With all the time I spend at THE PRINTERY in Port Townsend, I can’t really explain why I didn’t get a scannable 8 &1/2 inch version of the white and black version of my third attempt to draw a bottle on a beach. BECAUSE of an accident in which the illustration part of the poster was reversed, color-wise, with some very interesting results, I attempted to add some color to what would otherwise be black background. Two attempts, with the colors from the first used as a sort of chart to narrow the palette for the second. Purple becomes kind of, almost yellow, green becomes one shade of blue- like that.

Live and learn, experiment, fail, try again. I am not yet satisfied with the results, with my next attempt at coming out with something, perhaps, less psychedelic, more like… I don’t know. We’ll see. I got the white and black version printed on watercolor paper (or something close) and I’m going to do a sort of wash.

Bear in mind, everything that is in color here would be black. Not horrible, but not nearly as much fun. SO:

More sparkle, less crazy… We’ll see.

KEITH DARROCK is the Librarian/ripper and the curator for the EVENT. I called him over to the Printery to check out and pay for the posters. He assigned me to getting some distributed out to the JEFFERSON COUNTY locations. “Wait a minute, Keith,” I said, “I’m, like, a volunteer, and…” Yes, I took on the task anyway. IF YOU are cruising up or down SURF ROUTE 101 between now and the 30th, check out the sign the folks (actually one folk) at the QUILCENE VILLAGE STORE (QVS to Adam Wipeout, Mary’s Village Store to longtime locals) made from a postcard of mine. It’s at 101 and Columbia. AND THEN, go inside, check out this poster at the checkout counter. YES, Quilcene is a way hipper place than when we moved here.

AND, even hipper, the CHIMACUM FARM STAND, a cooler version of the Sunny Farms in Sequim, also has a poster AS WELL AS some copies of STEPHEN R. DAVIS’S latest postcards.

Steve is one of the eight artists currently lined up for the event. And there will be, as advertised, music and some talking story. It’s coming together. MORE NEXT TIME.

Remember, as always, to respect ownership of original material. I do reserve all rights to my stuff, BUT, when you show up for the BIG EVENT, you might have the opportunity to purchase works by a member of a pretty eclectic group of artists in a pretty wide range of styles. And I’m hoping to have some ORIGINAL ERWIN t shirts (unofficially) available.

The colors I loved in the original I also love in the reversal.

The Good Kind of Soreness and…

A few changes, something new, stuff like that.

Every year I try to to keep track of how many times I surf, just trying to get up to the thirty sessions I have (not arbitrarily- it’s like, I read it somewhere, though it was for skiing) set as a sort of minimum requirement for one to be self-identified as a real surfer. AND, every year I lose track. I ACTUALLY was doing pretty well until my surf rig died and the always fickle surf on the Strait became, um, even more so. Like, scarce, any window of possible opportunity incredibly small.

NOT TO WHINE (whinge in the British Isles, whimper elsewhere), but it’s been a full on month between salt water immersions. AND THEN, I went. Windblown, small, a touch crowded (not in numbers, just too many good surfers). Possibly because I was yelling and a bit too enthusiastic, I bit my tongue on the fourth wave. Apparently, because each of the rippers commented, I looked like a zombie, blood on my mustache, and spitting blood for the rest of the session. Then, attempting to get out of the water on the rocks, awkwardly, slipping between them, seaweed wrapping around my legs, I slammed my big ass board against my thumb. And, then, because I was just that tired, I dragged my big ass board back to my van, now starting consistently, after (different story) I finally faced the truth and replaced the starter. Thanks, George Takamoto.

So, YEAH, great session!

The next morning, I was sore. But it was the best kind of Sore. OH, AND, do you know what that soreness means? I need to surf MORE. MORE. And you probably do, too.

TODAY I have some new drawings, and I’ve made some changes to a couple of others. SO…

…we have a watercolor of a view from a spot near a house I was painting, waves added; a watercolor I did post, some new lines added to kind of put the subject’s face in place; a possible design for a possible t shirt (after I did a partial redraw because the surfer’s leg was too long); a definite ORIGINAL ERWIN t shirt design with the colors added (possibly by Ian for a didn’t-happen commercial-type shirt thing, maybe by me- not sure either way); and the so-far poster for the upcoming THIRD OCCASIONAL SURF CULTURE ON THE… yeah, it’s on the poster. The lineup of artists is still incomplete and will be filled-in on the bottom, and, of course, I WILL LET YOU KNOW.

THANKS FOR the realsurfers CHECK, and hopefully, you’re experiencing some of that good kind of SORENESS

SIDENOTE- Surfers and non-surfers came very close to losing access to one of the few easily accessible spots on the Strait because some ASSHOLES decided to add some unwanted graffiti to the fence. If you want to record that you were there, blow it up in the water. I mean, of course, surf well.

As always, please respect copyright laws and ownership of original art and content. Thanks.

Water-Color Adventures

Maybe I should just put up the images without explaining what I was going for and why I decided to do some water colors. NO, I should explain. Jealousy, competition, that sort of thing. I am very impressed by what TIM NOLAN has been doing with photos and watercolor. In particular, I was super stoked over some colors he used on a work I have not yet posted, BUT WILL. SOON.

AND, I do want to get some froth building for the upcoming THIRD OCCASIONAL SURF CULTURE ON THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA AND THE SALISH SEA EVENT, Friday, June 30, Port Townsend Public Library, 6pm. The event will feature story and music and art works by local Olympic Peninsula artists.


OKAY, so I am perfectly willing to refer to these watercolors as studies or sketches. The poster… um, I’m not totally stoked on it. Even though it is a surf ‘culture’ event, when you add people to the mix, the risk is of getting cartoony, which I kind of did. SO, I’m redoing the poster. The deal with three surfers in the glare was designed to put in the middle of a poster. The darker version was a mistake by Steven at my favorite non-surf, non-work hangout, THE PRINTERY in Port Townsend. I had just gotten a reversal done for the new attempt at the poster. SO… whoa! I like it. And what I liked about the color on the original, the splotches in the breaking part of the wave, I like the colors in reverse almost equally. Happy accidents.

THE BOTTOM two drawings are… okay, studies. I am working on (Today, actually) some other possibilities for new ORIGINAL ERWIN t shirts. IF you own one now, hang onto it. I, most likely, will not print more shirts with those designs. They are authentic and ultra-exclusive and, and… yeah, if I ever hit it big…

IN other dream scenarios…

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mothers. I’m scrambling to get past my me-time and maybe buy something special for TRISH, the mother of our three delightful children. I mean, I do have a list: Toilet paper, paper towels, some vitamins, stuff like that. I’ll see when I get to Costco.

Oh, yeah; please respect the copyright restrictions on use of my, you know, studies and sketches, and… fuck it, why didn’t I go to the coast? The NEXT TIMES are piling up. But, yeah, next time, man…

SHAY… Painting

WordPress makes this all way more difficult than it should be. I’ve already lost the post twice, had to sign back in both times. Each time I get a bit more frustrated. OKAY. I’m so, so, so fucking calm now. Deep breath. Probably something karmic about all this. SHAY is a yoga instructor as well as a surfer and an artist.

TRYING AGAIN, here are a few examples:

Where I went wrong was trying to move images around and trying to enlarge them. Note to me: Never hit ‘back.’

SO, pulling info she texted me: Shayann Marie Hoffer started painting early. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota and post graduate studies in painting and printmaking at University of Oregon, Eugene. She has been a yoga instructor since 2007. FIRST TIME SURFING (or at least jumping, in a thick wetsuit, Lake Superior). She learned to surf (like, I guess, surf… classes?) at Hookipa Point on Maui, back to wetsuits in the cold and fickle Pacific Northwest.

CORRECTION: No surf classes. She went out on smaller waves with kids and (other) kooks. So, okay.

Hopefully Shay will have some of her works at the upcoming THIRD OCCASIONAL SURF CULTURE ON THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA AND THE SALISH SEA EVENT on Friday, June 30, 6pm, Port Townsend, Washington. Curated by surf-frothed librarian KEITH DARROCK (though I want credit for coming up with the ‘occasional’ thing), the event will feature some hanging out and some wall-hangings by LOCAL SURF ARTISTS Christian Coxen, Stephen Davis, Jesse Joshua Watson, Reggie Smart, Tim Nolan, Nam Siu, and me. Keith is promising goodies and, maybe just as counter-programming, a group playing classical music. I’m not sure all the participants are planning on speaking, but I am. I’ll be trying not to sing, but…

To see more of Shay’s art, go to https://shayannhoffer.weebly.com

Oh, yeah, and her paintings, as with all original materials on realsurfers.net are protected by copyright.

And now, if this doesn’t all disappear into the ether…

Protecting the Occasional and Promises of More Art to Come

The reference photo for this drawing was of MIKE PURPUS at some place I had never heard of, Waddell Creek. SORT OF interesting story- I was selling prints at the much-missed (possibly and particularly by me, since I could go surfing, pick up a few bucks on the way home) DISCO BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE. On one such visit, owner TYLER MEEKS said someone had been interested in the color version of the drawing, and (Tyler thought this was almost as amusing as the customer who complained about some wave hog that just might have been me while buying some of my stuff) asked him “Where is this place, SECRETO?”

ANOTHER perfect scan (above).

ANYWAY, with local ripper KEITH DARROCK on a slow trip down SURF ROUTE 101 and HIGHWAY 101 to San Francisco (without a board), checking out as much coast as possible. THE PLAN is to meet up with the mighty QUINN, part time Port Townsend-ite, sometime San Francisco area (work is the explanation) guy, and, perhaps, surf a few waves.

I’ve gotten a few updates, a few images. I COULD SHARE the shots of empty waves that, according to Keith, “WE would definitely FROTH over.” I could, but, here’s what I’m thinking: With surfers loathe to share names and locations and tide/swell/wind info with others, focusing on someone’s SECRET SPOT has got to be, like, criminal.

BUT I enjoyed them. Thanks, Keith. Good luck. Let me know.

It seems pretty obvious that, with so much coastline, there are spots that, though probably not as fickle as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, occasionally offer really fun if not outright epic waves. AND these spots have regulars, locals, surfers who guard the secret-ness of these rare gems. What works in the hard-core surfers’ favor, is the very fickleness. If you want to go hours into the wild to seek a dream spot, dream session, good luck. MEANWHILE, spots that weren’t considered great options with less surfers (“D Street” is my go to example), are, with small enough waves the general surf size most days, labeled as home breaks by… someone.

Maybe it’s you.

WHAT I wanted to post today is some artwork by OLYMPIC PENINSULA surfer, SHAYANN MARIE HOFFER. Okay, let me see if I can… no, you’ll have to wait. Shay does have a degrees in art and printmaking. Anyway… next week.

As always, remember original work on realsurfers.net is protected by Copyright, all rights reserved by Erwin Dence, Jr. Thanks.

Pencils and Workable Fixative and Unworkable Technology

I did take basic AND advanced drawing, like, um, fifty years ago, though my main medium of choice (didn’t want to say preferred medium) is pen-and-ink. I enjoyed it, but couldn’t resist going back in with the ink. I tried to go over the “Glass” drawing with darker lines. Didn’t like the results.

Figuring I’d do a quick mid-week posting (still going to have a Sunday by-high-noon post). Then… problems with the scanner, the connection, the actual scanning, the finding my ‘new post’ saved thingie. Now I’m late.

Hope you’re getting some surf. I’m in the scamming and scheming phase. See you Sunday on the web/cloud/fog.

Remember, the stuff is copyright protected, all rights reserved.

Original Erwin, Surf, Swamis, Squalls, Fantasy Surf Spot Illustrations, slightly off kilter (scanner, not the artist)

We have to, occasionally, scroll. My fault. I haven’t figured out how to tighten the borders on Drucilla’s Mac.


The ORIGINAL ERWIN LOGO thing came from trying to simplify my drawing style, such as, I’m often afraid, it is. Yes, I am planning on doing some more t-shirts as soon as I pay my taxes. I tried to make both sides of the wave match, then went to THE PRINTERY in Port Townsend, had Steven do the reversal/blue thing. I was so excited that I didn’t really perfectly align the reflection part. Close.

BECAUSE the SAILBOAT RACING THE SQUALL drawing was already being copied, a version came out blue (and reversed).

THE SALISH C tugboat illustration is the subtle color version, the colors all the more subtle(ized) by the vagaries of multiple copiers and printers and computer screens. Subtle and Simple are so fucking hard (I can say fucking because, so far, no one has told me not to. Still, I’m fucking cutting back… damn it).

THE YOUNG WOMAN illustration is another attempt to draw women without overdrawing. It is another possible cover or title page for “SWAMIS.” I have Dru working on adding some perfect non-hand-drawn lettering. She has, but, because I don’t know how to sign in to her acrobat account, it is unopen-able on her computer. It would be able to be opened on the laptop Trish is hanging on to, but then I would probably have to fucking (sorry) find it. AND YES, I’m so so close to finishing the final go through on the manuscript, trying so hard to keep it around 95,000 words.

FANTASY POINT. Here’s the point: Two local artists, JESSE JOSHUA WATSON (I insist on calling him Jesse Merle Watson- easier for me to remember) and STEPHEN R. DAVIS have done paintings of fantasy point breaks. I’m competitive.

I would put Jesse’s version up, but I would have to contact him and… and, anyway, no one wants anyone to believe any rendering or abstraction of lineups that don’t actually exist (yeah, maybe Indonesia or Surfer’s Journal) might be real. BUT, both Stephen and Jesse surf, so we do share similar inspirations. Maybe… okay, I’ll call someone who might have Jesse’s number. Meanwhile, google him. I DIDN”T SAY my interpretation is better. To quote another surfer/writer: “I wouldn’t say ‘better,’ I would say ‘different.’ ” I will gladly accept DIFFERENT.

PLEASE REMEMBER, all the rights to all original works on realsurfers.net are owned by someone.

Wedding Goes Off With a Hitch

It was against doctors’ orders. At least doctor’s advice. Stephen R. Davis, having survived a could-have-been-fatal allergic reaction to the medication given to him when he was first being treated for mantle cell lymphoma, having endured six rounds of, I’m guessing, garden variety chemotherapy, and having just gotten the second of two rounds of super chemo, designed to kill the shit out of everything except the patient, having received a blood transfusion in the morning, headed for Port Townsend some time in the early afternoon of November 11, 2022, with the intention of getting married to Sierra.

11/11/22 was important to Sierra. A guess (not my guess) was the numbers: 11, 11, and 2 x 11 (22). Made sense. No. Since Steve was kind of unclear on the reason for the date, he made some vague reference to the thinness of the veil. Cosmic. And unclear. I asked Sierra. “No, it’s that that date is one in which…” She lost me. Something about an increased opportunity for things to ‘manifest.’ Oh. Destiny is all I could think of.

Steve’s brother, Paul Davis, officiating at the boat launch by the (head)lights of a silvery Toyota.

“Veil.” “Manifest.” Interesting words. At the very same time Steve and Sierra were getting hitched (see title), a ghost conference was going on in Port Gamble. My wife, daughter, ex daughter-in-law were in attendance, along with lots of other folks who might be interested in the thinness of the veil and the possibility that something might manifest. I was asked not to attend. I’ve gone before. Evidently, my energy doesn’t mix well with the spirit world.

I had spoken to Steve several times before ll/11/22 about his nuptials, giving him advice such as: “Why don’t you f’in’ wait until you’re f’in’ better?” And, “Okay then, have Paul go over there, do the ceremony, have a reception when all your friends can go and possibly not kill you with your totally compromised immune system.”

“Um. No.” So it was set for some time around 3:30 at the Point Wilson Lighthouse. Um, no. There was a traffic accident over by Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, then another one on the Jefferson County side of the Hood Canal Bridge. I got a call from Steve that the ceremony was going to happen about 4:30, and that the wedding and the party was all being moved to the beach over by the fairgrounds. “Okay. Yes, I’ll wear a mask. No, there’s no way I can upstage you. No hugging? No problem. I’m calling Keith. I told him about it, he’s going. We’re going to represent.”

Represent? Yeah. Surfers.

Another call. 5:30. It was pretty dark by 5pm. I tossed all the stuff in the passenger seat of my work van into the back, suddenly worried what a painter’s rig might smell like to a non-painter. I checked out Keith’s ever-increasing quiver of surfboards, looked at some super secret, not to be sent over the telephone surf shots (on Keith’s phone), and we headed over.

As it turned out, Cody was also representing the surfing community. Otherwise, in the dark, with the masks and the distancing and all, I didn’t really recognize anyone. Including Steve. But, breaking the don’t upstage the groom (and, I’m guessing, Steve also meant to include his bride), the first person I saw was wearing a, no-shit, genuine, Davy fucking Crockett coonskin cap. “Hi, Erwin,” he said. “Who are you?” “Hobo Joe.” “Oh.” So, I introduced Keith to Hobo Joe and he explained why Steve calls him that. Not actually a hobo, Joe did have lava burn down his house on the Big Island, did stay with Steve for a while, did stay on Steve’s sail boat in Port Townsend. I know, none of this explains the coonskin cap.

So, word spread among the masked wedding party and the celebrants that the ceremony was going to take place down at the boat ramp. With a north wind blowing across the forty-something degree water, Paul read the opening statements, Steve and Sierra recited their vows, rings were exchanged, permission was given for the now-married couple to kiss. There was clapping and the surfer-appropriate hoots.

Sierra Davis, easily upstaging Steve.

Keith and I were among those congratulating Steve and Sierra. “So, Sierra, since I can’t hug Steve; is it all right to hug you?” No. “Sure. I understand. Virtual hugs?” Sure.

And that was it. I dropped Keith off at his house, went to the QFC, went home. Meanwhile, Steve and Sierra mingled, shared some virtual hugs with friends and family members, and headed back to Seattle. I was kind of hoping that they went through Port Gamble. With all the ghost conference folks hoping for some sign from the spirit world and all, and all the hopes and fears of a newly married couple, well, who knows what might, you know, like, manifest.

Congratulations and a (virtual) hoot. OWWWWW!

SIDEBAR- A little later on, I got a call from Trish. She saw me going into our house on the ring camera. “Is that what you wore? Paint all over your pants.” “Hey, I had on my nice Seahawks jacket.” “Yeah, but, still…” Yes, I did talk about the coonskin cap.

BONUS: Here’s one of Steve’s latest paintings. He and I are discussing ways to make some money with our art work. If he or I figure something out, I will let you know.

Overdrawn, Over-colored

As usual, I have limited time before I am supposed to be somewhere, checking out someone’s castle for potential painting opportunities. I did get up early, checked what limited info is available to make a guess on whether it is worth it to drive a distance, or a greater distance to possibly find surf. In the circumstance where there might be an opportunity for the closer trip, I would, of course, text the client and claim one or more of the various contractor excuses.

Didn’t happen, but I did do some coloring on a drawing I finished during a frantic, frustrating day… yesterday, and then had the original reduced so I could do the coloring and the scanning. Okay, so, as usual, the illustration, based on a photograph taken by Reggie Smart out on the actual northwest Pacific coast, is kind of over-drawn.

I scanned the colorized version a few minutes ago and… surprise, it is also over-colored. Some colors kick ass on other colors and take over. The most wrong of the colors. Wrongest? The ones I don’t want standing out. Luckily, I got five prints to color up.

Back to the lack of time. Gotta go. Next time, a hopefully, not overcolored version.

Thanks for the shot, Reggie.

Simple, simple, simple… damn, damn, damn

Rather Quickly Forgetting Massacres…

…as we tend to do, turning the channel to avoid any unpleasantness from Ukraine or Uvalde, we look for, yes, pleasantness, peace, quiet beauty. The previous piece, available with a simple scroll-down, was a lightened-up alternative to a harsher, much harsher one. Yes, it is in my files. Ready.

But now, here is the latest work from my friend, Stephen R. Davis.

Northwest Fantasy Point Break, somewhere between Oz and Neverland

There is a certain distance from Steve’s paintings at which abstraction becomes rendering.

Inside, outside

I am considering the places in our minds in which we look at the crazy, fucked up world at the proper distance. Considering. I’ll get back to you on that. Meanwhile… peace.