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:

Scan_20190823

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.

This One Might be a T-Shirt Keeper

Trish told me to just quit looking at it. I had just put the larger and smaller versions in frames, fresh from getting the original reversed at the FedEx place in Silverdale, with help from a Hawaiian transplant I’ve dealt with before.

While he didn’t immediately see the wave in the last drawing, he said, of this one; “Oh yes, I can see it; the surfer, the board…”

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The next time I go to Port Townsend, I’m going to check in with the guys who printed my last t-shirts, see if, maybe, they have some on hand they can use to get some out kind of, well, faster… and, having learned a few things from the first batch, I know now that a lot of surfers go for mediums; some for small.

So, though the double-x shirts are gone (one each to me), I do still have a few larges and extra larges, and some shirts are still available at Tyler Meek’s DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE.

MEANWHILE, I’m working (or better get to work) on some greeting cards using some of the best ORIGINAL ERWIN’s.

Like the promise of waves, coming soon.

AND, Yes, I’m still experimenting with the drawing of reverse images; but I do really enjoy the practice.

Random Shots in the Parking Lot

You can win in the water and still lose the session in the parking lot. I was discussing this with Stephen Davis, still couch/spot surfing, with some kite surfing sessions thrown in, up from Baja to the Great Northwest. Surfers may spend as much or more time in parking lots and road pullouts and overlooks and on the beach than in the water. And, perhaps because surfing… no, I really don’t know why it gets so competitive, but we have to admit it does.

First, here’s a drawing:

Since it wasn’t clear it’s a wave from high above, not some random abstraction, I colored it. Since my scanner repeatedly failed to scan the cropped color image. Okay, still abstract… with explanation.

So, let’s see if Steve’s account of an incident at an unnamed Central California coast spot comes through. It’s exactly how I received it:

4people out at rincon
Stephen Davis

Yesterday, 10:33 PM

Oops. I accidentally hit send.

So then I bundle my shit up and I’m chilling in the van and this redneck with a huge beer gut pulls in and slowly drives by the front of my van mean mugging the shit out of me.
I’m thinking, “who the fuck is this guy?” Now.
Whatever, I was done kiting.
Jesse broke it down. I guess beer gut grew up surfing a heavy central coast reef and is a local there his whole life.
So decided to take his localism act into the kite scene.
He fucked with Jesse a bunch when he was learning and now talks to him i guess. He reputedly speared his kiteboard into a guy and broke his board tip off in the guys hip. That’s how “cool” he is.
I laugh because none of these assholes are Pomo or Lajolla Indian and even if they were they still wouldn’t own the sea or the air or even the beach in truth.
So we’re all sposed to suck up to this shithead?
No gracias.
Not this lifetime.
He kept staring at me and drinking beer and laughing with his “bro”.
The end
No big deal.
Nothing really happened other than I felt sorry for beer guts life path of bullying.
Sad.
Another alcoholic heading for death with no clue what love or kindness is.
Not my business.
S
Sent from my iPhone
 Stephen Davis

Yesterday, 4:59 PMYou

Hey Erwin.

Ya, so here is what happened.I was hanging at the beach with Jesse. Drinking coffee. We met Stacy and this other sup guy and talked about what the wind would do.

Stacy told us about cool sand bars that were working and where. He also told us about cool kite spots where there are fewer people. We were all chill.
So later, when the wind came up, I asked Jesse if I was going to bum everyone out by going out and being a kook. He said, “not at all, don’t worry about it.” We both thought it was chill.
I took my time and set up slow. Went out and had fun. No one seemed to mind me overall and it could have been worse. After a few waves my chicken loop came unhooked cause my donkey dick popped out. I cruised to the beach to rehook it and this dude starts yelling, “get down wind of me!”
Trying to control me as if I was somehow harming him instead of walking around me. In other words it was easier for him to boss me around.
So that was weird.
I said sorry and that my loop popped off. After that he was cool for some reason.
I was tripped out so I landed my kite with someone’s help but he set me down with my line on this chicks kite.
She got super bitchy and victimy like I had soiled her moment with my existence.
BACK TO ME. So, not being a kite surfer, I don’t know what a chicken loop or donkey dick might be. Rather, I don’t know what they actually are.  I probably will have more on the subject, but, wait, here’s a couple of shots of Adam “Wipeout” James at a secret spot, the important thing being that the place is throwing a lip.
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DURN: So, in almost keeping with the new rules of not revealing, Adam called me on his way home, after dark, photo taken by someone who doesn’t know all the rules. Still, one has to look. And that lip? Legit, just like Adam said, but probably not overhead. Okay, I’m saying Westport. Later Adam revealed he hit his head twice on his board during this session; but still claims he thinks he made this particular wave.
Meanwhile, and always, in the clique-ish/tribal, middle-school-mentality of the parking lot… if one can’t be super cool… no, I don’t have it figured out. I do try to not be ‘super bitchy and victimy,’ not wanting to soil my or anyone else’s moments. That’s in the parking lot. In the water…

New Semi-Surf-Related Art by Melissa Lynch

My sister (and realartist) Melissa Lynch sent me her newest illustrations the other day. I, of course, a little confused by the technique but excited by the images, asked if I could use them on my site.

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TroubledShoresII

The illustrations are titled “Troubled Shores I” and “Troubled Shores II,” and refer to the ongoing Mideast-to-Europe refugee crisis. They demand some study, and with the world-wide implications of desperate people sacrificing everything to escape violence and terror, finding greed and fear and, for way too many, death at sea; with politicians using fear and hatred as campaign strategy; with radicalized assholes killing for some perverted version of what they claim is religion but is not about any god but, rather, about more power… well, we can’t help but be caught in this.

It’s interesting that Melissa includes the Statue of Liberty. Perhaps the ‘huddled masses’ already here are… yes, the drawing has me thinking of things I was already thinking of, the consequences of whipped-up fear and hatred; but my worst fears are that there is no other America to run to.

Here’s what Melissa wrote to me:
I sent them for your use if you want to use them. No worries if not. They are mixed media, using a transfer method for the background texture, which is images from the internet about the refugees, a photo of the Statue of Liberty, and the “Raft of the Medusa” by Théodore Géricault (1791–1824). Then I drew on that background with pastel chalk. It was for my class and the assignment was to use the “Raft of the Medusa” as a springboard to react to current events. I titled it “Teeming Shores” or “Shores 2015”.

I used the same method and “appropriated” your wave illustration on an earlier piece (giving you credit of course). You might be interested in it too. If so, feel free to use it.
lynch.melissa.06 
The Raft of the Medusa as inspiration 
Alternate process; Collage: Photo-copy transfers, Glue, and India Ink. 
* Wave background appropriated from my brother, Erwin Dence. 
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Raft of the Medusa Inspired – Detail
This is a detail of a larger work which was inspired by the painting by Géricault, depicting a great tragedy. 

This work depicts myself playing in the sand as a child, a wave threatens to wipe me out. The woman in the foreground depicts my mother who passed away when I was very young, and my father, distraught with sorrow, and despair. The other women surrounding me and holding back the wave depict the many other “mothers” who stepped in to help protect and guide throughout my life; sisters, sister-in-law, step-mother, friends’ mothers, teachers, and aunts, and as an adult, my very dear friends. The wave itself, appropriated from my brother, though depicted here as a destructive force, also represents his help and guidance in my rearing, without which I wouldn’t be who I am today.

PS. “The Ragged Line” illustration was accepted to the Illinois Board of Higher Education 1 year exhibit!
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I am claiming (because it’s the way I remember it) Melissa drew this to illustrate a short story I wrote with the same title. I take no credit for her talent. And, since I’m showcasing her work, here’s another, Winter At Sea:
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You Knew You Couldn’t Capture the Magic or the Madness

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The thing about color, as opposed to black and white scratching, is that, once you start, you’re going to have to figure out where you want to go. The problem with black and white scratching is, well, once you take a wrong line, it’s so hard to pull back.

So, I made a few copies of the black and white, thinking I could just forget the ones where I screwed up; look for that balance; still driving down the line. Lines.

 

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