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26th, 2009 Surf Art Column (23
Weeks Of Surf)
"Why would you have the Annual Surf Art Column in July?" my wife asked. "Because there's usually no surf in the Summer. And it's the perfect filler for the flat spell." She was asking me this question, because I was complaining out loud, about the amount of both surf art, and surf photos I am posting this week. Typically during the Surf Art Week I pass on Surf pics. But I couldn't really pass on the surf photos this week, seeing how that little ass kicking Mini Nor'easter, that blew through here on Thursday and Friday produced such a fun head high and better swell on Friday afternoon. I mean...hello? We're talking 23 weeks of of surf. Did I just write that? You know what? I'm through playing the "Don't jinx it game". We've had 23 weeks of waist high or better surf. Every week for 23 consecutive weeks. The swell on Friday was so much fun. And man was it warm. How warm? No suits needed if you really wanted to. But clearly, minimal rubber. It was that warm.
And the surf was rocking. Albeit, for a short window. It was gone by the next morning.
shot in the afternoon, and then opted for the night session. And I do
mean night. Hell, I surfed until 8:30PM. I kid you not. I was
using the night vision technique, they taught us in the Marine Corps.
It worked enough to squeak out every last drop of light, and feel comfortable.
Besides, there were at least a half a dozen others out there with me.
Good thing I listened to my son who kept telling me to hit it. Hell,
I even rode my shortboard. Thank God. I hate having the board of length
in punchy beach break. I'd much rather have the option to duck dive,
then have my arms ripped out of my sockets, trying to hold onto my longboard.
I hope you were one of the lucky ones who scored on Friday.
It was sort of a hit and miss deal earlier in the day. I mean, it was still raining buckets out there. Seriously, it rained in torrential downpours. We had a few new leaks show up. Not good. But it's funny how a head high, or better swell, can distract you from a few minor leaks in the house. I guess it's not that funny. I know my wife was not laughing.
But there was plenty of laughing down at the beach. Smiles galore. Everyone seemed happy. Well, almost everyone. Poor Brian Nevins had a root canal on Friday. Ouch. No surfing and no shooting. Hey Brian now that I think of it, you must of been the sacrificial lamb for that swell. Thank you brother. You can't really feel too bad for Nevins though, the guy has scored some insane surf this year. I mean, remember the Indo shots...? Nuff said.
we got surf. And all the groms and moms, and all the old dudes, and
rippers, and everyone else in between got some surf. Thank you Lord.
Last week we thanked Lil Miss Molly. Maybe it still is Molly
kicking these things up. Who knows? Nothing would surprise me. Heck,
it could be a combination of surfers I know personally, who have passed
on to the other side. It's all too complex to get into here.
My first exposure to Surf Art, was seeing Rick Griffin's art and Ed Big Daddy Roth's art. They were both instrumental in my life, as far as drawing and or, doodling surf toons. They were also responsible for me getting into so much trouble. I had a friend, Thom Tremblay who was an incredible artist. Thom and I would draw Murphy type cartoons of each other going on crazy little surf adventures. Of course, we did this during class in the early 60's. We both got in so much trouble. Our teachers would get so upset. But we were hooked on both surfing and cartoons. We had names for our characters. My guy was named "Stoney" short for Stonewall and Thom's cartoon character was named "Fern". They were black and white, pen and ink drawings we did with ball point pens. I would give anything, to get my hands on some of those detailed drawings we did back in those days.
I think our teachers would confiscate them, and throw them away. We didn't care. We'd just draw new ones. Stonewall and Fern's Surf Adventures. Classic. Thom was as good as Griffin. I swear. He was so talented. He and I surfed together a few times. He never got into the hardcore surfing. But he did stay in the art field. The last I heard, he was living in Florida designing boats. Thom if you are out there and read this, please drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you. Or if anyone else might know where Thom Tremblay is, let him know, that his old pal Ralph is looking for him.
I have a report card from the sixth, or seventh grade. In the teacher's comments section was this line..."Ralph spends most of his time in class fooling around. Especially in Art and Music, where he does absolutely nothing." I always wanted to go back and find that teacher, and let her know that, Art and Music is what I ended up doing with my life.
But that would be hurtful. Or would it?
are many talented surf artists in our midst. Stan Chew an old
and dear friend, who is currently working on the Dream Surf camp
in Panama, is one such artist/musician. I've always loved Stan's
work. And I was really stoked to get some of his latest art for this
year's column. As his Surf camp get's closer to opening, I will be filling
you guys in on all the details. And trust me. We are all going to want
to sample some of those pristine waves. But meanwhile, you can check
out some of Stan's amazing work here this week.
Then there's Hannah Vokey and her husband Sam. Two surfers who are married to the lifestyle of art and surfing. They are stoked on life, and it is evident in their art. You might recall last year when I posted one of Hannah's paintings that she inadvertently did of my son Mackey V. She just randomly chose a photo, out of the millions I post every year, and it just so happened to be Mackey. I flipped when I saw it, because I had never seen a surf painting of one of us surfing before. We ended up getting two more, and we all walk by them every day, as they are hanging in our Living room. And let me tell you, having a surf painting of yourself, is so cool. It's just the coolest thing.
Another super talented Surf Artist is Alex DeConstant. He does these amazing Reduction Woodcut images that are so neat. He has his own unique style, and if you've ever been to Flatbread (and really who hasn't?) you can see his vibrant art everywhere. Just a super talented artist, who has been surfing around here forever. Check his art out.
Another talented Surfer/Artist who used to live here in New Hampshire and has since moved off to California is our good friend Corey Howard. Now I've known Corey since he was a little twerp. I'm very good friends with his Uncle Robin who is himself a talented artist. In fact, Robin was in his day, one of the BEST surfers to ever surf these waves. Seriously. Robin was a great surfer, and he's a pretty damn good artist too. So I'm not surprised that his nephew Corey picked it up as well. Corey is also the older brother of visiting transplant surfer, Kyle Howard. But Corey's really into his art work. I can see it in his work and in his passion. Maybe one day, Kyle might pick it up and carry on the family tradition. We'll see.
This year's Surf Art Column has a few new comers as well. Kevin Kilgore a cartoonist has submitted some funny surf cartons. And there's a few returning artists as well. Jim Shubert who is just a super talent has some work that has been hidden from the public eye for some time but I think you can all appreciate it when you see it. I love Shubert's work.
There's a special gallery devoted to the man himself. Rick Griffin. There can be no denying his contribution to not only surf art, but to surfing in general. Hell, his contribution goes beyond surfing. I mean Griffin did an amazing poster for Jimi Hendrix. Griffin was the man. So was Ed Big Daddy Roth. His Rat Fink toons and surf monsters were classic. It's all here. And so is the amazing surf, both here at home, and on the West Coast. My new West Coast Surf Photo Journalist Ben Ginsberg has sent some UNBELIEVABLE Surf shots from both the US OPEN and the Deadly WEDGE in Newport.
all here exclusively for you RPOTW readers.
The power of love, combined with the healing of surfing.
for some of my weekly Global observances:
Really? This same Police Officer, performed mouth to mouth resuscitation on Boston Celtic's star Reggie Lewis years earlier, trying to save his life. This same Police officer, runs a class in racial profiling. And... there was a fellow Police officer who was present, who also happens to be black and he said...that GATES was acting out, and he deserved to be arrested. That forced Baracky to hold a news conference a couple of days later, and retract what he said about the Police. Of course, the mouth that roared Reverend Al Sharpton has now gotten into the fray and...well... Lord help us all. Can't we all do, what the now infamous Rodney King once said, after the LA Race Riots."Can't we all just get along?" Amen Rodney. Amen.
this for acting out? Fix the economy Mr President. Stop spending
all of our children and grandchildren's money, and FIX the DAMN Economy.
Forget about this incident in Cambridge, forget about Gitmo,
forget about this Healthcare Bill (that no one seems to understand-including
you) . Just keep us safe from Terrorists, and FIX the broken down Economy.
Now can we get an amen? Can we get some Hope and Change?
Can we get some Spare change?
Please Support ALL The photographers who contribute to Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 6 years.
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
2009- SURF ART Galleries July 26, 2009
(Above) Moonrise Over Bluff Beach. The colorful, warm Tropical paintings from local Surf Artist Stan Chew. To see more Stan Chew's Art click on image. Painting by Stan Chew
Click on the image above to see more.
(Above) The weekly Crime captured on Digi
card. Visiting transplant surfer Kyle Howard gets his Welcome
Home Wave. BLATANT Drop In. Sunday July 19th, 2009. To see more of
this horrendous crime click on image. Photo by RALPH
(Above) Kelly Slater. Huntington Pier. July
21, 2009. Photo by Ben Ginsberg
(Above) Rob Machado. US OPEN. July 21, 2009.
Photo by Ben Ginsberg
(Above) Mick Fanning. US OPEN. July 21, 2009.
Photo by Ben Ginsberg
2009- Friday & Saturday July 24-25, 2009
(Above) Death Drop. Wedge Madness. 20' sets.
Death on the rocks. It's All here by
(Above) Tom Curran pulling into a heaving
inside Wedge barrel. All captured by
(Above) Hello... Wedge insanity. RPOTW West
Coast Photographer Ben Ginsberg
(Above) Tavarua Dream Trip! Peter Stokes travels to Fiji and scores Big Cloudbreak, sharing these pristine barrels with Shane Dorian and others!
Photos by Peter Stokes
(Above) Hawaii Secret Spot score with local
Kevin Doherty. Sorry we are not saying which Island. Ha! Adam Gustafasen
scores while KD pulls the trigger. All coming Next Week! Photos by Kevin Doherty
2009 PARTING SHOT- SUP at the WEDGE???
(Above) YES it's True. A SUP at the WEDGE!
It was only a matter of time.