I saw this meme this week on Facebook and thought to myself "How perfect is this for my 16th annual SURF ART BLOG?" Let's face it. Artists, poets, musicians, and writers are a strange lot. I know this first hand. Seeing how I'm three of the four I just mentioned I can attest to being "strange". But I also know I'm not alone. Not even close. There are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of us, who dabble in the arts. And to be more specific. "Surf Art". And by now, most everyone knows, that there actually is such a genre. Surf art. Oh it's real alright. Google it. SURF ART. We're out there.
Most of us started out by doodling . I know I did. I was always drawing waves.
Most of the time in class. Yeah, I got in trouble. All of the time. In fact, stop me if you've heard this one before. But, in my 6th grade class, my teacher actually wrote on my report card. "Ralph spends most of the time in class fooling around. Especially in music and art, where he does absolutely nothing. "
I remember my mother looking at me with a look of surprise when she read that. I was after all, always drawing, and I was full on into music. Go figure. I always wanted to go back to my elementary school years later, and find that teacher, and tell her what I ended up doing in my life. Music and Art.
I'm sure some of you artists have similar stories.
OK the artist that did this is typically known for historically accurate Military History art. He's one of the most famous Civil War artists that ever picked up a paintbrush. I have a few books by him. Mort Kunstler is an incredibly talented artist. So I almost spit my coffee out of my mouth, when I saw this. It's from 1967 and it is a hoot. It's like "HELLS ANGELS MEET FRANKIE AND ANNETTE!" I mean this is some wild crazy daddio kind of funky art.
This is straight out of the Beach Blanket Bingo era!
And if that wasn't crazy enough, the latest SURFER'S JOURNAL had this.
I'm not sure if there's some kind of resurgence in SURF ART from the 50's and the 60's but it did seem a little ironic that I found both of these within days of each other. SURF BIKERS and SURF COMMANDOS. That's some far out Surf art if there ever was some. Personally I found both of these paintings amusing. They are campy, fun, and far fetched. And I suppose in this crazy world that we all live in today, it's just what we needed.
And speaking of just what we needed. Every surfer needs surf art.
Like Dave Cropper here. I called this painting "Tres Goofy". Why? Because, Dave, Heather, and Veda are all Goofyfoots living under the same roof. This was long overdue. Three (Tres) Goofyfoots. You getting this? Sure you are.
Now I'm not just saying that every surfer needs surf art because I'm an artist, and I want you to buy my art. Truth is, I rarely sell my art.
I do however, give my art away as gifts to close personal friends. I just don't have the time, talent, and patience to do it as a living. I have many super talented artist friends and family who do sell their art. And some of them are featured in this Blog.
The Vokeys are two professional artists who make a living at producing art. And if you've seen their work you know what I'm talking about. I'm very limited in what I do. But Sam and Hannah Vokey are the real deal. This painting above "Twilight At The Wall or Last One Out is 10" x 15" medium- oil on wood panel. Mutual friends Terry and Linda M bought this. Lucky them. I could stare at this piece for hours.
Here's one of Hannah's paintings with their cat Koa giving us the "locals only" look. I'm kidding. But as a pet owner, I love the fact that pets live and mingle with us during our creative time. There's a whole gallery of Sam and Hannah's work and if you want to purchase any of their paintings or commission them there's info on every gallery. Of course you could just go through Koa here.
And no surf art Blog of mine would be complete without the super talented Stan Chew. He calls this one "Nor’easter Pushing off Cape Ann" Oil and varnish on panel size: 36" x 24
What can I say about Stan's work that I haven't said a hundred times before?
How about the fact that Stan keeps reinventing himself with his unique style and technique with a series called "Bathymetry". To hear Stan describe it in his own words. "This body of work notes a bit of a departure as I am much less reliant on paint and am leaning towards varnish glaze in the extreme. The subject matter also pays deeper attention to the total environment beyond the waves. Land contours, flora, tides, weather all take a primary role in the paintings." The following quote from the NOAA website was a guiding principal:
Bathymetry is the foundation of the science of hydrography, which measures the physical features of a water body. Hydrography includes not only bathymetry, but also the shape and features of the shoreline; the characteristics of tides, currents, and waves; and the physical and chemical properties of the water itself.
That's all very interesting, but it doesn't talk about Stan's use of color. And make no mistake about it, Stan's work is all about color. Vibrant, electric color that seems to pulsate on the canvas. Like Sam and Hannah, Stan has his own gallery down in the gallery section.
One of the coolest things I've witnessed in the last few years was watching Erica
Nardone hone her skills and branding with these absolutely adorable GULLRISING characters. Creative, whimsical, topical, and just down right too damn cute for words. Erica has created this artistic world of Gulls with her GULLRISING Surf Gulls. These simple, yet expressive beings have become somewhat of a local sensation. My wife has one of these guys hanging in her office. And I've been seeing them everywhere.
Any surfer can see that this guy has got ten toes over the nose, and is styling to beat the band. And if these clever little creatures weren't cool enough Erica started a campaign of collecting sea trash and turning into art. This is somewhat akin to the sea glass collectors only on a grander scale.
She calls this guy the Surfing Frog. While no one is condoning throwing trash on the beach, Erica's art is twofold. She's taking the trash that humans discard on our beaches and making it into art, while at the same time, she's sounding the alarms to the incredible amount of trash out there. Yes Erica
has her own gallery. Are you kidding? I love these little guys.
One of the cool things about having this annual Surf Art Blog is I will from time to time, find someone new that sends me their art. This was the case with Jennifer Hayes from Gloucester, MA. Jennifer sent me three pieces
and they are all really good and worth checking out. Again, each artist can be contacted directly from their gallery, or you can go through me to reach them.
This one is Untitled Acrylic on wood 12" x 11". See the rest of Jennifer's art down in the gallery section.
This piece is hanging on one of the walls in my home. It's a painting by Phill Munson. He gave this to me last year. It's based on one of my photos and he did this with oil and a knife. Phill is one of the surf artists who thinks outside of the box. How's that? Well he uses socks, tee shirts, underwear, you name it. It's art. And in my honest opinion, it's all good.
And this one below? This was painted by Cathy Sullivan. It was a gift from my wife one year ago today. Cathy combined two of my loves. Surfing and Music.
She painted this from a photo of
the last show of my band VINNY at The RAT. November 11th, 1984. Pretty memorable.
"Surfing, Music, and Surf Art Heals All Wounds."
This week's Ed's corner is from august of 2012. Ed had put together a local surf art/photography showing at a bank here in Hampton. We brought some of our best photos and paintings. This is a classic group photo taken by Brian Nevins. Left to right: Ryan Denning, Ed O'Connell, Ralph Fatello, John Carden, and Ryan Scura. Ed loved the arts. And we loved Ed.
Photo by Brian Nevins
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some More Local and National Surf Art
This is one of the most classic surf posters of all time. PACIFIC VIBRATIONS came out 50 years ago in 1970. I saw it in Boston the summer of 1971. Ironically the person I saw it with was not a surfer. He was just a friend who happened to have a car, and offered to drive us into town. I talked him into going because I knew the soundtrack would be rocking.
But this poster? The late Rick Griffin
did this. My favorite surf artist of all time. Hands down, he was one of the best. He turned me onto Surf Art with his "Murphy" cartoons. RIP Rick.
(above) This poster is one of my favorite Surf Art collections.
This poster (below) was kind of special to me because some of my footage ended up in this movie. In fact, if you click on the image you will see in the body copy PLUS UNFORGETTABLE FOOTAGE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE. I liked the surf Art in this poster. This movie I believe came out in the mid 80's.
I was always hoping that Paul Prewitt would release this onto DVD or to have it available online. If any of you Florida boys know where Paul Prewitt is these days maybe you can encourage him to release this classic East Coast Surf film.
And speaking of classic.
I bought a original painting from James Schubert back in the 90's. I had been out surfing at 10th Street when I looked over and saw this guy painting the whole scene. I walked over to him and introduced myself. Once I saw what he was painting, I offered to buy it from you. It is to this day, one of my prized possessions. So I was pretty stoked to get this in my email. He calls it "Going Left" acrylic on canvas 36" x 48"
It is a slight departure from his earlier work. But I love it.
Believe it or not. Right next to my original Schubert on the wall in our living room is a painting by my sister Donna Baldassari.
Donna has been around surfing most of her life. With me her brother being a surfer, and her son being a surfer. She has salt in her veins. And while 90% of all surf art is really about surfing and her waves, there is that 10% that I allow to slip in between the cracks and qualify as surf art. I mean, is a beach part of surfing? Is a sand dune part of surfing? Yes and yes.
She calls this "Coastal Dune" it is oil on canvas 16" x 12"
Another new comer to this Surf Art Blog is Ryan Jackson. And his stuff is really cool. They are all epoxy Resin pours and they are all 24” x 38”. You have to hand it to Ryan these drone angles are pretty unique. I've never seen anything quite like these.
They are for sale and he does custom orders of your favorite surf break. His info along with everyone else's is in the galleries.
As I said earlier, there are many different mediums in the Surf Art Blog. Here's three. They are from left to right John Catizone's cool Tulip Shell 6”x 3 1/2”x 2 3/4” Woody Alabaster. Followed by Mary Mead's Wave Riders made of Redwood. And finally Nathanial Wright's Mug Wave Painting. All cool. And all surf art.
Finally last year I attended an outdoor surf movie about Lisa Anderson. Mary Kirby was there and she had this cool piece of art that she had painted. I told her that she would be in the Surf Art Blog. Her piece above along with many others will be in the Various Artists Gallery. So be sure to check them out. There's some really good pieces of art for you all to seek
The ANNUAL RALPH'S PIC SURF ART BLOG is next BLOG. Please read the poster for detailed instructions. CREATE ART!
Click on the image above to see a larger version.
ESM (Eastern Surf Magazine) using a READY MAG format did the Best of Ralph's Pic. And while they couldn't possibly use everything thing I've ever done, they did manage to put up some 50 pics of mine, plus two videos. And I was truly humbled by their intro. Mez said some nice things about me. CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE WHOLE Spread.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
With this Surf Art Blog I thought I'd see if there was anything at all with KSM and surf art. Turns out there was nothing. But...I did find this. I was unaware that Ole Stanky Khaliddy posed in drag to try and recreate the famous Mona Lisa. Can we just say this once and for all? KSM is hideous no matter how you paint him.
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of Mona Lisa lunch boxes at Home Depot this week.
REST IN PEACE Derek Ho 1964-2020.
REST IN PEACE Ralph (Sonny) Rowell Jr father of Robin Rowell
REST IN PEACE Domenic Rosa March 1, 1926- July 8, 2020.
Thank You For Your 50 Years of Service
John "Grandpa" Rastl July 12th, 2020!
HAPPY 69th BIRTHDAY to my late cousin Bobby Sarno
July 18th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Greg Smith July 19th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Judith "Grandma" Rastl July 23rd, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tami Heidi July 23rd, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Janelle Donahue July 23rd, 2020!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Kevin and Kim Grondin July 23rd, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nick Africano
July 26th, 2020!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mick Jagger July 26th, 2020!
PLEASE Keep Mrs Berardini (Tony's 99 yr old mom) in your thoughts and prayers.
We'd all love to see her make it to her 100th Birthday in December. She's a fighter, but she could use some help. Your prayers can help. Thank you.
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 16 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.