Pebbles on the Edge

Pebbles on the Edge
Lake McDonald, 2014

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Surfing and Painting: Surfboards and the Elements of Design

All 38 surfboards. Whew! The last for awhile, I'm thinking.
Couldn't crop the picture because I no longer have Photoshop.
The latest four.
Surfing...So, my favorite surfer Owen Wright lost in the Quarters at the Rip Curl Pro in Peniche, Portugal, to Julian Wilson, who went on to win the whole event. I like Julian and he needed to win something. Owen eventually lost, but not before he surfed a perfect 10 and beat Mick Fanning in Round 5, which may be a vindication of sorts... Owen traveled to France and Portugal with his GF, his dad, and his little bro', Mikey. I wonder whether Tyler was there?

During the competition, I also enjoyed reading The Sardine, a nifty little e-mag Rip Curl published online during each of the many lay-days while everyone waited for the storm to hit and then abate, and the resulting swell to surge and then clean up. When surfing started again, one guy had sardines falling out of his wave right in front of him, slapping his face!
The world tour goes next to Santa Cruz, CA in November, and then it's on to the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu, Hawai'i for December, the last pro comp of the year. For someone who will probably never attend any kind of surfing event ever, it's fun, entertaining, and educational (!) to watch the world's best surfers fight it out on the world stage. These guys are serious athletes. A great many of the results rest on the luck of the draw, the waves one gets, plus a whole lot of other variables, and the finesse with which one can read and ride the sets. It takes physical skill, stamina, and an intimate knowledge of a swell and how to choose good waves that make a great surfer. And perhaps being born beside the sea and learning how to swim like a fish helps as well.
Painting...So what do surfing and painting have in common, aside from the fact that really beautifully decorated surfboards exist out there and people all over the world are riding art? The surfboard is a great canvas for art. Some surfers paint their own boards, and many of them are quite good. To paint a board takes skills other than how to surf: at least a modicum of art training (how to hold a paintbrush, say), and informal knowledge of the elements and principles of design (if it looks good it probably is).
Meanwhile, I love watching the aquamarine waves curl over onto themselves, break white, and fan out over the sand like foamy lace, and I like learning about surfing: the ultimate contest between man and the sea with nothing but a little bit of rigid foam between tiny human and big blue water. Foam-balls and chandeliers, two-wave hold-downs and barrels, floaters and face-carves. I love the ocean too, but not enough to live on the coast--the Oregon one anyway. Southern Cali--well, that's a different story that'll never be told. But I will always be an artist, and I'll continue making these little jewels until I get tired of them. I'm still hunting for an old genuine surfboard to paint on too. In the meantime, I'm making the tiny ones out of rag foam-core and just fashioned my first little silver surfbaord pendant. Picture later. 
Owen gu brath!


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