New Original Erwin’s Originals*

Perhaps I should explain the process. I draw something (the actual original*) and then I dick with it. Perhaps I should explain dicking with it: Get a copy, possibly a reversal (black to white, white to black), then I do some coloring.

In the case of the Orca, and I have drawn Orcas before. Okay, once. So, Stephen Davis’s girlfriend (bethrothed [sp], couldn’t spell fiance’ [sp] correctly either), Sierra, evidently, wanted a birthday card featuring the beloved and feared local on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea, and, more local for me, occasionally patrolling the Hood Canal. “So, hey, Steve; why don’t you just draw her one?” “Maybe I will.” “Maybe I will.” “Okay.” So, I drew this one:

Yes, it is in color. I didn’t scan the black and white version

Okay, so, as usual, I show the drawing to Trish. “Orcas are, you know, black?” “Isn’t it?” “No.” Okay, so, with the illustration on my clear plastic drawing board, I trace the outline and do a drawing where the black will become white (printery- my scanner sucks). Then, hanging out at THE PRINTERY in Port Townsend while STEVEN does some machine/computer interface magic, and a constant stream of customers cruise through the doors, I color in the reversed image. Still, I was a bit hurried. The result is this:

The white and black version looked way too flat… flatish

Yeah, well; I felt compelled to put in something, partially based on Stephen Davis’s recent run-in with supposed locals, about how there are true locals. Despite getting good reviews from any of the PRINTERY customers who happened to check out my stuff (one guy commented on my use of crayons. “Um, uh, no; colored pencils.” “Still…”) I am not totally happy with the coloring job (kind of lose the orca outline), but then, I’m never truly done with any drawing.

I have the originals. I can go back. Some time. Later.

Meanwhile, here’s one my scanner wouldn’t let me scan last time I tried.

Not sure what to do with this one. Tried it as a Holiday card. Maybe I’ll try again.

I did post this card before, as in before I added the new stuff.

Plain and…
…fancy.

Because of the seasonal (paying) work slowdown, and while it’s cold and rainy or colder and sleeting, even colder and clear, I continue to work on the third full rewrite of “Swamis.” I know the story; I know each of the characters so very well; I’ve endeavored to edit and cut and chop. Stephen Davis, when I showed him the illustration immediately above, said, “Maybe your writing is kind of like… this.” “Yeah. It is.” My philosophy on the ‘psychedelic’ drawings is that ‘it isn’t done until it’s overdone.’

I love simple, but simple is really… difficult. I’ll keep trying, but I am stubborn enough to not give up on the purposefully kinetic and the clinically insanely overdrawn.

I do have something ready; an outline that was an attempt to simplify the trilogy I tried to cram into one book; an outline that became something, mostly because I just fucking love the dialogue, more a script than a treatment. More on that forthcoming. If you can help me sell it, let me know.

Merry, Happy, Peaceful, and; I just couldn’t keep it simple, a few lined-up waves to lean into.

More Tomorrow

The easiest way to show one of my clients some of my artwork is to have her check out my website. Because it is really just one page and really disorganized, it makes sense to, occasionally, pull some already-scanned drawings out of my media file and display them here. SO, HERE:

Boatyard Mike Surf Vessels

There’s nothing in this post about voting out our esteemed president. Some hope, yeah; but nothing negative about the… dude.

EDIT- I woke up realizing I couldn’t let that go. I have been wondering about who, with so much truth available on what an immoral sack of deceit and seemingly bottomless self-centered meanness our power craving fuckwad of a president is, could continue to salivate each time he slurs out some new slurry of lies and just plain shit.

Make no mistake, like the people he has scammed in the past, you, if you are not someone filling your pockets in this new age cleptocracy, you are someone your leader, no doubt, considers a sucker and a loser. How much you have to lose is easily accessible. Oh, you might have to look somewhere other than Fux News.

Vote!

Vote!

My first SUP was, I thought, twelve feet long. As I have with every board I’ve ridden more than a few times, I thrashed the shit out of it; rode it over a few too many rocks, rode it onto a few rocky beaches. Surfing; that’s what boards are for.

By the time I got a newer board, that one was sooo heavy, soooo dinged up. I stuck up against a tree, hoping it would get lighter. Didn’t really work. Since I didn’t think I’d ever ride the thing again, I decided to strip it down and make a shorter, more responsive, lighter one.

My current board, a Hobie, is ten foot, six inches long, has carried me through thousands of waves, over many rocks, and is appropriately thrashed, poorly patched (drips, not sanded out), and, since I seem to be knee-boarding more and standing less, it seems proper that I go for a smaller board.

Yeah, but I still want it floaty enough to use a paddle. This is where the twelve foot comes in. After looking at the dead SUP and imagining how I’d cut some off the front, some off the tail, do a minimum of trimming, and, yeah…

No. The board was eleven feet, and, with a little cut off the front and back, with a skil saw, I suddenly had a really rough seven foot six blank. OOPS. I did, after stripping off the glass, throw it in the water to see if it would float me. Maybe, hopefully, not really sure. I’m also not really sure if, even if the blank did, if it as a further shaped and properly glassed board would.

So, after purchasing a couple of tools, including a plane for the stringer, and spending way too much time trying to get, like, one rail that matched the other side, I had roughly shaped a fat, downrail, pocket-rocking, fish-tailed, wailing vessel.

Yeah, well, that’s when I got ahold of Mike Norman, formerly nicknamed Mike-eee, not because there’s an E in Norman or anything, but to differentiate him from Mike Squintz. Well, Squintz has gone back to Florida, and, anyway, most surfers in the area called him Smoker Mike. Well, when he actually gives up smoking… Mike does work at the Port Townsend boatyard; not sure where, specifically, and he has been building a few surfboards lately, and, anyway…

Anyway, even though I heard Mike would have been farther ahead if I hadn’t tried to be all Skip Frye/Mike Hynson on the blank, I have made a deal with Mike; he finishes the shaping, figures out the fin setup, does the glassing. I might sneak in and do some graphics; oh, and some money will change hands, AND I will give Mike the 5’9″ Bic fish I got cheap and used from Al Perlee down at the Surf Shop in Westport, tried to ride. Once. Mike has kids who can use it. Even though I rode six foot boards for years (years ago now) a 5’9″ looks like a toy to me now.

Oh, yeah; and I was a bit lighter, also. Oh, yeah; and I said I would do a logo for Mike’s boards. Here it is:

I do need to make it a bit, um, simpler. Yeah, working on it.

Now, if it comes down to a few pounds that makes the difference between a paddle and no paddle… again, we’ll see.

Cleaning up Swamies… oops

All right, here’s the illustration, so far:

And here’s what went wrong. I was working on the lettering, and had it pretty much done while sort of watching another British murder series on Netflix. Just as they revealed who really done it, and just as I was about to show Trish, I realized I had spelled Swamis incorrectly. Swamies.

Great. So, white out. I’ve taken to using the tape; sort of wroks (I mean works). SO, then I make a copy with my prin ter (also sort of works- images come out a bit crooked), and go back in and fix it. WELL, not yet; I’m thinking of getting a negative image, adding a bit more white.

If the image looks familiar, it’s from a Ron Stoner photo of Billy Hamilton, 1966. Mr. Hamilton is actually in my novel, “Swamis,” and probably from the same era. After one of my most memorable Swamis sessions to that point, from the ‘old men stop here’ platform on the stairs that were there at that time, I saw him cranking the most beautiful and flowing roundhouse to off the foam to in the pocket move (move as in it was seamless) I have still ever witnessed.

OKAY, so I took out a couple of other surfers who were in the Stoner photo, didn’t do justice to Mr. Hamilton. He’s stockier in my illustration, wrong here, not leaning into the turn as much as in the original… yeah, yeah… Hey, I am giving credit to Ron Stoner. His photos were, after John Severson’s in the first issues, the very heart of “Surfer” magazine; they captured the magic and mystery of the era.

I DID do a bit of a search for the photo, not wanting to risk scanning the photo ripped from an issue of “Surfer’s Journal”; ripped out only because there was some sort of misprint ting in that issue that ended up with most of the middle of the magazine duplicated. I didn’t find the actual photo, but I did find another Stoner photo.

When I was a sophomore at Fallbrook High School, 1966/67, Donn Fransich (sp?) brought in some “Surfer” magazines for show and tell in, I think, History class. He would stick them on the tray of one of those heavy, clunky overhead projectors. The photo on the right is one that I remembered from that his presentation. Not perfect, but perfect.

I’ve always remembered the photo, always wanted to see that vantage point in person. Coming back on the bus after a wrestling match with San Dieguito High School in which I actually didn’t lose, I still swear I saw surfers above and beyond the Self Realization Fellowship compound. When I lived in Encinitas in the seventies, I would often drive down the hill; again, looking for that magical image.

That Ron Stoner disappeared mysteriously; no, that doesn’t diminish the magic, not a bit. It’s there, the magic we chase; moments and images. I have caught some moments, surfing, that I will not forget; I am still trying to scratch and erase and capture, to flow into a perfect image. Not there; might never get there.

A New One for “Swamis”

I should, first of all, apologize for the coloring of the new drawings. A little too much for the one, maybe not enough for the illustration of Ginny Cole, some lettering added.

So, that’s about it. Stay safe, surf when you can. I do. Can’t say much more.

I am working on the manuscript; and, as objectively as I can be, I do believe the advice I’ve received is helping to make it better. If I can compare it to house painting, we get it all painted, then do the “Tighten up,” going back over all the surfaces, making sure it’s tight.

Not there yet, but working on it.

Commuter-in-Chief

This is a little soon between posts for me, and I’m only doing it, kind of stepping on one of my illustrations to put this out there; and, let me be clear, here, I really don’t want to be all political; but it pissed me off.

I waited until the fourteenth day of my allowed fifteen day response period, then sent off a check for $190 for my speeding ticket. I was guilty, didn’t want to stretch it out by asking for a court date (which I have done in the past), wasn’t hoping for some reduced sentence due to my advanced age or lack of regret or political connections. If $190.00 US currency was my debt to American society, I begrudgingly paid it.

That was last Friday, July 10, the very day Roger Stone had his prison sentence commuted. Oh, he’s still guilty on the seven felony counts, found guilty by a jury of, obviously, Americans, but no, not necessarily his peers.

Threatening a witness was one of the crimes, threatening the witness’s dog included in that one.

SO, he did the crime, doesn’t have to do the time. All he had to do is go on TV, allude to the true dirt he has on the president, convince Lindsey Graham that he’s a first time offender in his 70s (no, 67; I’m a many-times lifetime speeder, 68); and, voila, home free. No need for repentance or reformation, and the president’s twitter-blitz will insure that no Republican politician will stand up for the party’s much-pushed vision of rule of law, equal justice, all that mouth candy. Might seem a bit, uh, hypocritical.

Yeah, Mitt Romney; suddenly looking kind of cool.

ANYWAY, and with apologies for taking any kind of stand, sometime Friday night, after eating one too many chocolates too close to bed time, I woke up, did this little drawing. NOW, my friend, artist/surfer/kitesurfer/sailor/carpenter/chef, able to fix brakes and lay floors that are totally squared-up; Stephen R. Davis, soon off to Hawaii and whatever waves/confinement/big waves that might bring, said my first drawing was kind of (wait, it’s going to sound mean) “Cliche’.” Yeah, it probably is.

I haven’t shown this one to him, but I did describe it. “No, that might actually be clever.” I’ll take it. I do feel compelled to post it. SO:

Surf on, stay safe; and for godsakes, vote.

Ginny Cole at “Swamis” 1969

This is my latest attempt at the negative-to-positive technique:

Virginia (Ginny) Cole late afternoon Swamis, 1969

I’m pretty satisfied with the illustration, at least partially because it pretty much turned out as I imagined it would, hopefully, pretty; and I don’t feel the need to go back on this drawing and make changes.

Not yet, anyway. I am considering going back to the original and adding something referencing my novel, “Swamis,” Ginny Cole being a main character in the in-progress (still) manuscript.

AND, this image may end up on an ORIGINAL ERWIN t-shirt. If not, or if so, I’ll get a signed, framed, limited edition (limited, as always, by me) copy over to Tyler Meeks’ DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE soon, like, maybe today.

MEANWHILE, look for, wait for, or enjoy surf when you can, make sure you’re ready to vote in November, and STAY SAFE.

Jesus from “Swamis” and Outtake on Lawyers and Liars

Trisha’s nephew, and, I guess, mine, by marriage, DYLAN SCOTT, just graduated from UCLA law school, remotely. Congratulations, Dylan. He surfs. I only surfed with him once, years ago, La Jolla Shores. It was summer, small; the waves, in my memory, were kind of a brownish color. The Diva surf school had just left the water, meaning the water was left with still way too many surfers, some of whom (one middle-aged guy in particular) looked like they would cut your throat for a chance at a knee-high closeout.

I felt perfectly justified in blocking a few bobbers out so Dylan could get a few more rides. Then again, I’ve always been a little on the sociopathic side; might have made a good attorney.

I should add that Dylan’s brother, Carson, is in Law School, Harvard; and that their mother, Greer is a judge in the state of California; SO their being part of the mix only elevates the profession.

It might become apparent that I have some negative feelings about attorneys; I insist that this has nothing to do with Greer, Carson, or Dylan; but has been developed, over time, by the lawyers I have worked for and the one time, work related, I had to hire one. I sued; they sued, I got no compensation, they offered to drop their case if I dropped mine; my only solace was that their lawyers cost way way more than mine.

My line on the subject, “Once it gets bad enough that lawyers are involved, no one wins… except the Lawyers.”

One of my clients, not a lawyer, told me writers sometimes try to get even with past wrongs through their writing. “Not an accusation,” he insisted. ANYWAY, the “Sideslipping” outtake from “Swamis” was meant to mean a bit more when Jody (spoiler) becomes one.

“Meant to mean.” Can’t believe I just wrote that.

BUT FIRST, here’s an illustration, meant to be the graphic from the side of Portia’s ‘Jesus Saves’ bus:

LAWYERS AND LIARS

Since I now have had to back-peddle to get to the meeting Jumper and I had with Dickson and Wendell, I probably should update a few other things.  Writing a book isn’t, I’m discovering, like building a case; it’s not collecting all the little incidents and data, all the witness accounts, getting all the dates right.  It’s the attorneys I was told, over and over again, by the attorneys, the attorneys who create the narrative.

I argued this, of course.  This was my line: “Oh, so who figures out the who in the whodunnit?”

Lawyers.  My mother never could pronounce the word correctly.  At her best, it sounded like ‘Wah-yers’ or ‘Liars.’  “Close enough,” my father would say.  He was from West Virginia, originally; coal country; and ‘lawyers’ always sounded like ‘liars’ when he said it.

That sounded about right to me.

There have been few attorneys I’ve ever actually liked.  I might have liked more Public Defenders than Prosecutors.  All attorneys, of course, sold their souls to even get into law school; but, while some (the ones I liked better) of the defense attorneys were loose and hip; sarcastic, with an ‘Oh, yeah; so prove it’ attitude; many of the prosecutors (the ones I hated most) were consistently sullen and sardonic (sarcasm with the underlying pain a bit obvious); and seemed to feel trapped in civil service jobs where kissing ass was (I have testimony to back this up) much more important than actual success.

The most ruthless prosecutors, I have witnessed, had, at one time, been the most idealistic defense attorneys.  The most moral-less, shameless, anything-to-win defense attorneys had been… well; they were the ones who realized they hadn’t merely whored-out their souls; they had lost them.

However, I hold my highest disdain (I should say all out hatred and disgust) for those smug and arrogant defenders of rich clients.  Sit across from one of those ‘late for a golf date’ motherfuckers a few times, their ‘mom’s boy would never do such a thing’ client so upset at how he is the one being victimized; and try to maintain some level of professional restraint.

No, really. 

And, I have seen how effective even the idea (or threat) of a real-money-backed defense can be; seen the glee in the (private practice, big office and salary) attorney’s eyes when he saw the anger in mine. Bear in mind I have also seen the victims, the fear and sorrow, the damage done; permanent damage; and that damage would only be increased with the eventual realization that justice will probably not be served- sorry; so sorry; and, and, and, and…

Some level of professional restraint.

It’s funny, to me, how every time I want to cry; I’m far more likely to laugh.

..lll

Pan This Damn-Demic

For a small time contractor in the Pacific Northwest, it’s been kind of like a continuation of winter, but with better weather.

Not so much fun. Hope you’re staying safe. The new equivalent of Aloha, of hello and goodbye, seems to be “stay safe.” Backup is “six feet,” which, depending on how loud one says it, also means “Backup!”

Not really what I want to write about. I’m working on multiple fronts on completing “Swamis,” that is, making it better. Better includes, from the feedback I’ve gotten so far, means less complicated. So, editing. Work.

MEANWHILE, I’m working on a TREATMENT, outline, first step toward something my wordy novel is perfect for, motion picture. More like a series; it’s that complex.

MEANWHILE, I’m also trying to get some illustrations together. Here are the latest:

This didn’t start out to be Chulo; now it is.

Swamis Point with some sort of bloop on the screen. Flipping Corona. No doubt. More illustrations on the way; waiting for some from Stephen R. Davis. MEANWHILE, I do need an agent. Here’s the pitch: “Swamis,” 1969.

So far it hasn’t sold itself. Working on it. Stay safe. Six feet.

More Work is, Evidently, Necessary

I’ve sent out copies of the unexpurgated version of “Swamis” to several people. This waiting for a response, as noted in an earlier post, tends to push one further into the area of neurosis previously only visited for, say, a long weekend. That was before the omni-demic pushed the boundaries of crazzzzzinesssss to the place where we are now.

So, if I’m a bit more crazed, maybe, statistically, I’m pretty much where I was. If some of us could just go surfing, then, maybe, perhaps, then… we…

Anyway, I have gotten some feedback; and it’s mostly that I need to make “Swamis” less confusing, less prone to jumping forward and backward in time and place, fewer peripheral scenes; more reader friendly. I already knew I would have to drop some of the side stories. The thing is, I have enough of those to write another book. Maybe I will.

“Side-slipping.”

Meanwhile, I am trying to get some more drawings together, hopefully enough to put in with each chapter. Since I need to break the manuscript into more chapters, I evidently need more illustrations. I do have Stephen R. Davis working on a few; and we have discussed the look I’m going for. Black and white, kind of moody… I’m hoping he can do some real portraits of fictional people.

I’ve also discussed formatting and such things with my daughter, Dru, pressing her into service to help put together a slide show of my illustrations (not just surf stuff) that can be shown to folks who are willing to listen to a reading from “Swamis” without having to also look at me reading it. This is for a presentation with the Port Townsend Library, set up by surf rebel librarian Keith Darrock. Not set up yet; we’re working on it.

I’ll let you know, but, meanwhile, out here in crazy land, I am putting a lot of thought into the screenplay version. Too much for a movie. Prime Netflix stuff. It just takes more work. Evidently.