Wednesday at Swamis

Check out Reggie Smart Art by scrolling down. I do plan on posting new stuff on SUNDAYS, but I might just have more stuff to say than one-a-week can handle.

I continue to tighten and refine my manuscript for “SWAMIS.” Every time I am happy with one chapter, I think about how I can cut some fat from another chapter. When I say ‘think,’ I mean obsess. Most of this chopping and hacking involves covering what characters do without going too far into some background on the character.

But first, without too explanation- A few new illustrations:

WAIT! I screwed up and didn’t switch the view on several other drawings. Not being skilled enough to save this and add the corrected images. I guess I’ll have to save them for SUNDAY. SUNDAY!

MEANWHILE, here is a section that comes early in the novel, and is sort of retold a bit later. I already cut a character who was in this chapter. Sorry, man. I did a bit of a combo, taking what I thought was the best of each and making a version that is BETTER.


I tried to concentrate on the water, listening, studying where the waves peaked, where the best takeoff point might be. Instead, I visualized Sid in the water at Swamis on a sunny, glassy morning. Sitting with four other surfers, Sid was the farthest surfer over, farthest out. The apex of a loose triangle. He watched me push through a wave, kept his eyes on me as I paddled over far enough over to not be in the way if someone caught a right hander, close enough to pick up a wave someone missed or fell early on. Scraps.

Sid motioned to the surfer on his immediate right as a wave approached. The surfer paddled for and caught it. Three-wave set. Sid motioned to another surfer to go on the second, then took the third, and largest wave. I was on the shoulder, forty-five degrees to the waves, sitting back on my board, ready to go. Sid kept his eyes on me, shaking his head. He rode as close to me as he could, cranked his board around in a cutback, spraying me as he passed. I paddled on, out, toward the peak.

Another set came quickly enough that the surfer who missed the previous waves took the first one. I took the second one. Smooth takeoff, I thought, decent bottom turn. I lined up the section, pulled up high on the wave face. I did see Sid down the line. I didn’t expect him to turn, last second, and drop in. I had two choices: Run Sid over or bail.

No choice, really.

“That’s for paddling past me,” Sid said, paddling back out as I stood in chest deep water, my board, broach to the wave, popping up halfway to shore.

“I didn’t break any rules,” I said.

Sid stopped, got off his board. It was floating between us. “Yeah, Kook, you broke the locals rule.” He took in a mouth full of water, spit it across the board at me. He smiled. “Locals rule.” He nodded toward the lefts. “Okay… cowboy?”

“Okay” I said, out loud. I opened my eyes. I was still on the platform. “Ten seconds,” I whispered. “Maybe twelve.”

OH, yeah, remember that all rights to this stuff are claimed by the artist and/or artist and are protected by copyright.

See you SUNDAY!

Another Negative Image

FIRST, it’s not surf season along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. One must go coastal. Some friends of mine recently did; sharing an adventure that anyone who doesn’t live in the Pacific Northwest would consider the classic Pacific Northwest surf trip: Hiking with backpacks and surfboards, dropping down ropes (and climbing back up again) to possibly-never-surfed spots… exhausting.

OR, one could go to Westport, look for a parking spot, look for an empty wave.

OR, one could work. It is painting season, yes; but my wetsuit is dr-yyyy-yyy; and, yes, I’m thinking coastal.  Coastal.

MEANWHILE, I did complete a new drawing; meant to be reversed, black-for-white.  I don’t really know how this is going to work until I get to a print shop.  SO, last night, sort of hoping to run into the guy (Jay) at the Sequim Office Depot, who has a handle on such things, I, instead, ran into a person who asked another employee how to do the reversal. She wasn’t sure, either; and the first two attempts saw the image reversed but the black staying black.

“No, I kind of meant…”

ON the next attempt, what had been black was now red.  “Whoa! Didn’t know you could do that.”  “I guess we can.”

On the next attempt, we (with my input and the other Depot person’s advice) got it right.

“OH, but, um, can you do other colors?”  They looked it up.  “Red, yellow, magenta, blue, some other color.”  “One of each, please; full-sized; then a couple of eight and a half by elevens.  Please.”

NOW, suddenly, I’m a little irritated with myself that I didn’t get some smaller, as in scannable on my printer, versions of the ones in color.  Here’s the black-for-white version:

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I did lose some detail here; I’m blaming my scanner.  Now, imagine everything that is black as red, or blue, or…  and now imagine you are, quite exhausted from the hiking, out of a beach with silvery-shiny-glassy-empty-near-perfect waves.  And now imagine… whatever you want.

No, not being stuck in traffic.

While You’re Praying for Surf, how about…

…adding World Peace?

image-98Yeah, sure; but, I mean… okay, world peace… and some uncrowded and perfect waves.

MEANWHILE, I’m working on a commissioned (not, like, for a lot of money) poster for Franco Bertucci’s band, Locust Street Taxi.  Here’s kind of the progression:image-97image-99image-96Actually, I had to add a lot of copy in the blank space; and then add color. I’m getting the final poster copied today; I’ll post it tomorrow. Or tonight.

MEANWHILE, Archie continues to recover from his recent stroke; supposedly is using computer. I’ll write him, see what happens. MEANWHILE, continuing to get November weather in October here on the northwest corner; always praying for some alignment of the swell and wind direction… oh, and world peace.image-100


It was hot, Saturday, I couldn’t surf, didn’t want…

…to work… not that I need an excuse to draw, or even to post two drawings today (and I am going to do some real work today) in two days. Wait, three drawings; finished one yesterday morning (please check out Rico’s essay), started two, finished one, finished (finished is when I just can’t figure out where to put more lines) the other this morning.

Image (87)Image (88)Okay, so, so now I’m thinking, imagining what I want to see next. But, meanwhile…

“Awkward Guy” and, um, me…

…that would be Franco Bertucci, and I are getting ready for an event, Thursday, June 29, 7pm, Port Townsend Library. This is a flyer I passed on to PT Librarian Keith Darrock so he could do some publicity. First he has to add the copy. Glad it’s him; I can’t seem to keep it simple.

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I did some illustrations for Franco’s book a couple of winters ago, opting, because I have a lot of faith in Franco, and his chances for success, to take a percentage (sort of vague on that) of the profits. Because, in order to get it out there in some form, he did a Kendle book; all fine, and you can buy one, and some have; or, if you’re an Amazon Prime person, you can just download it for free; or, it seems, you can just look at it for free.

I think that’s a link. Check it out; free; if you can.

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I’ve been getting my drawings for the “Realsurfers Coloring Book” together while searching for the originals I did for “Awkward Guy” (evidently I scanned them to a computer that no longer is alive- but Franco has the color versions). The plan is to have both of these available in a paper, hold-it-in-your-hands version for the event. And this might be where I get into trouble in describing, simply, what Franco and I plan on presenting to whoever shows up. The leader of “Locust Street Taxi,” a very tight and professional group, Franco is a talented musician.

So, the deal is, since I have a lot of songs, copyrighted under the title “Love Songs for Cynics,” and though I play an acceptable harmonica, my singing stylings are, one could say, underappreciated; Franco has agreed to sing at least one of my songs, and, in return, I’ll read or recite several of his poems. And a couple of mine.

That was my idea. Franco’s was to open with Q&A and go from there.


Three Hours To Kickoff and…

…I have to take our friend George Takamoto to SeaTac, then, because I have a job over near Manchester, and there’s a ferry that goes there, I get to listen to the game instead of watching. Not that I wouldn’t trade watching for surfing, but the big blob of red, almost-purple, did not, as I hoped, move to a better angle to cause the Strait to work.

Not that others weren’t checking the buoys; or even driving, walking, looking; each surf fanatic hoping; all using their mind-power, singular and collective, to achieve victory. Yeah; my friend Archie was out surfing on sub-one footers, reported there were a lot of people looking. I checked-out the spot I thought had the best chance of receiving an off-angle swell. Nope.

VICTORY! Oh, maybe, with the swell angle still around 220, I’m now switching my mind power to the Seahawks. I actually googled “Seahawks real surfers” to get this drawing, rather than searching for it, realizing it’s probably saved on some unsaved computer, somewhere in a drawer or on a shelf.


Now I’ve got to go. I tweaked and beat on and finally got the radio in my Toyota to 97.3. We never seem to like the commentators on the network coverage, but we always love Steve Raible and Warren Moon’s announcing. Totally biased. As are we.

So, if all the Seahawks fanatics pool our collective will… concentrate, don’t give up… with a little extra mind-help for Marshawn…

How do we spell VIC-TOR-EEEEEEEEEE!?

On Wildcard Sunday…

The actual drawing is a bit too big for my scanner. This is, however, most of it. Thinking posterization, I started the drawing on Saturday, worked on it off and on, then, up early on Sunday to maximize the pre-game preparation, I added more up to and during the Seahawks/Vikings game.

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When I decided, sometime after my wife, Trish, decided she couldn’t watch any longer, probably about the end of the third quarter, with the Seahawks behind 9-0, that I should pay more attention, give a more focused fan, um, whatever it is fans, and, in particular, fans watching on TV, might be able to contribute to a team effort, I set the drawing aside.  I went back to it before and after dinner, put my name on it some time during our delayed viewing of “Downton Abbey.” Look for a color version some time before the Seahawks take on Carolina next Sunday. I’ll be listening to most of it on the radio, cosmically cheering, as Trish and I have decided we can’t really watch close games together.   GO HAWKS!

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to will some favorable buoy readings. Okay, I’ll focus a little more; see how that works.

It always works.


Just Chchch-Changing a Few Things

Back at Palomar Community College, taking all the art classes I could get into, I never quite fit into the scene. This was 1969-71, and it seemed more important to look like an artist than to actually turn out something original or real. Things haven’t changed that much. I really started this paragraph to say that I also took creative writing; also didn’t seem to fit in. Thing is, the artists seemed to think I was really better suited as a writer, the writers (not that I asked them, it was painful enough to act like I didn’t hate their stuff) seemed to think I was more an artsy guy.

The problem persists. It should be noted that my drawing is more influenced by Rick Griffin’s work in “Surfer” than anything I learned in class; my writing… well, nowadays I just write the way I want to write. But let me add, I so appreciate any image, verbal or visual (include music and song and, sometimes, smell) that causes me to stop for a second, or longer, just to enjoy; temporarily overwhelmed.

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I plan on adding some color to the ones that are still black and white. And I have more to work on, while, meanwhile, I’m working on a drawing that might be my Christmas (or fill in your choice of solstice celebrations) card. I’m imagining a view from the back of a wave, with the Olympics in the background. I’m having some trouble finding reference material for something from that vantage point. But, I’ll pay more attention next time I go surfing.

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“Damn Strait” and “Energy Between the Lines”

I’ve been trying to come up with a line that conveys the message that there are never any decent waves on the Strait of Juan de Fuca; or if there are, they’re rare fickle and probably not worth the effort of looking for them. Everyone who has tried a few times has been skunked on a percentage of these trips. The drawing is utter fantasy. Sometimes the waves are, too.

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I’m also always trying to come up with a slogan for other than “shoulder hoppers and name droppers.”

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As with everything, working on it. Since I fired up the printer/scanner, I figure I should add at least one more so I can do a medium size; something one can look at without moving the image up and down. The waves may be going off right this minute. Somewhere, they no doubt are.

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Not that it’s all that relevant, but, after getting the drawings reduced and a couple of copies at the Fed-Ex/Kinko (unless they’ve dropped the Kinko altogether) yesterday, I made some inquiries as to what it would cost to put together a little book of illustrations. I discovered that… well, my second or third question was, “Then how does anyone make any money with books?” “Um, maybe a… printshop? Volume? Um; hey, we don’t know. That’ll be $3.66 for the copies. Oh, and you have some pens?” This morning I discovered the pens that make that in-between line I really need, the two-pack… blue. Not black. Blue. Blue like one gets from a trip to the Strait. Maybe the good kind of blue. Damn, I could have been there by now.

Sorry, I was just interrupted by Adam Wipeout. “I think it’s firing.” Bluer.

Two New Surf Illustrations

I ran into Andrew, another house painter, up in Port Townsend yesterday. Checking out a historic building in the Uptown area, stepping back into the street, I practically ran into him as he got out of his car. We had passed each other at the paint store, but this time he was out of costume and carrying a small painting on canvas. It was a scene of this very street, almost black and white. Because I have questionable social skills, I took it from him, checked it out.

Andrew is through, he says, with exterior painting for the season. “Oh. No, it’s still warm enough,” I said. No, I’m no where near through with exterior painting.  He plans on building his inventory of paintings. “You make any money on this,” I asked as he took his painting back. “Maybe in a couple of years.”

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“” has always been a portfolio builder for me. And, with longer nights, I’ve been on a bit of a roll, lately. Trish recommended (strongly) that I not add color to the drawing above. I thought it looks ‘beatnik and 1959-ish,’ she says it’s Art Deco-ish. I probably will make a copy and color that. Oh, more than probably.

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While the top drawing evolved from a sketch, the lower drawing came from some reference material; specifically a photo of Kahea Hart at Backdoor Pipeline by Pete Hodgson/AFrame. This time, because Trish had trouble discerning the surfer’s head from the background, she insisted I add some color. No, I didn’t make a copy first. Darn.