Black Bear and Coyote Spirit Animal Illustration

Because I worry about ruining a drawing that is going well as much as I’m thrilled that it is going well; I stopped the Coyote illustration without a background.  This is the same reason I added the lettering on the Raven after I’d done the drawing, had copies made; and colored some in. So,

But, because I was stuck at the Les Schwab in Port Townsend getting my ball joints replaced (hey, at a certain age…) for pretty much a whole day, I actually started AND finished the drawing and lettering on the Black Bear.

BUT, I didn’t color it in until I had copies made.  SO, here’s where we are right now:

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MEANWHILE (no, it’s more like a ‘So…’) if you noticed that there’s no color on the coyote itself, and not too much on the raven; it’s that Trish seems to believe that the drawings are, um, better.  We’ll see. I’m planning on doing some others.  We just had a big ass owl show up on our ring doorbell/camera.  I know owls are spirit animals in the northwest, but not sure about some of the other animals that show up; raccoons, possums, squirrels, various other birds, cats… haven’t had a cougar yet, but they are known to frequent our area.

SO (more like ‘Oh’), I am planning on doing some more illustrations.  Stay tuned.

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Northwest Spirit Animals

I am planning on doing a series of animals that have a history and a spiritual connection to the Northwest.  Of course, I want to tie it in to the waters, the ocean that spreads its fingers into the land.

The illustration of the raven is the first of these.  I can’t seem to quit on any drawing until it’s pretty much over-done, can’t seem to keep it simple.  So, here’s the latest addition to the raven:

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When I’m pretty happy with the progress of a particular drawing, it becomes a worry that anything additional I do may not improve, and might possibly ruin the whole thing. This is the case with the Coyote illustration.  I got the coyote done, maybe, and then worried about where to place it.  I added the butterfly, and then the lettering, and then got copies of that so that, if I ruin one, I can try again.

Here’s where we are:

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There’s one spot under the front feet that is on the original.  Any other random, out of place spots are from the scanner.  I didn’t want to white it out because there may be some added value in having the original.  For example, Trish wants the original of the raven drawing.  It may be too late.  I did the drawing, 11 by 17, got copies; colored in several, got copies and reductions; added the lettering to one of those.  There is, then, the original without the lettering, and the… yeah, confusing.

I am, however, bravely or foolishly, currently adding background to the original coyote drawing.  Water, waves, driftwood.  Sort of scary.

If we compare it to surfing, the best I can come up with is: If you get one of the best rides of a session, one you probably won’t top, do you come in?  What if the first wave, as is sometimes the case, is the best?

WAIT, here’s another question: When you know one is not supposed to share too much information with too many people on where waves are breaking, or that waves are breaking, particularly in real time (and particularly around the Strait of Juan de Fuca); is there (or can there be) a select group of surfers you CAN share the info with?

I sort of think there is.  YES, it does suggest one can have FRIENDS; which then suggests there might be some sort of community of surfers.  Community.  Hmmm.

I have phone numbers for, probably (only) six or seven surfers. I share info with three regularly, a couple more sometimes, and others rarely.  Mostly I get “You would have loved it” text messages, after the fact.  Sometimes there might be some “What do you think” strike/skunk probability discussions/planning sessions.

It kind of comes down to TRUST, and, YEAH, the fallback position is that there are NEVER waves around these parts, but there are ALWAYS waves in… oh; gotta go.

Burning Scott Sullivan (Parts Two and One)

                                                A Second- 2nd Scott Sullivan Encounter/Incident

-PART TWO-

IT WAS JUST A SECOND, really; two Costco shoppers passing in the dairy/coffee aisle in the Sequim warehouse/store.

You don’t recognize people you don’t really know instantly; it takes a second.  We were both in a hurry; he with one of the big orange carts, me with the regular one (slightly larger, you might have noticed, than one at a regular supermarket- or, even, WalMart).

I think it was his mustache.  Yeah, one of those with the ends twisted and skinny, and pretty much brown.

SCOTT SULLIVAN.

I thought, or, possibly, imagined, that we made eye contact. Split the above second. Maybe he thought he recognized me. Maybe.

Not that he might instantly remember where and when we met previously; the first Scott Sullivan Encounter

NOW, I was wearing an ORIGINAL ERWIN t shirt, the baby poop yellow one with the lacy white wave. YEAH, that one (the baby poop thing is from Trish, I call the color ‘golden haze’); and, hey, I do have a possibly-recognizable mustache/soul patch combo of my own, white, with, quite often, coffee-stain brown at the scraggly bottom edges.

I didn’t just do an over-the-shoulder lookback, I DID A PIVOT/HALF TURN, right between the doors for the sour cream/cottage cheese and the one percent milk.

YES, Scott Sullivan; had to be, pushing toward the final goal, checkout, with a cart full of dairy products, flour, other fixins for making PIZZA.

HAD TO BE.

MY FIRST THOUGHT, with both of us, obviously, having gone, as the place is designed, clockwise from the entrance, past the clothing and lighting and pressure washers and furniture and fruit and meat, was how, suddenly, what I wanted most to do, was to CUT SCOTT SULLIVAN OFF! Exclamation point; BURN HIM at the checkout counter, last second, that split second when one must decide which open register would provide the fastest avenue to the next-but-last Costco line, the one at the exit.

“You think it’s yours, Scott Sullivan? NO! DENIED! Hahaha… ha!

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IT ISN’T like I have any animosity toward Scott Sullivan, but it is that…

…COSTCO BREEDS COMPETITION.  That’s been my opinion for quite some time.  It’s a constant jockeying for position.  Picture the gas lines.  If only you could fill from the right side.  Durn.  Oh, you have a regular membership card?  I have a Corporate card.  You go for the optimum parking spot; close enough to either the entrance or one of the cart returns in the lot (in Australia, it’s probably the car park). NO, FIRST, you time your visit to when you believe it’ll be the most efficient.

IF YOU GET THERE at opening; sure, you can power through, fill your cart, cross out the items on your list; only to get to the front with fifty or so other dawn patrollers (if dawn is at 10 am), and one register open.  SIMILARLY, if you go late you will miss the free food samples (hummus or guacamole on various crispy items, soup, trail mix, skanky cheese, whatever; always worth a taste) that advanced Costco shoppers (many way more adept than you could be at the gather, half-stepping as another tray is put forth, swoop necessary to hit every sample offered; aka lunch) will elbow-smack you for. THEN AGAIN, lights dimming, everyone else is at the front, two cashiers (and, really, though it seems like a better idea than having the folks at the food court throw out the leftover item, as required, at closing, a slice of 8:29 Costco pizza is not good pizza), and the people at the register you chose need extra assistance in ringing-up that really big TV, the one you can actually watch from your position three back in the line (elsewhere called the queue, which we, in A-merica, don’t really use because we don’t know how to spell it).

STRAIT SLICE PIZZA, 121 1ST STEEET (that’s 101, really, the one-way going in-to-town), PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON; SCOTT SULLIVAN, OWNER.

Unsolicited advertising, Scott Sullivan.

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-PART ONE-

I DID WRITE about my first encounter with the well-known Port Angeles restauranteur, surfer, and, evidently, photographer/skier (or snowboarder, or both- don’t really know) on this very site. AND, WHEN I FOUND OUT HIS NAME, I DID NAME NAMES.  Scott Sullivan.

BUT, at the request of a friend I should probably not name, but will (ADAM WIPEOUT JAMES), I deleted the name; Adam’s main argument being that Scott Sullivan is popular with the P.A. surf crowd; and Erwin Dence is, perhaps, not.  FINE. I also did not, and won’t here, reveal the not-really-secret surf spot where I, allegedly, BURNED SCOTT SULLIVAN.  Feel free to guess.

BRIEF RECAP: I was there with MIKEL (SQUINTZ, still the best nickname I didn’t give someone) COMISKEY; and was, actually, one of the first people out.  It got, over the next two hours, crowded. I was, allegedly, catching more than my fair share of waves.  ALLEGEDLY. Squintz had been surfing a different peak, and had been in and out of the water (some of this due to his refusal to wear booties).  I got out of the water about the time Scott Sullivan came powering down to this peak, took off on a wave, and, moving up to a forward trim position, caught an outside edge on the inside; his leashless board nearly hitting a young woman.

That’s not really relevant. BUT, surfers do seem to kind of brag about how they’re leash-free, as if it equates to confidence or ability (and it may), while giving little to no beach cred to folks (me, for example) who surfed, pre-leash, ankle-naked, for seven or eight years before giving in to the swim- (and, often, swimmer) saving kook cord.

SO, now Squintz is trying to convince me, with the wind coming up, that, now that he’s at this peak, more waves will be coming.  OKAY, I paddle back out. AND, A FEW MINUTES LATER, there is, indeed, an outside set. I paddle over the first one, then the second, paddle toward the peak. I turn, start paddling for it.  I AM COMMITTED. That commitment is the key to my defense, your honor(s). 

BUT, SUDDENLY, Scott Sullivan maneuvers closer to the peak, turns, and takes off.

SO, by the rules handed down, unofficial but not unknown (passed through constant lectures and occasional ass-whippings), Scott Sullivan had priority.  PRIORITY. It was Scott Sullivan’s wave.

AGAIN, I was committed, couldn’t really bail at that moment.  WELL, if I did just dismount, the way one would (and I have) if there’s a danger of imminent contact with some kook who decided to paddle out rather than around, this might not be the story of how I BURNED SCOTT SULLIVAN.  I didn’t.  I was COMMITTED.

WHOA!   Okay, I did do what I believe to be the right thing; the thing I would want someone to do if they inadvertently took off in front of me.  I powered down the line, pulled over the top.  NOW, I still believe I heard something behind me, something like grumbling (or yelling- I do wear protective earplugs). 

FORTUNATELY, there was a fourth wave.  I took it.  I rode as far as I could.  PADDLING back (around the break), I observed big, angry arm movements from Scott Sullivan, directed, in my absence, at Mikel Squintz.  When I got back to the lineup, Scott Sullivan was gone, having moved to a position farther up the point.  “Um, uh; guess he’s kind of mad,” I said.  “Yeah.” “I was committed.” “Sure.” “Who is that guy?” “That’s what he asked about you.” “Oh?” “Yeah, he said that you’re not even from around here, and I said, ‘wait a minute, you’re from _________ (my memory isn’t clear on which upper east coast state Scott Sullivan came here from),’ and he just left.  You could apologize.”  “Apologize?” “Maybe.” “Sure.”

Mikel did mention that, even with the increased crowd, Scott Sullivan and I did seem to be getting most of the waves ridden. “And?” “Just saying.”

I did, incidentally, move to the OLYMPIC PENINSULA in 1978, first surfed this very (unnamed here) spot in January of 1979.  With useless California wax, an insufficient wetsuit, and, yes, a leash. 

SO, since I was well past ready to get out of the water, I paddled up toward Scott Sullivan.  “If I, um… if you thought I…” “I go surfing to get away from that kind of shit,” Scott Sullivan said.  “We all do,” I said, and paddled on. 

I’m sure I stopped at Costco on the way home.  I usually do.  Here’s a shot of me, in the ORIGINAL ERWIN shirt I was wearing, just in case,. So non-threatening. 

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WAIT. ABOUT THE  BURNING from Part Two.  Didn’t happen. I had to stop to get peanuts for our yardbirds.  Scott Sullivan was long gone.  He, obviously, picked the right line.  ABOUT THE PIZZA.  I haven’t tried a Strait Slice slice; assume they’re great; I do know where some of the makins come from.  

Ravens are Indigenous, Most of Us Aren’t

Trish and I love ravens. Maybe Trish a bit more.  There’s a reason they’re honored in myth and legend in places where they are indigenous.  Without getting too deep into origin or migration stories, the Pacific Northwest is a place where they are indigenous.  Okay, let’s say locals.  They are locals, and most of the rest of us are visitors, tourists, refugees from somewhere else.

How I got myself into this whole thing is this: I wanted to have a cool title, with, maybe, some graphic lettering, to go with my drawing of a raven.  Ravenswood, ravenscraft, the words I might choose to use were taken up by video games and artisan beer companies and such commercial places.

Then, while watching the pre-season football game last night, coloring-in a larger (can’t be scanned on my printer) version of the drawing, mostly because this previously-colored version was criticized by Trish for being ‘too yellow.’  “And you put color on my raven (wait, her raven?); ravens are black;” I saw a little spot from the Muckleshoot tribe featuring a young woman, a champion middle distance runner, who was bringing attention to Native Women who have been murdered or disappeared by competing (and winning) with the image of a red hand across her mouth.

Powerful.

I didn’t catch the young woman’s name. Sorry. Here’s a related image:

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Okay, I spent another five minutes, found this image of Rosalie Fish taken by photographer Alex Flett:

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Hey, maybe I’m reaching for a connection here. Maybe there’s just too much going on about who belongs where, who’s a local, who’s a migrant/tourist/visitor.  Part of my family’s history (or legend of actual history) includes a connection to Eastern Band Cherokees (pre Trail of Tears), with other connections to Wales, England, Scandinavia – legends of settlers and invaders.  Reaching.  Fine.  Maybe we’re not all migratory, transitory; here, there, and… gone.

Maybe I’m looking for something spiritual among the mundane.

I really just wanted to show my raven illustration.

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I did tone down some of the yellowness.  When I get the later version, “Trisha’s Raven,” reduced, I’ll put out a side-by-side.

MEANWHILE, BONUS! Here’s a recent shot of Stephen Davis kiteboarding:

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If the Waves don’t show…

…get to work.

Here’s a work in progress by Stephen Davis.

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In progress.

I got this on my phone, so, small, and the image (taken from one of many great  photographs he  has taken) was preceded by Steve, who had picked up some new acrylics the day before, describing his latest painting as, “Vibrant.”

“Send it to me.”

On my phone, it was that: Vibrant.

Because Steve and I are quite competitive (that is, 8.5 out of 10), I asked if he’s all right if I attempt a drawing of the same scene.

“Bring it on!”

Okay.

Wait for it.  Wait for it.  Oh, yeah; we’re a little sick of the waiting- bring on some waves!

ARTSY Note: If you look too closely at many artist’s work, at classics; if you look at the brush strokes, try to work out how the colors are blended, or not; if you break down the technical aspects, the layout and the perspective; you’re looking too closely.  Trish and I have one of Steve’s originals, an acrylic image of one of my favorite northwest surf locations, hanging across the room from our bed.  Perfect.  Here are a couple more:

 

Paipo, Sunset Landmark, Ukulele Poser

Here is Port Townsend’s newest landmark. Stephen Davis, back from a trip down to Baja, back up again, with stops (to visit friends, some surfing) along the way, is giving the celebratory high sign for the sunset I painted on “Shortboard” Aaron’s house.  It’s high enough and visible enough that I (humbly) suggest it is the newest landmark in Port Townsend.

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It wasn’t super easy. I started with the yellow and the dark red, painted one half of the entire thing; then Aaron came home, asked, “Are you happy with it?” “Well, um…” The intermediate/transition colors did look, I had to agree, a little like makeup foundation. SO, I got a quart of dead-ass orange, rearranged the ladders, and… Yeah, now I am quite (humbly) happy with it.

HERE’S a shot of Stephen’s friend (one of his friends), Stig, in Hawaii, showing off his modern version of the classic PAIPO BOARD, the precursor to the boogie board.

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NOW, according to Steve, Stig, who I have yet to meet, insists on surfing in speedos (aka bunhuggers), so, kind of okay with this shot.  No, he would wear a wetsuit in the northwest; pretty sure.

FINALLY, here’s a shot of some poser posing (as poser’s do) with Stephen’s ukulele. YEAH, it’s like Geppetto saying, “Look, Pinocchio, I can wail!”

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YES, it is sideways.  I’ll fix it.  MAYBE.

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SO, just to kind of even out the poser scale, here’s my son, James, actually wailing on guitar, with me (not posing, I’ve been playing for about fifty years and have many dead harmonicas to prove it) on harmonica.

JAMES DOES WAIL!  And, yeah, honest, there’s a harmonica behind that Geppetto hand.

MEANWHILE, even the coast is looking dismally flat.  Hope you’re getting some waves.

Two-fer

It’s a two-fer because I have a laptop and a tablet, and I can edit things on the tablet, but, for some reason, can’t seem to figure out how to do it on this thing, the one where I can put new scans.  I decided, just after I posted the previous piece, that, since I now have a red and white version of the next-to-the-last illustration, I should also offer a side-by side comparison of that drawing.

Now, I did spend too much time trying to transfer some photos from my phone to my site, or, at least, to my email account; to no avail.  Later.

Anyway, hopefully, you will be willing to check out this and the previous posting.  OR, maybe I’ll just put both versions of both illustrations and you can skip the previous verbiage.  No, check it out anyway.  Thanks.

 

 

Ghost Moon illustration(s)

Okay, so, as promised, I have attempted to duplicate the photo I saw of a ghost moon next to a setting sun.  Because the print shop in Sequim made the mistake of changing the black areas to red, I attempted to duplicate that effect when I took this drawing to the Printery in Port Townsend.

Unfortunately, Liz, who always did my work for me there in the past, though not with that ‘customer is always right’ kind of attitude, quit a week or so ago, and I was left with two newbies, one who just out and out said she doesn’t know diddley about the various machines and the processes that turn a white and black drawing into a black and white one, or, even, a red and black version, much less turning a 11 by 17 into something that fits onto 8 1/2 by eleven.

The other newbie was willing, but… oh, yeah, Liz did complain about the copier I needed for my tasks, and did say it would probably take two people to replace her, and, whoa; new copier, two replacements… we did get the results, mostly, that I wanted, AND, when another customer came in, the second woman told him he had to wait for my tasks to be completed.  SO, great.

BUT, while the Sequim newbies had a variety of colors available, the new PT woman and I only found the option of doing the drawing in red, AND, though our daughter, Dru, loved the magenta/red version of the last drawing, Trish says the new one looks better in black, though maybe blue might be okay.  Not an option at this time.

Make up your own mind.

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Meanwhile…

 

Ghost of a Moon in the afternoon

James McMurtry, “Too Long in the Wasteland,” just to give credit to the singer/writer; someone in Port Angeles, or thereabouts, not to give proper credit to the photographer.

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TWENTY seconds or so (maybe a couple of minutes) earlier, the moon was brighter, and right next to the sun.  Be-a-ut-i-ful.  Oh, wait; there was actually too much information with and in the photograph.  It was all too recognizable; another clue for those desperately looking for some sign of waves entering and moving down the Strait.

SO, NO, the photo above is not the one I’m talking about. Yeah, it’s a sunset, somewhere someone will recognize, but it’s not the one I saw, the one I’m not sharing.  This selfishness is not to further tantalize or tease.

THERE WERE NO telltale lines in the photograph, no sign of waves bending to match the shore, sideways to the sea.  Maybe I’ll draw something similar.  I fully realize I can’t actually recreate the beauty of the photograph, and it, perhaps, can’t fully capture the spirit of the moment; that ‘take a big breath’ moment; God’s full palette stretched out to… if you’ll forgive my over-sentimentalizing, forever.

Over-sentimentalizing, yes; but not exaggerating.

Still looking at the forecasts, but, lately; I start at the end of the forecast period.

YESTERDAY, about sunset, my new white t-shirt covered with red paint splatter, red dots soft-edged by sweat; I cruised into the Quilcene Village Store (the QVS, according to Adam Wipeout) to get Trish the Saturday/Sunday Peninsula Daily News; a really nice (not huge) RV, an SUP on the roof, honked as it passed, went a few hundred yards up Surf Route 101, made a four-point turn in someone’s driveway, and came back.

NOW, there have been quite a few times when seeing any rig with surfboards visible stopped anywhere in my neighborhood, I might just attack the occupants.  “Where are you going? What do you expect, wave-wise?”

That kind of thing. Once it was some friends of Cash and Tanya, up from Oregon. I heard about it the next time I ran into them.  “How did you know it was me?”  “Well…”

THIS TIME it was Concrete Pete, sort-of-recently-retired, coming up from Westport in the ‘outrageously expensive’ RV with stories of trips to Baja and… mostly Baja, but he did have to show me the layout in his RV. “You’ll have to get yourself one of these when you retire.”

“Yeah, right, Pete.”  As soon as he left, half an hour from his home, after I scared the girl inside the QVS (“It’s not my blood,” I said), I thought to myself, “Geez, I should have taken a picture.”

NEXT TIME.

 

 

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.