Archive | Verbals

“Sabbath Day”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 30″ x 24″
Year: 2016

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Notes: 2 things to say about this one… First, it’s the largest plein air piece I’ve ever done, requiring 2 full sessions on different days. Way more fun than I thought it would be. Looking forward to more. And secondly, when painting at busy locations like this one, I often listen to loud music to get amped up and tune out distractions. This one was fueled by old Black Sabbath and apparently I was heard singing along from the top of the hill. Apologies to the neighborhood. I can only imagine how ridiculous it sounded.

“Expression Session”

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Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 12″
Year: 2016

Notes: This was my take on yesterday’s scene at the first ever SDSFF Art and Surf Invitational Expression Session down at Scripps pier. I dont think I’ve ever painted people painting before, but couldn’t resist this one. I was just so stoked to see all these great artist buddies painting, surfing, and generally finding excuses to eat another donut. Big loud thanks and hugs to all the artists and everyone who showed up to enjoy the scene. The vibe could not have been better. And also to the San Diego Surf Film Festival folks for letting me put this together and run with this one. Hoots and shakas all around.

Two Cents

All art is a lie.

All you really need is red yellow blue and white.

Work fast, don’t worry about results too much. just keep going.

Don’t paint the things you’re looking at, paint the air between them and you.

Every piece goes through an ugly stage, just keep going and trust your instincts to bring it through. You will bring it through.

When painting next to another artist, loosen all their easel bolts when they aren’t looking and… wait, not that.

“Gifted” artists aren’t born with automatic talent. The “gift” they have is a deep and thorough enjoyment of the process, that brings them back for more and more and more.

Living as an artist is like Peter getting out of the boat and walking on water. No safety nets, and you’re bound to get wet once in a while. Watch out for sharks.

Selling art and making art are two very different arts. Don’t confuse them.

Be very careful not to dip your brush in your beer.

That is all.

“Last Rites”

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

Notes: Technically, this would be the 33rd piece in the Free Range series. Odometer maybe at 1525 miles or so. Painted it on location in La Jolla at the VIP party for UCSD’s Legends of Surfing Invitational that benefits Moores Cancer Center. This little one raised $1200 to fight cancer that night (not to be confused with my large painting of Scripps Pier that sold for $14,000 at the main event the next day). Shortly after that I was keeled over in pain and ended up in the ER at Scripps hospital. They couldn’t figure it out and sent me on my way where the stabbing pain came and went for the next 2 weeks. Tests, appointments, all that. Still no answers but feeling better. Reckon 3 weeks of van life and brutal work pace had me neglecting proper nutrition and hydration and I paid the price this time. Anyway, all that is to say I’m not dead yet, and even though this is the last painting I’ve done as of this moment, there will be more. Just a reminder we never know what tomorrow brings. Life is short. Love people. Now.

I’m beyond stoked to have been part of such an amazing event and grateful to all that work so hard to make it happen each year. I hope to be back, and in better condition to howl at the moon and fight cancer like a pirate with you all next year. Heroes.

“Free Range 32: End of the Line”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,499.6 miles
Notes: A common theme when exploring an unfamiliar area is to drive to the end of the road, then get out and walk to the end of the trail until you can’t pass any further. Doesn’t matter if it’s a remote location or just a curious corner of your own local neighborhood, it happens time and time again. This was a familiar stretch, but I hadn’t gone this far before on these bluffs. In hindsight it’s fitting that this was the end of the trail, as my plein air tour would be cut short in the following days due to illness, the hard toll of road life perhaps catching up at last. I reckon I’ll be fine and the rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated but huge thanks to everyone that stepped up and helped me out when I was feeling pretty awful. Apologies to those who asked for paintings further south, they won’t be coming on this trip. As it turned out this was much closer to the end of the line than I thought it would be at the time.

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“Free Range 31: Summer Cooker”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,491.6 miles
Notes: Not much to say here. It was really hot. I’m not used to sweating so much near the beach. All good if you’ve got your feet in the water, another story when perched tantalizingly close on the bluff for 2 hours in the midday heat. A beautiful big beetle kept landing on my easel telling me I should wrap it up and get in the water. He knew I didn’t belong up there.

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“Free Range 29: This Too Shall Pass”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,361.2 miles
Notes: Painted this after driving through the largest freeways of this trip on a hot humid day, suffering a random nosebleed in the fast lane, and arriving to this spot covered in a sweaty layer of smogfunk. Figured I’d make the most of it since I was here. This place has history with me. When I really got into landscapes and plein air art around 15 years ago, I was briefly living in long beach and this was the closest place to come and hike and submerse one’s self in nature and atmosphere and not see cars, roads, or houses for miles. And its also very close to the beach where I proposed to my wife a little over 15 years ago as well. We celebrated our 15th anniversary together up the coast a few days ago, so was really wanting to paint one around here even though I wasn’t too inspired when setting up. Laid out a few lines and was greeted by the heaviest rain I’ve seen on this trip. Paint literally dripping off the canvas. Just about called it quits, but figured this too would pass, and sure enough it did. Glad I didn’t give up earlier.

“Free Range 28: For Those Who Have Gone Before Us”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,296.1 miles
Notes: There’s a lot of history here. Native history, Spanish colonial history, surfing history, and countless other threads entwine around this focal point of the coast. As I painted this one I chatted with a local who was a long time friend of a fellow coastal artist who passed away not too long ago. Hearing his stories and backstories to those stories really brought home the reality to me that this life is too short not to live fully. He lived a much different life than I, but born to another time and place it could have been me that was gone and him just now hearing tales of my days here. Hug the ones you love.

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“Free Range 27: Jeepers Creepers”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,274.8 miles
Notes: Ok. I know I can seem a little creepy to some folks all hoveled up in my van dwelling, but sometimes even I get creeped out by the local humans. This was an empty stretch of road but it produced some odd characters in fairly rapid succession. I’m glad I wasn’t abducted. My van is nicer than any of theirs…

“Free Range 26: Morning Funk”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,209.7 miles
Notes: In order to make the most of the daylight hours and paint as much as time and geography allow, I’ve been flying under the radar and sleeping in the van in random offbeat commercial locations. Wake up early and move on daily. Some mornings are rougher than others and our good old coastal marine layer has fairly well mimicked the physical feelings of general funk arising from car sleeping and a questionable road diet that are most prominent in the morning hours. By the time the clouds burn off I’m usually feeling a lot better. This one is about working through the funk and pressing on even when nothing in me felt like doing so at the moment. In the morning mental haze I even forgot a critical piece of my outdoor easel, the bottom ledge for clamping the canvas on. Didn’t realize it till I’d already walked the 20 minute hike from the parking lot and around the point. Improvise, adapt, and move on, it’s all good. I’m just stoked to be here.

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“Free Range 25: Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,151.9 miles
Notes: Chalk up another victory for the mobile studio van. The wind was howling so strong here it was hard to paint even with all windows up and only one back door open. The van was shaking so much the brush never seemed to land where I thought it would so this one is a little loose around the edges, but without the van it could not have happened at all. The offshore canyon winds were so strong I didn’t even consider taking an outdoor photo, and even the blurry shot I’m posting here was on account of the van rocking and rolling so much I couldn’t hold the camera still enough to get it any more focused. So with all the wind difficulties, I am only that much more stoked to have been able to paint the late afternoon/evening light on such a beautiful piece of California’s coast.

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“Free Range 24: The Spirit not the Letter”

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

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 1,120.9 miles
Notes: Driving out to check this place, I could tell the wind was coming up fast and early, so I figured I’d skip the surf and just get right into painting. I had the easy spots in mind, simple views right off the shoulder of the road as it wound over the bluffs above the beach. It had been awhile since I’d passed this,way so I didn’t recall all the no parking signs lining the entire length of road. Large, wide, safe shoulders everywhere with amazing views up the coast and someone got a wild hair to keep anyone from stopping there. With the wind blowing as it was, I knew my only chance to paint this view would be from the windblock afforded by my rolling studio van. I figured I’d go down to the county park at the end of the road and see what the park ranger had to say. I paid for my day use and he said go for it. There was one old retired gaurd around that made a point of enforcing the no parking rule and that the main point of the signs was to keep folks from parking up there and poaching on the use of the park without paying. Fair enough. Figured I was good to go then so I painted, had my burger and left for points south.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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

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

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.

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“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?

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“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.

“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.

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“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.

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“Free Range 12: Elevation” $434

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

Free Range/Outdoor/Plein Air Price: $434
*all prices subject to change and availability, CONTACT us for specifics on this piece.

Series: “Free Range: California”
Odometer: 628.7 miles
Notes: Was hoping to knock out two paintings today, but after watching south swell lines bending around the sandbars in the distance, groomed by the north winds, well… tomorrow is another day.

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