Archive | 2015

“Free Range 23: Location, Location, Location”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: unknown, the numbers kept spinning, I’ll have to get it checked out, must be busted or something…
Notes: One of the most enjoyable parts of this trip has been having the time to explore some dog legs off the main roads that I’ve wondered about for years and peer around a few corners on nothing but a wim and a bleeping internal surf radar. On one remote stretch of coast where I stood looking out at the glassy lines I was surprised by the sound of the crunching dirt road gravel very close by. Looking around for who or what was nearby, I realized it was just my jaw that had dropped to the ground on realization that I was staring out at just the oceanfront spread I’d been looking for for so long. Nothing too fancy, just a place to raise some cattle, skate my private bowl, and surf a left or right point on any given day, you know, just the basics… holy moly. Let’s not worry about where this is, let’s just be content to know that this is. California, I love you.

 

“Free Range 22: Third Try”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1038.8 miles
Notes: Sometimes it takes a lot of driving around spot-checking before settling on a spot to paint. The morning light was fading quickly to noon day brightness, so I jumped on this one after scouting two other locations. Any one if them would have worked, not sure why I was so hesitant, but at least I didn’t go back to the first one and then second guess that before heading to a fourth spot. That happens too. I’ll call this a win.

“Free Range 21: The Beginning of the End”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1030.2 miles
Notes: Every trip comes to an end sometime, and this one ends in southern California. Although I still have many miles to travel in the next few days, with the live music and party vibe emanating from the pier while I painted, this was my first taste of the end of the line. Tastes kinda like country music.

 

“Free Range 20: Overwhelmed”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 935.8 miles
Notes: The coast of California is not fair. For every spot surfed or vista painted there’s a multitude of others that will have to wait for another day. Been enjoying this paint tour, but my heart breaks for all that I’ve seen and haven’t had time to stop for. It doesn’t matter how many times one makes this trip, many a stone will always be left unturned. So do not weep for me, not that you would, but weep for us all and all of the hidden beauty around each bend that this fleeting life is too short to take in. Yes, weep, but not in sorrow, weep for joy! For there is always more out there and none of us will ever be able to sadly say that we’ve seen it all. We haven’t come close.

 

“Free Range 19: Like a Bridge Over Troubled Wompers”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2015

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Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 887.8 miles
Notes: Well, not really trouble wompers. I’m sure the womp down there is perfectly content to be left alone and only viewed from above. The only troubled ones would be the prospective wompees passing by hankering for some all-time scenic & historical womp. Access down there isn’t easy. This one is for all my boardless wave sliding friends. May your goat trails always be passable.

“Free Range 18: Punk Rocks”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 16″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 862.3 miles
Notes: Beautiful coast here. Almost too beautiful for painting as it draws throngs of visitors from all over the world in a constant stream of selfie sticks, bored kids on family vacation that will not be impressed by anything analog, and well, bearded painters too I suppose (though I was the only one out there on this day). The trouble with all this activity is the constant stream of nice folks who want to know if I’m making a living from art. I’m not sure why that is the question most often asked these days, but it is. In a crazy busy place like this one I get tired of fielding that inquiry and quickly run out of new ways to answer it on the spot so I prefer to wear headphones and enjoy some blindingly loud music so I don’t hear anything anyone has to say. I even sing along loudly from time to time in case they don’t see the headphones. This piece was painted with some enjoyable punk rock that brought me back to my teenage years. The fast pace forced a bit of a different vibe and kept it rough around the edges. Funny how that works. When you first saw this painting scrolling through your feed, you didn’t think to yourself, “oooo, looks like 80’s punk rock”, did you? No, you did not. But look again, and now you do. Neat huh?

 

“Free Range Tour 16: Oh the Humanity”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 800.1 miles
Notes: This town is nuts. Lineups crawling with surfers of all skill levels. Surfed one wave about 3 feet from the cliff with 2 other surfers in front of me on a soft top and a stand up paddle board. I don’t think they even knew I was there. Watched soft top’s board get washed into a hole in the cliff and dissappear a few waves later. Never saw if he was able to retrieve it or not. Hopefully it want a rental. And possibly on the best wave of my trip so far, took a high line to gain speed to drop around a long section, getting excited for the wall stretching out ahead and BAM! Hit by a board out of nowhere, never saw it coming. Fortunately it was just a good crack to the thigh, not the head. I held on and made it around the section, but then I realized what had happened and wondering if I was hurt or not and dug a rail cause I wasn’t in the moment anymore. Came up grumbling, mostly mad that I blew it for no good reason after holding on through the worst of it. The guy who bailed his board asked if I got that wave when I paddled back out. I wasn’t super happy and did kinda let him know. Mostly just to hang on to his board better, but I wasn’t so mad at him as myself for blowing it. Any apparent disgruntlement was likely just leftovers from yesterday’s run in with the cherry slinger. Anyway, I figured it was appropriate to share all that as this is the first piece of this art tour to include people in it. They could not be avoided. Literally.

“Scripps and Salsa”

C-Scripps-and-Salsa

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 24″
Year: 2015

Notes: Painted for the 2015 Legends of Surfing Invitational & Luau held at the Scripps Pier in La Jolla, CA. The event raises funds each year for UCSD’s Moore’s Cancer Center. This piece was the official event artwork for the year and raised $14,000 in the live auction. Holy moly.

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“Free Range 16: Sweet Cherries for Sale”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 766.8 miles
Notes: Was digging this roadside view near a produce stand selling “sweet cherries” and had just gotten set up when the cherry slinger walked up and told me I’d have to move. Says I was blocking his sweet cherries sign. I wasn’t, but I could see how from over at his stand it might look that way. I began to tell him about my road trip, which he took as a challenge and interrupted to inform me bluntly that he’d driven all the way from Modesto, so he wasn’t impressed, and furthermore that he had a permit to set up there, and even furthermore that since he was there first there was no point finding a mutually beneficial solution. He was real good at cussing too. His parting shot was that I had to move or he would call the sheriff and have me forced to relocate.

After he left I was wondering if it was really worth the hassle when I see a uniformed official approaching on foot. Shocked he had the pull to get an officer out that quickly I resigned to pack it up as I hadn’t even started painting yet anyway. The official comes around to the back of the van and starts right off telling me I wouldn’t be able to park there… then his face came into focus and it was none other than a long time friend and college housemate who had been working with the state parks doing trail construction for years in this area. Apparently he’d driven by, saw me and was just stopping to say hi and joking around. He had no idea about cherry man’s problems.

We talked for a bit in full view of cherry guy and resolved to just move the van a few feet and carry on as I was safely parked, not blocking his sign, and permit or not he didn’t own the highway. Pretty funny to think of cherry guy seeing me talking it over with a very official looking park ranger and staying put. I wasn’t finished painting when cherry man closed down and when he came over to get his sign, he backed up as close as he could to the back of my van and made a great effort to spray me with gravel as he put all the horse power his Chevy astro could mister on the line. It was sad. Barely kicked up any dust. I’m still embarrassed for him. Oh well. Just bummed he bailed before I finished. I was going to buy some cherries.

 

“Free Range 15: Morning Drive”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 755.7 miles
Notes: Stopping to catch the morning light before it becomes midday light on one of my favorite stretches of coast… ok, so I have about 47 different “favorite” stretches of coast in this state, nevermind that, I’m here right now and couldn’t be happier for it.

 

“Free Range 9: Angles”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 389.1 miles
Notes: The fog bank stuck around all day, threatening to shut down my art operations at any moment. When I rounded a point that marks a significant change in the angle the coast faces, from northwest to southwest, I figured the little micro climate created in the lee of the point would be my best bet for some stable sunshine. This place wasn’t on my list to paint, but I was concerned about heading any further and back into the fog. Just like a surf trip, the main rule is to never pass up a decent setup, enjoy what is there in the moment. Epic days happen when they happen, but you can drive around all day looking for them and not find them at all.

 

“Free Range 8: Disappearance”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 20″
Year: 2015

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Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 346.4 miles
Notes: Well there were some pretty incredible headlands off in the distance glowing in the morning light when I started setting up to paint. Then came the fog. Now you can’t even see them at all behind the fog bank. It happens.

 

“Free Range 6: Roadside Blues”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 313.5 miles
Notes: I’m not getting very far at this pace. Going to be hard to cover ground when the coast is as beautiful as this. Just another roadside attraction. There’s hundreds of more to come, but I can only paint a handful of them. Oh my.

 

“Free Range 4: Entrance”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 179.8 miles
Notes: Last one from my home territory. Hitting the road tomorrow a.m. Huge thanks to everyone that has made suggestions, requests, and commitments for the pieces I’ll be painting each day of this trip. You have all helped make this trip possible and you have my gratitude. I’ll try not to blow it.

 

“Free Range 3: Maybe Later”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 8″ x 10″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 149 miles
Notes: Got a little sidetracked already. Trying to get just the right angle to paint from the van for the previous painting, my front bumper just grazed the railing on the roadside… and promptly broke, bent, and dislodged itself halfway off. Not wanting to spend this whole drive wondering if it would fall off completely, I figured I should take care of it sooner than later. Fortunately this all happened very close to home, making things simple. But in the rush of taking care of business to begin the real road trip down the state, this little funky one is, all I could muster up. Looking forward to points south soon, hopefully tomorrow.

“Free Range 1: Waiting for the Day to Warm Up”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 24″
Year: 2015

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 23 miles
Notes: Kicking off the tour of California’s coast with some river time near the Oregon Border. Mornings have a bit of a chill that make swimming sound a little better… later. Like after this quick painting. Took a four hour swim with the family up the river right after this one.

 

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