Friday, December 19, 2008

Surf Fridays!

Malia Manuel after winning
photo by Rowland/ASP images

Malia Manuel is a fourteen year-old surfer from Wailua, Kauai, who earlier this year claimed the Women’s U.S. Open of Surfing. She is the youngest finalist ever at the U.S. Open of Surfing!

If you've been to Hawaii in the past few years, you've probably heard "Sweet Cherry Bomb" on the radio. The lead singer of Nuff Sedd sang at our wedding and that was really cool. Now we are off to Baltimore, where Jay's family lives. I'll try to find something interesting to post while I'm there. That shouldn't be too hard. After all, John Waters comes from Charm City.

Mele Kalikimaka!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Interview with Frank Cubillos

The description on his blog reads, Born in South America to a cuban mom and colombian dad. I caught my first wave at Point Dume at the age of 14. I married the girl of my dreams. Three grommets later, I'm still surfing. This is a place where I post my art.

Something about that description alone hooked me from day one. A lot of us faithfully read Patchie's Hideout, and I often look forward to that authentic refuge. You can always find a new creation - a painting, photos... along with something about surfing, and very good music. I've learned of quite a few new bands, thanks to Patch. He's a source of creative inspiration, and he is a warm and well respected person.

Let's get to know more about Frank Cubillos.

How did you get the nickname Patchie?

Patchie came from my childhood nickname "Pachito", a friend heard my mom call me that and the name Patch stuck.

I can tell that music plays a very important part in your life. Your blog offers such a wide variety of different styles of music. Where do you think your love of music comes from? And, have you ever played an instrument or been in a band?

From an early age, I remember my dad playing bongos, my mom and dad dancing, an uncle playing guitar, people singing enjoying the night. I think my love of music comes from hearing and seeing these people enjoy that warm festive mood. I grew up listening to salsa, vallenato and cumbias from Colombia and danzón from Cuba. Then my aunt, who was only five or six years older than me went through phases of disco, rock and pop. That led to the foundation of my love of a variety of music.

I was never really in a band, I just jammed with friends. I was a self taught drummer, playing from Jr. High through High school, eventually selling the drums in college to be able to go to Mexico on a surf trip. I currently have three congas and I play around the house on occasion.

What music have you listened to today?

Ruben Gonzalez.

I love your description on your blog - tell us how you met the girl of your dreams.

A friend of mine asked if I was at the gas station filling up the car at the gas station that was down the street from where I lived, not really sure if I was or not, I said, I think so. He then mentioned that a really attractive girl said that I was cute. This was all in high school BTW. A day passed and he showed me the girl he was talking about.

Once I saw her I was floored. I got to know her and we dated, stayed together through college, got married and have three kids. What's funny, is that, she later told me I wasn't the actual person she saw that day at the gas station.

I loved that in your interview for Santos SurfArt you said that your career highlight was drawing with your children. How old are your 3 children and are they interested in surfing, music and art?

Yes, I've been lucky to have won awards in juried competitions, been selected to open juried shows by acclaimed artists, a couple of my paintings are in esteemed collections of people and corporations, but by far the greatest artistic highlight is painting with my three kids (12, 9 and 6). The whole process is genuine, they're very expressive. They do like music too, the two boys play piano, one is learning guitar.

My daughter (the youngest) will be taking piano next year, As for surfing, all three were introduced to surfing really young. The boys get white water reforms on their boards, my daughter caught her first wave with me on an eleven foot tanker in Waikiki two summers ago and she really enjoyed it at that time. This summer she just wanted to jump through the waves with me.

sold at the California Wildlife Center auction in August

Something I like about your blog is that you often have a painting or photographs, and then tie it in perfectly to music and/or a story about your surf sesh that day. Do you typically surf first and then create?

Yes, usually I surf first, then I create, sometimes I am lucky and have something in my vault of work that I can use. The photos are almost always taken that day.

Who and what are your current sources of inspiration?

My wife and kids, the people around me, surfing, a song I might hear. In a general sense, I get inspiration from all of these, but it can easily come from a cup of coffee and a stroll down the street.

How is your art evolving at the moment?

Originally I was inspired to create images that showed the triumph of the human soul over tragedy and sorrow, depicting signs of hope, self expression and symbolism. I think I am still attempting to achieve that, but really I'm focusing on the process of creating, I am producing a lot of work, a sketch and drawing several times a week, sometimes daily, basically it's an art work out, exploring happy accidents, seeing where that moment takes me.

Hula 5

Hula 6

What is your creative space like?

I paint in my garage, my back yard or my office/studio. The office has a computer with loads of kids homework spread all over. The garage or the back yard is where I do most of my painting. I'm not a plein air painter who paints California landscapes, but I enjoy painting outside so I prefer the back yard.

Tell us about the first wave you caught at Point Dume when you were 14. Were you hooked from that point on?

My first wave, like many other firsts, are embedded in my memory. I was with Des and a couple other friends, we took some punishment for several days at Zuma, going over the falls and getting pummeled, we stayed with it though. We were on spring break so we made an effort to get as much attempts in as we could. Then one of those days, a very small spring swell at Point Dume it happened. A small clean pigdog right and it was over.

What is the most fun surf trip you've ever had?

There were some fun ones when I was younger, total debauchery, no money, little food, a feast would be eating from the local panaderia - what made it great was the surf. My best surf trip was surfing the east cape, a secluded spot at 8-10 feet.

What is your favorite surfboard?

My daily drivers, as of late, have been my 10-0 Harbour H3 and the 6-9 Quad that Ted Gallup from six foot and perfect shaped for me.

Do you collect anything?

Lately, it feels like it, we have lots of soccer balls in our backyard.

What is your favorite home cooked meal?

I love a good cuban meal. My favorite would be 'Chuletas de Puerco' (Pork Chops), marinated in citrus juice with a generous amount of garlic mojo sauce, sauteed onions and herbs, white rice, black beans and platanos. With a cuba libre or some sangria. I think I just drooled.

What are the top 3 concerts you've ever been to?

Jam, X, Specials.

Thank you Frank - it has been an honor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tiffany Morgan Campbell

photo of Tiffany Morgan Campbell
shot by her husband, Thomas Campbell

At the Nor Cal shop in Pacifica recently, I picked up a copy of Foam - a cool mag geared towards women with all things related to surf culture, music, art,'s nice!

I liked the above shot of Tiffany Morgan Campbell, the director of the upcoming surf documentary, Dear & Yonder. According to Foam, TMC and Andria Lessler have been working on the film for over a year to authentically document women who inspire both in and out of the water.

The story behind the title is that some of the women featured in the film will be surfing their beloved home breaks (the Dear), such as Judith Sheridan, who bodysurfs Mavericks(!!) - and Ashley Lloyd of Santa Cruz, a surfer/shaper who seeks out ecologically sustainable materials in order to perfect her craft. Other women in the film venture well beyond the comfort of their home breaks to the far reaches of the earth (the Yonder), such as Liz Clark, who is single handedly sailing around the world in search of waves and new shores.

The film will be released in the summer '09.

Paddler by Tiffany Morgan Campbell
part of the art show benefit for Dear & Yonder

Tiffany already has one film behind her belt, the anthem to skater girls called Getting Nowhere Faster. Check out a clip of Vanessa Torres from the 2004 flick.

Roxy asked TMC what she loves to do and this is what she had to say: "I love surfing, of course, but my roots are in skateboarding. Before I could drive myself to the beach, I picked up skateboarding and have been doing it ever since. I love the culture that has evolved from skateboarding. There's a part of me that thrives on the grittiness of the streets.

But mostly I love being in nature. My husband and I live in a wooded area and this is where I'm at most peace. I need the natural rhythms of the plants and animals to stay balanced."

Sounds like a real cool lady.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Surf Fridays!

This is probably one of the coolest movie clips I've ever seen, from a rare surf documentary called Blue Surf-ari . Footage is between 1964-67.

From the same film, here is footage of Redondo in 1963. Around the 4:00 minute mark, it jumps to a clip from 1967 - Rincon! Then they head to the 'Bu, where it's super crowded.

I hope you guys get some good surf this weekend, where it's not super crowded. If you've had a good post surf meal recently - I'd love to read about what you had - on your blog or in the comments here. That is a super fun subject that I don't read much about. Post surf grub. Mmm. Ciao! Chow?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

TOMS Sole Surfing art show

The art show at the pop-up store in Venice has come to an end - Garett from TOMS sent over these photos last night. It's so cool to see everyone's work!

my work

Cyrus Sutton

Liz Cockrum

Ryan Tatar

Meegan Feori & Corey Brindley

Ty Williams

Friday, December 05, 2008

Surf Fridays!

Aloha and Happy Surf Fridays!

I hope you are all doing great. I've had a touch of writer's slump so I thought it would be nice to simply feature photos today - but not just any photos...

You may already know that the entire Life magazine archive was posted online a few weeks ago, hosted by Google. It dates back to the 1860s but it mostly covers the 20th century with never-before-seen images of any historic topic you can think of.

If you have the time and inclination, the surfing shots of the 1960s are pure eye candy. Please enjoy a few here, and I wish you all a beautiful weekend.

update: Only 1/3 of the Life images are available now. It will take two more years before all of the images are online. So...there will be a lot more surf images to look forward to!

P.S. There is a fun interview all lined up for next Wednesday and most of you already know this interesting see you next week. xo

Beach bum Jim Elliott waiting for a friend
to put his surfboard into the water for him
1950 - San Onofre, CA
Photographer: Loomis Dean

Beach bum Jim Elliott tossing his crutches aside
as he prepares to go out on his surfboard
1950 - San Onofre, CA
Photographer: Loomis Dean

Youths heading to the beach to surf
1961 - US
Photographer: Allen Grant

A surfrider surfing
1961 - CA, US
Photographer: Allen Grant

Surfboard rider racing into the water with board
in relay race at International Surf Festival
1965 - Manhattan Beach, CA
Photographer: Ralph Crane

Editor of Surfer Magazine John Severson on surf board
with wife and two daughters
1966 - San Clemente, CA
Photographer: Bill Ray

John Severson talking with enthusiasts of the sport
1966 - San Clemente, CA
Photographer: Bill Ray

John Severson is rammed by a board as he attempts to take a picture
1966 - CA
Photographer: Bill Ray

John Severson talking with art editor Leo Bestgen about layout
1966 - San Clemente, CA
Photographer: Bill Ray

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm a player

I've been tagged by the Sweetheart of Sacramento, Miss Dolce Chic! Candi is a new friend via blogland and I like her so much. I've never been tagged before, so I've decided to play along.

The goal of this one was to identify 6 quirky items about myself and hope you find it interesting. If not, I don't blame you.

I love making homemade whipped cream.

There, I've said it. Do you know how easy it is to impress your family and friends by simply bringing over homemade whipped cream so that everyone can slather it on their pumpkin pie, or put a dollop in their hot cocoa or in the summer, spoon it into a bowl full of berries?

All you need is one of these easy hand blenders, one pint of heavy whipping cream and a 1/3 cup full of sugar and blend until it gets stiff - about 5 minutes. It refrigerates well for a couple of days.

I used to sing and play guitar in coffee houses.

Here I am with Lisa Dewey. Lisa is a talented singer/songwriter with her own record label. We had a lot of fun singing together and this picture is from 1993. We were at an open-mic night in Santa Cruz, except it was for women only, and they called it, "Open Michelle". I didn't make that up. Fashion note - let's not talk about that.

When I learned how to play the guitar, I happened to have a small obsession with Sinéad O'Connor, so the first song I learned was Black Boys on Mopeds. I tried playing it last night and I can still do it. D, A, G is all it takes. Oh, and I came this close to shaving my head and piercing my nose.

I worked in a bar with my Mom and my brother.

One summer I worked in a bar called the Alpine Inn, a place that attracts cyclists and bikers alike - and my Mom and brother worked there, too. My Mom is a teacher, my brother is a musician and I was about to embark on a road trip so we all wanted some extra cash. We had a really good time and my Mom showed me the ropes as she had worked there the summer prior. Yes, my Mom showed me how to properly pour a draft beer. She called us "The Dream Team" on the days the three of us got to work together (which embarrassed my brother a little bit).

In case you ever happen to be in Portola Valley (on the west side of Palo Alto) and need a cold beer and a decent burger or linguica sandwich, I heartily recommend this place with the carved out picnic tables, peanut shells on the floor and large, outdoor seating area near the creek.

I traveled around the U.S. in a VW van.

I (along with an ex) traveled around eastern Canada and the United States in a 1969 Volkswagen Bus. There were bets - 'they won't last 6 months', but I was determined and lasted one and a half years. In order to last that long I got waitressing jobs in Naples, FL and then Block Island, R.I. It was a great adventure, though being on the road is more tiring than one might expect.

This photo is of me and my friend Nikki, whom I met in Block Island. We were going to the Lollapalooza show at Great Woods near Boston where we saw Jesus Lizard, Cypress Hill, Hole & Sonic Youth. Sinéad was supposed to sing but to my great disappointment, it was hot and she was pregnant and not feeling well. Summer of 1995.

I had a 1954 Chevy.

When I was 27 years old, I wanted to buy an old car. I've always been a car enthusiast and this felt like my time to do something different, more different than the variety of old VW's I'd had up to this point. Here she is - my 1954 Chevy 150 2-door sedan with powerglide. While not the Bel-Air, the 150 was most popular in its day with police, state governments, small businesses, economy minded consumers and hot rodders.

She was robin's egg blue and I used her as my daily driver to Oracle each day. Once after work, I left the Oracle parking lot and was at a stop-light. I noticed that I was behind Larry Ellison and his $100k Mercedes coupe. Wait, why was he getting out of his vehicle? To face me and yell, "NICE CAR"!

I traded my TV & DVD player for a surfboard.

When I was about 30, I lived on my own in Palo Alto in a nice apartment which I had just furnished with my first leather couch, a room just for my printing press, and a new TV and DVD player. The appliances didn't get much use, so when a buddy of mine offered to bring me a new surfboard from the central coast, we worked out a deal. I would trade him my TV & DVD and the new, 8' surfboard would be mine.

It's the only surfboard I've had. I'd like to get a 9'2.


Please share your quirks, Ana, Clare & Jess!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Surf Fridays!

I'd like to share some of the awesome birthday gifts I received this week, parts of which will no doubt make their way into future Surf Fridays...

I can't wait to read this one. It's supposed to be a great book, with important messages about our environment. Reviews here.

Fantastic photos and graphics in this one -
I heart Taschen books and surprisingly did not know this one existed!

My Mom found this early 1970's book at her local library sale.
It's got tons of beautiful and very 'real' images.

And last but definitely not least, is the gift that made me start talking really fast and animated - because this is the beginning of one of my life collect old surf movie posters! And it's signed by John Severson! (Surfer, filmmaker, artist, photographer and he founded Surfer Magazine in 1960). Apparently Mr. Severson purchased a few items from my step-dad's eBay shop, the two got to talking...and this is the result.

Drew Kampion wrote, "Before John Severson, there was really no surf art, no surf magazines, no real surf films, no surfwear industry, no pro surfing, no Surfrider Foundation, no surf culture as we know it. In a very large sense, he made it all happen by synthesizing the sport of surfing into various expressions of his art."

Here's a short clip from Severson's 1969 film, Pacific Vibrations. John Severson wanted to make a statement with his last film, which he calls his swan song - by bringing the viewer's attention to our ocean and our environment.

Some of the surfers featured in this film are Mickey Dora, Bill Hamilton, Jock Sutherland and Spyder Wills. A few of the locales include Huntington Beach, Rincon and Maui and it has a super groovy soundtrack.

For a longer clip of this film, including interviews with John Severson, go here. I hope your weekend is full of good vibrations!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

From a secret admirer

So last night we go to a great dinner with terrific company and 5 of us squished into my Mom's car to head to Nolas. As usual, there's nowhere to park in Palo Alto - but we manage to find and fit into a spot (labeled small car) in an underground parking garage. My Mom has an older Nissan Pathfinder - not a 4x4, but not tiny, that's for sure. After our meal we walked back to the garage to find this note on the windshield:

Gave us a good laugh. Maybe I'll submit it to Found.

Fantasy 1 & 2

Would you like to relax and bliss out? Try a listen to Debussy's Clair de lune (French for 'moonlight') and watch a deleted scene from Fantasia. It's working for me.

Or maybe you have some energy but still want to chill. This song is perfect.

Thank you for my sweet birthday messages. xoxo

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm glad to be here

Once upon a time, I was born on this day and I said, hello world. What do you got? Yeah? That's pretty f*$%ing amazing. I like it. I'd like to give some things in return. I've got some stuff I'm working on, so be patient. Thanks world, for all the goofy stuff to make me laugh. Why is a poodle walking down a street so awesome? Thanks world, for giving me such an amazing family and husband and friends...and new people to meet. Thanks for giving me choices and my body and a home and a heart. Colors and rain and snorkeling masks to see all those fish! Thanks for paint and surfboards, sand and soil and romance and so many good songs, how do our brains not explode!? Life just gets better and better each year. It's so true. Thank you for being here, too.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Beach time

this blurry surfer reminds me of a seamouse drawing

This is Linda Mar, Pacifica, my homebreak. It's the closest surf spot to me, about a 40 min. drive. This is pretty much where I learned to surf. I thought I didn't like it there anymore, because a lot of the time it's foggy and damp and the waves made me feel like I was in a washing machine. But Jay and I came here yesterday, and I am so glad we did.

There weren't a lot of waves to be found, but it felt so good to be in the water, cold as it was. Skies were sunny and the air was warm and when there were no sets coming, I paddled for fitness. Then there was this sunset to look at. Afterwards we went to the Half Moon Bay Brewery to eat calamari, have a beer, see my brother's band play and my Mom was there. Gosh it was a great day.

When I woke up that morning, I felt like I was happy and that nothing could take that feeling away the whole entire day! At the end of the day, it felt like one of the best days of my entire life. That was a neat feeling.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Surf Fridays!

Hi there! Well first, to those friends who live in LA, Jay and I decided not to come down this weekend for the TOMS Sole Surfing art show. Oh how we wanted to! It's a bit close to the holidays and we are thinking of our budgets. I thank those of you whom I was hoping to meet there and buy you a beer - one day it will happen, for sure! And man, I hope everyone near Santa Barbara is doing OK with those fires.

So to make up for the fact that we aren't heading down south, we are going to be with you in spirit by going to a rad show called LA Paints at the Oakland Museum. I want to see the work of The Date Farmers up close and personal. They are the two lads responsible for this awesome piece of work (which I first noticed on Quality Peoples).

Also, we are going to surf a fun spot in Santa Cruz (I haven't been in the water for too long). I hope I can still paddle. By the way, I should get this off my chest. You know I write about surfing all the time and it appears in my artwork - I feel it is in the core of my being, the passion I have for everything about it is so strong. But, I'm not very good at it. I also don't feel like I'm a natural, which makes it a little worse. However, it is one of my life goals to be good at it one day, with grace and tricks and toes on the nose (all 10). I want to feel on the surfboard the way I do when I paint. I know that as with many things in life, it is mainly a matter of simply carving out the time and doing it.

Last night, I watched a movie on PBS. It's called Of Wind and Waves: The Life of Woody Brown. Have you seen it? It made me laugh and cry and I watched in amazement as I learned all kinds of things about this man that I never knew before! For example, I never knew that he built the first modern catamaran to take tourists on rides off of Waikiki Beach or that he was one of the first five or six people on the planet to surf Hawaii's big waves.

In the documentary, Woody talked about surfing Oahu's North Shore: "I always wanted to challenge death. I loved to get just as close to death as I possibly could and then dodge it. That was my thrill in life." He followed that statement by a hearty laugh.

Woody is featured in one of my favorite films, Surfing for Life - where one of the interviewees says, "I don't think you can ever be too old to be stoked". Woody passed away in April this year at the age of 96, and surfed until he was 90.

This brings me to cool Aussie Mick, of Safe to Sea - who reports that his award-winning film Musica Surfica is finally available for us on DVD! You can order it here.

Have a good weekend everyone. Remember, you're never too old to be stoked! Check it out.