Port Townsend (shout out because I have the most annoying requests, cause them to spend a lot of time, and pay very little for the service- and I appreciate it), getting them reduced and centered. I’m hoping to frame up some of them, maybe see if I can, well, sell a few.

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