Something Other than Surfing…

…maybe that should be a question. When there are waves, or even the possibility, even (more) the probability of surf, tensions rise. Every surfer wants a chance at dealing with quality waves.  Some do, and are elated; others, for various reasons, miss out on opportunities and are frustrated. Tempers can flare.

Shit happens. Work, family responsibilities, broken equipment or vehicles, power outages, not taking a chance on iffy conditions, other shit. Shit!

And it’s not just that you (or I) aren’t committed, or committed enough to the lifestyle/sport. We rearrange our schedules the best we can, but, sometimes, we just hear about classic conditions after the fact. Sometimes we witness classic conditions but can’t, for any combination of the above or other reasons, participate.

That happens. I haven’t really  gotten over, or, at least, I still remember, painting a house on the bluff above Stone Steps, late in the afternoon, with the waves glassing-off, lining-up, and only a few surfers out. Yeah, I kept painting; felt I had to finish the project.

Still, those waves… they may not have been as great if I’d surfed them, but, in my memory, they were sooooo good.

WAIT. I’m adding this, just in, photo of Hydrosexual Stephen Davis (I was going to drop the hydrosexual part because of spam from sex-related, um, spammers, but Steve kind of likes the description/title) doing something besides surfing, work as part of the crew on a catamaran off the Big Island. OH, and he did the artwork for the t-shirt.

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Anyway, I am trying to do a bit of a pivot in my career, and I’ve actually started drawing things not surf-related. Here are some examples:

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What unites us as surfers is not our performance level; it’s more that we have suffered the frustration of getting caught inside, of missing or wiping-out early on a great wave, of watching someone else wail on a wave we could have been on, of hearing about or seeing wonderful surf we can’t get into, of driving a long way to get skunked. It’s sad and just wrong to get frustrated enough to unload verbally or physically on another surfer; particularly when, if there were no waves, this would be someone you’d be chatting with; a friend.

Even the best, longest ride is short compared to real life. What we really save is the memories. I’m sure we’d all rather have pleasant ones.

And, no; all this peace talk isn’t because someone took offense with my wavehog ways. I mean, people have, not recently; it really relates to friends going off on other friends.  Friends. It’s sad. It’s fixable.

I am continuing to do a series of  landscape drawings, anxious to expand my scope. I currently have some illustrations at Helen Gunn’s gallery uptown Port Townsend, some at Tyler Meek’s  Disco Bay Outdoor Exchange in Discovery Bay, and, once Adam “Wipeout” James sees my HamaHama drawing… I mean, my friend Adam James… and, yeah, working on it. Committed. See you.

OKAY, here are the first of my Olympic Peninsula landscapes:

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Surfing for Fun (and some new illustrations)

It’s not ready yet, but I’m working on a piece about forgetting Stephanie Gilmore. Actually, it’s about a few moments of surfing in which Stephanie forgot herself, her image, her contest persona, her heat strategy; forgot everything except the joy of the moment.

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It’s something we all forget when dealing with the crowds, the conditions, and our own expectations for ourselves.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of other recent drawings:

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Trying to Catch That Glass

It’s all about lighting; the perfect surfing photo or drawing; and color helps. We know that waves, spray; these can be translucent. At some point, rising and throwing out, a wave can seem, or even be transparent. And foam; it’s white because of the air bubbles. And the reflections, the shine, the shimmer; maybe these are easier to capture with pencil, charcoal, pastel; something pushed and dragged across the flat surface.

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I just keep scratching.

MEANWHILE: I’m sure the northwest has been sending lots of waves, along with the rain, down south. If it doesn’t lessen the drought, maybe it’ll clean some of the toxic waste from the highways; and maybe, after a prescribed length of time to avoid getting sick from the water, surf.  Or maybe a die-hard surfer will get a course of shots and paddle out. “Just keep your mouth closed,” possibly not the best advice.

I did catch some waves recently, can’t be too specific about where, or maybe even when; trying to adhere to Clint’s Rules of Modern Surf Etiquette (which I promise to list when I get them all straight in my mind: Don’t call people from the beach; don’t talk specifics because someone will back-check against the buoy readings and figure out when the spot you named, but shouldn’t have, works; other rules); but I will say it ran contrary to the surf forecasts we all study.

Partially, what I wanted, was to catch a few waves to myself before I try to play the odds and go when the forecasts seem to guarantee waves. I’ve been on the beach before, with twenty or thirty rabid surfers (or in various stages of rabidity- a real word, I looked it up) standing around, perfect conditions on the forecast, and even the buoy readings the same as they were on days that were great (see, back-checking, or, more likely, anecdotal information gleaned over years), and there’s one guy in the water scratching for some dribblers, and the waves are just not there.

I’m just saying; it happens. And it explains why, the farther one has to travel, the more one has to invest, the more likely one (or thirty) is to lean heavily on ‘sure thing’ forecasts. But, I slid a few waves alone to sort of indemnify myself against a serious skunking.

AND, I do know Adam Wipeout got some waves. Not sure where, exactly, but I do know he did score because he wouldn’t tell me. Clint’s Rules. I think he would, and it’s probably all right to talk about sessions in crappy conditions. Come on, Adam… I won’t be posting. Really, I’m not sure why we want to know… Oh, yeah, I do. Because.

Here's a colorized version. It all gets washed-out a bit from the scanner/computer connection

Here’s a colorized version. It all gets washed-out a bit from the scanner/computer connection

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

 

Fully-Packed Realsurfers Coloring Book Ready for… you

THE LATEST version has 56 drawings, ready to color. AGAIN, I didn’t draw with a coloring book in mind until recently, and, perhaps, I’m now simplifying the lines a bit, allowing a bit more blank space. MOSTLY it’s a way to get my work to an audience that probably has walls filled with surf photos, posters, paintings; coffee tables stacked with coffee table surf books, shelves, maybe boxes filled with old surfing magazines.

HERE are a few examples:

This is a slightly-altered version of a drawing already posted. Trish asked me if it was a woman or a man. "She needs a little more... definition." Okay.

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OKAY, I added a couple of colored-in drawings two that aren’t in the book, kind of as an example. I’m still figuring out how to market the book. Sales is not anywhere near my comfort zone. I’m checking out Paypal, getting some copies ready to, hopefully, sell at the Surfrider Cleanwater Surf Contest in Westport in a couple of weeks.  The plan is to contribute a couple of bucks from each one to the Olympic Peninsula Chapter. We’ll see. MEANWHILE, I’d be happy to mail an autographed copy to anyone willing to send $20.00 to Erwin Dence, P.O. Box 148, Quilcene, Wa. 98376.  OR, maybe you can contact me at realsurfersdotnet@gmail.com

Woman (actually) Surfing Illustration

I was showing someone the first run of the RealSurfers Coloring Book, and couldn’t help but notice; probably because he pointed it out, that I have quite a few illustrations of women, but only one of a woman surfing. I almost said a girl surfing, and, in fact, did title this “Girl (actually) Surfing Illustration.” Whoops.

It’s part of the myth/fantasy/history/tradition, I guess; and, having just hit 65 years of age, I probably should also stop thinking I’m not 46 years or so removed from being anything like a surfer boy. Surfer Girl, Surfer Boy; nope, doesn’t even sound proper.

This is a slightly-altered version of a drawing already posted. Trish asked me if it was a woman or a man. "She needs a little more... definition." Okay.

This is a slightly-altered version of a drawing already posted. Trish asked me if it was a woman or a man. “She needs a little more… definition.” Okay.

Still, I do prefer a woman who surfs with flow and grace; Margo Godfrey Oberg, Jericho Poppler, Stephanie Gilmore; and, sure, throw in a few carves and power moves… no matter how manly a ‘man hack’ sounds, it’s all done on water. Water. Woman.

This week, men and women, boys and girls; I’m promising myself that I’ll get to the Printery. Not Monday; it’s a holiday, and I do have to go down to my Dad’s, and I do have a lot of work… this week.

Drawings: One New, One Redo

Image (90)I was thinking Honolua Bay, but probably not soon enough. Almost done, I had the thought that I should have raised the horizon to actually give the effect that this is from up on a cliff, and the waves are coming in from the bottom right. Okay, too late, but, still unable to try to verbalize and explain… working on that.

Image (89)I went through a lot of drawings a while back with my sister, Melissa Lynch, the real artist, and the one I’d done of The Little Mermaid, adding some waves rather than a harbor, was criticized, and Melissa doesn’t go into detail, at least when I’m flashing drawings at her, but the mermaid’s chin was too, um, prominent. Always (now) thinking of the coloring book, I redrew it, also doing a little lightening-up.

I have about twenty drawings (it’s four at a time for the pages) ready to add to the coloring book, coming soon, I promise, with… here’s my new idea: No staples, but (and I’ll experiment with this) maybe a ribbon in the fold, plus instructions to take out a drawing, make a copy, and color on that. That way, you can save the original book, maybe add to it down the line, and use marking pens (if you like), which would bleed through the paper.

If I have to explain that; it’s maximizing content on my end, having cake and eating it too on your end. Yeah, cake; if you’ll forgive my… even if you don’t. Coming. Oh, and I hope you don’t feel resentment for those times when you misjudge the surf situation, and, though you could have gone, you missed it. Fuccctttuppppppttuupdddd! Yeah, trying to get over the last (yesterday) episode of that story. NEXT TIME. Next…sob…time… yeah.

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…

new, revised, or redrawn images

I’m preparing to add some more images to the realsurfers coloring book, getting them resized, adding some lines; redrawing a few. Here are some I’ve been working on:

Image (79)Image (78)Image (80)Image (81)Image (82)And here’s a backstory on the drawing of the guy on the nose. I’ve drawn it several times, had it all finished, but it didn’t seem right. I went back to the drawing I took this from, realized the surfer’s left arm is supposed to be in front of his face. Oops. And now it’s a bit darker. If I could, on occasion, sort of duplicate the silky, magic-lighting look of classic John Severson photos, I would. Maybe this is as close as I’ll get (not that I won’t keep trying).

Hey, it’s all just lines and dots. Suddenly I’m not sure if I reported on how the poetry/singing/book selling event went with “Awkward Guy” writer Franco Bertucci and I… it went well, probably better than expected. We’re not done. I’ll let you know.

The Real Surfers Coloring Book is…

…ready. I put it all together in time for an event at the Port Townsend Library last night; twenty copies, numbered, artist’s proofs. Here are a few drawings that were redrawn, resized from the large originals, or are actually new: Oh, not sure how this happened, but the drawing on the left is the cover for the poetry book I illustrated. Franco read some of his poetry, sang two of my songs, two of his; and I recited (rather than sang) a song or two, played some harmonica, recited some of Franco’s poetry. It went well. And we sold a few books.

Surfer/librarian Keith Darrock took this photo of Franco Bertucci and I setting up and preparing to kill it. It didn't feel like 'killing it' at the time; but, for a poetry reading, it was racy and raucous

Surfer/librarian Keith Darrock took this photo of Franco Bertucci and I setting up and preparing to kill it. It didn’t feel like ‘killing it’ at the time; but, for a poetry reading, it was racy and raucous

Now, if I could figure out how to approach the larger market.

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Image (72)Working on it.