Featured Artist for Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
I got the call from Vans about 18 months ago to begin work on this year’s Triple Crown of Surfing art, a huge honor in my genre of art. I have done art for Triple Crown events in the past, such as the Women’s Roxy Pro Haleiwa, and The Gidget Sunset Pro Women’s event in 2009. And a couple of times when Randy Rarick was the director of the Triple Crown he asked me to throw some ideas “into the hat” - and that helped me get on Vans’ radar.
Vans gets the art started far in advance because they print so much merch with the image on it. I worked with a very talented Vans art director named David Happekotte. David and I refined and refined the image and the design of the poster. Then it was handed off to the clothing and merchandise designers to be artfully applied to men’s and women’s T’s, flip flops, towels, hats, tote bags, dresses, aloha shirts and more.
About the Triple Crown
In its 35th year, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing continues a rich surfing heritage of progression, high-performance and power surfing. It is a series where careers are made, reputations are forged and mistakes can have dire consequences. The prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title is a professional surfing milestone, one that rivals that of WSL World Champion.
A Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Center at Camp Pendleton
So often I think of my art as adding to the visual interest of some interior space. But once in a while, I get a glimpse of the higher purpose of art. This was the case of 2 large oil paintings recently completed. The paintings were commissioned for the newly opened Intrepid Spirit traumatic brain injury treatment center on Camp Pendleton. The $11.5 million center is the seventh of nine such facilities at military bases across the country. It is funded by the New York-based nonprofit Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund founded in 2000 by Zachary Fisher, who also started the Fisher House Foundation for military families.
The center will operate as a part of Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton to treat active-duty military patients who suffer from the physical and psychological effects of brain injury. The center will also provide education and other resources on brain injury for veterans and the wider community. The art was selected by a team that specializes in art for healthcare.
Their focus is art that calms and gives hope to those under treatment. They selected some of my California Oceanscapes: one depicting the Oceanside Pier (near the facility) and the other depicts 15th Street Del Mar, one of my favorite scenes to paint for - the classic beauty of our local coastline.
It was inspiring to work on a project that brings good to the community of those who serve in our military and to see the great work being done by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Recently I had an opportunity to paint some murals in a new home in Costa Rica. A big part of the incentive to take the job was that it would allow my wife to come with me and stay with our daughter who lives about 2 hours away from the place where I would be working. The job consisted of 2 murals about 9x9' each, going up a stairwell. The large paintings were linked with a one-color motif of swimming sea life done in the style of Tahitian tattoo.
Something magical happened when I arrived at the home I was to paint. Inspiration was everywhere. The house itself was amazing. It overlooked an incredible piece of coastline. Exotic birds circled above as monkeys played in the jungle. We started each day with a 2-hour surf. My client was a terrific host- meals and accommodations were superb and they helped me with anything I needed.