Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Diary: Part Two

February 22

Dear Diary,
today Mary Ann D. asked me if I would be in her club.
There are lots of people I know that are in it. I said I would.
The name of the club is Wild Cats.
We are going to do lots of fun things in it.
Mary Ann built a fort and so did some other people.
We are going to put a board over it and paint it so it looks like dirt, because we don't want anybody to ruin it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Group Art Show at the Shooting Gallery, SF

Moral: Never salt the hide of a reckless man

Jay and I are in a group art show on September 26, hosted by the Hell's Belles Car Club of San Francisco. I donated the piece above, a collage on a found redwood plank. Normally I work with paper, so this was good challenge for me.

The silent auction is at the Shooting Gallery at 839 Larkin and 100% of the proceeds benefit the Bay Area Women & Children's Center SF. At 8pm, there is a Pinewood Derby car race.

Artists with work up for grabs at the Derby Silent Auction:

Amandalynn, Shawn Barber, Brandon Bird, Clare Judith Bowers, Ben Collison, Joanna Crawshaw, Dave Crosland, Carlos DaSilva, Andrea DeHart, Randy Dodson, Craig Travis Harris, Jeff Hibben, Makoto, Frank Kozik, Big Al Lopez, Michael Murphy, Jeremy Natividad, Jamie O'Keefe, Isabel Samaras, Nicole Steen, Jeff Stevens, Bryn Taylor, Sherwin Viray, Jason Vivona, Jamie Watson, Jay Watson, Brian Bounds and MORE.

Thanks to dynamo Jamie O'Keefe for inviting us to participate. Check out her '63 Falcon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Surf Fridays!

It was dinner and a movie. But not just any movie and not just any dinner. It was Dear & Yonder at the Pie Ranch in the sleepy town of Pescadero.

The Pie Ranch crew. The gentleman in the hat is the one who shot the wild boar for our dinner.

The stylin' sounds of The Mattson 2. What you can't see is that to the right, there are a group of little children mesmerized by the music, swaying and bobbing.

Also you can't really tell from this photo, but the chickens were dancing. They really liked Jonathan's drumming.

Dear and Yonder Dinner

Homemade bread and local wine

Best date night all summer. (A down jacket will only seem strange if you've never been to northern California in the summer).

JP from Sea Level Farm. He supplied the organic tomatoes and green beans and we heard he's a wicked surfer.

Wholesome enjoyment

Tiffany Morgan Campbell and Andria Lessler introducing their film.

After the movie it was time for some art. Board shaped by Ashley Lloyd and painted by Serena Mitnik-Miller.

I was very keen on seeing Dear & Yonder because it's a surf film for ladies, about ladies. I was stoked when I found out that it was playing nearby, and there was the option to have a farm dinner, too. It sounded like heaven. And it was, it really was.

Imagine driving along the country coast for miles, and turning onto a dirt driveway marked by a small wooden sign. You walk down a long road, past a few barn structures until you see a gathering of friendly looking people. You get a wine glass filled with a local wine and just ahead you see many long, wooden tables pushed together and decorated with big flowers in mason jars.

On this evening I added organic farmers to my list of heroes. The farmers that donated their food to this dinner are wonderful people, young folks and they are doing organic farming because they really care and they really like what they're doing. JP in the photo above, has been farming for 14 years. He kind of fell into it, he told us, but loves doing it. And it's hard work! Word on the street is that his tomatoes are legendary, and they tasted like it.

Jay noticed how a lot of the food tasted "earthy" like it came straight from the earth, from good soil, right to the table.

After the delicious and leisurely meal, it was time to walk over to a barn and find a bail of hay to perch on or spread out a blanket. Organic popcorn with sea salt was available in a brown paper bag. They really thought of everything. Tiffany and Andria introduced their film while Thomas Campbell helmed the projector.

The movie starts with a comprehensive history of women's surfing with a voiceover by Tiffany. It then goes into modern surfing with gorgeous film shots of some of our best lady surfers today. The film mirrors The Present in that it has some comedy bits (and was also shot on film). I enjoyed the part where Ashley and Andy Davis took turns catching waves while the other watched their young son. One of them was taking more time in the water than the other and...well, I can picture that scenario down the road for Jay and I.

It profiled several dynamic women so that you get to know more about them and their artistry while riding a wave or shaping a board. There was also a cool skateboarding segment. For some reason I was very surprised when the movie ended. It was about one hour long but it seemed so brief. Maybe I just didn't want it to be over.

My most favorite part of the film was about a young woman named Liz Clark. She blew my mind. Liz is a young surfer, freedom seeker and environmentalist... who has been traveling around the world on her 40-foot sailboat for 3 years. She fishes for her meals, dives for seaweed salad and climbs coconut trees. She'll anchor her boat outside a break and surf for awhile. You can read about some of her adventures on her blog and in pages 52-63 of the current issue of The Surfers Journal.

Happy Surf Fridays everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dear Diary: Part One

I found a diary I kept when I was in second grade. Classic.

January 16

I was ice skating
I fell on my face and got a bloody nose.

January 17

Today I tried out for the talent show.
I didn't make it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

California Coastal Cleanup Day

The 25th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day is this Saturday, September 19. For those of us in Cali, let's show some love for our ocean. It's from 9am - 12pm and there's a list of participating beaches, creeks, rivers and highways. They are collecting data and last year, volunteers picked up 1,600,000 pounds of trash.

Lately I've started to wonder what I can do to give a gift to those generations to come... and I think one of the greatest would be to give them a pristine ocean.


Let's stay educated and hopeful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From the mouth of Ryan Burch

My favorite quote right now is from Ryan Burch in Tom's Creation Plantation. (And you can apply this quote to making anything). Ryan is a young, insanely talented surfer, who started shaping his own boards and makes Alaia riding look like a piece of cake.

"We come from a generation where we can go to Wal-Mart and buy anything we need usually. Or, Costco is selling surfboards - let's learn how to surf.

It's not like the old days...people became craftsmen because when they were kids, they got tools to make their own toys.

(At this moment in the film, Ryan is smiling while making an Alaia).

We're trying to do it now. We're falling rather short, compared to what people have done in the past, but we're having fun doing it. And by having fun doing it, we're gonna get better at it eventually."

...good song though

One of the funniest and worst things about YouTube are the comments:

"i'd like to punch them all in the face, especially the singer

good song though"

The Drums are from Brooklyn. New York's answer to the Japanese Motors? That's never fair to say, is it. Damn, I've hit replay 3 times. It's catchy. And they look FUN.


update: thanks Eddie Money! Free download of the tune here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Great Party in San Diego Tonight!

I love this poster! Who shot it and came up with the idea? I tried to ask Chris at Surfindian but he is probably too busy setting up the party. I so wish I could go to this tonight. Now I know firsthand that Chris Rule and Masa Rogers at the Surfindian know how to throw a great art opening and party. Say hi to Kai for me! (Coolest security guy ever).

Kassia's artwork is truly amazing. I loved this piece she donated to the Mattson Benefit. Huge, mixed media on wood. She has a website for her photography and a blog that she keeps current. I love the portraits that Liz Cockrum shot of her.

As for Chris del Moro, I'd love to see his work (click that link and check out slide 15; ladies, check out slide 18). From the Surfindian description: Chris is well-known for both his surfing and art abilities (you saw him in The Present riding alaias with Dave Rastovich). Chris will be showing a collection of mixed media original art featuring wood carvings, block prints and paintings. They will also offer two custom Bing surfboards featuring original paintings by Chris, and two wood-burnt alaias.

For the address and all that, check out the Surfindian website. Stay Classy, San Diego!


update: a few photos from the show on Surfline.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Surf Fridays!

Cyrus holding handplanes that he made
Photo by Scott Sullivan

After meeting him and seeing his film, Under the Sun, I have come to admire Cyrus Sutton. Especially after learning of his newest project, Korduroy.tv. You've probably seen the trailer.

And I bet you heard about (or attended) the alaia shaping workshop at Patagonia in Cardiff last month. But did you know about the new film, Tom's Creation Plantation?

I watched Tom's Creation Plantation last night (trailer here). I wondered if I'd be bored during the "Alaia Creation Tutorial", as Tom Wegener shows us precisely how we can make our own alaia. But as it turns out, I was really into it. I truly appreciated the slow paced nature of the visuals and the wholesome subject matter.

The gentleman sitting next to me said, "I could do that". And I think that is the highest compliment, because it means that Tom and the filmmaker did an excellent job of showing us that if we wanted to, we could make our own surfcraft.

There is another portion of the film, the "Alaia Creation Surf Film", that shows all sorts of surfers riding alaias and having a great time. This was my favorite part of the movie. There are great bonus features, too, such as "Ding Repair".

Well, I had some burning questions on my mind, and I thought it would be fun to check in with Mr. Sutton...turns out it was enlightening as well.

Cyrus, what are you doing today?

Just got done hiking in the mountains after visiting with family. It was a great hike, no one around for miles.

What did you have for breakfast?

A can of beans and an apple on the trail.

At what moment did you realize you wanted to create Korduroy?

I woke in the middle of the night a couple of years ago and realized all I knew how to do was buy and sell things. Making films and ads, all you're really doing is selling stuff, you know? Being a child of the 80's I didn't know how to make anything myself. I think there's a lot of us out there who are in the same boat. Korduroy is my attempt to change that in its own little way.

Can you briefly describe your vision of Korduroy?

We are in a culture that associates happiness with owning new things. Surfing has taught me that that's bullshit. Happiness comes from enjoying what you have and connecting with something greater than yourself. Korduroy is just a place where surfers can watch others attempt to create things and hopefully be inspired to make something themselves.

In the surf film on the Tom's Creation Plantation DVD, I saw you riding an alaia really well! How often now are you grabbing an alaia to ride, vs. other surfboards in your quiver?

I'd say probably 40% of the time when I'm not logging at Cardiff or riding a shortboard at a local beachbreak.

You have been figuring out ways to do things naturally that are good for us and our environment. Can you tell us about a few of your discoveries - I believe you make your own sunscreen, your own wax for your board...OH and your own packaging for the DVD! Awesome.

I'm not trying to make some green statement. I just don't like making things out of toxic materials that make your skin itch and your lungs hurt, you know?

The sunscreen is one part zinc oxide, one part bee's wax and one part coconut oil. The most expensive organic sunblock at Whole Foods is basically oxidized metal like zinc or titanium dioxide and natural oils. The bee's wax makes it waterproof and there's nothing better for your skin or your body than coconut oil. So in the end you get a sunblock that's every bit as good as the expensive stuff for pennies on the dollar.

The surf wax is more of a novelty. It's two part bee's wax, one part pine resin and half part coconut oil, depending on the water temp you use it in. It smells great and works but it costs as much if not more to make than normal wax, so I'm not making a ton of it.

The packaging from our new DVD was made from cardboard boxes we found in dumpsters. We then stamped the cover from a block print, and bought these two centimeter diameter, self-adhering foam dots that you can get for like $30 for 1,000. The result is something that looks unique, is cheap to make and doesn't add any more needless plastic into the world.

How did you figure these things out?

Just through a few google clicks for the sun block and surf wax and I just came up with the DVD packaging.

Is Korduroy your main focus right now or do you also have another feature film on your horizon?

Right now just Korduroy thankfully.

What are you most excited about for this Fall?

I'm excited about sticking close to home, just hanging with my girl and my friends and making things.

I really liked a quote in Tom's Creation Plantation from Tom Wegener where he says, "Surfers have been missing out on so much by focusing on the 'perfect waves' instead of focusing on what's right here - because what's right here is what you have. And you're wealthy because you have it."

Do you resonate with that?

Oh yeah, there's so much we don't have and we're reminded of that every day. But it changes everything when you turn the tables on the mentality of scarcity and start focusing on the abundance all around us.

What is your favorite surf movie of all time?

I saw Surfing 50 States lately and I really liked where that was coming from.

In the Korduroy trailer, I got a kick out of the deep, booming voice and the line that mimics the commercial movie trailers..."In a World"... Whose voice is that!?

Voice 123
...google it. It's this kickass website with thousands of voiceover artists. I had like 50 Don LaFontaine impersonators to choose from.

Thanks Cyrus, you rock. For more on Cyrus (and Ryan Tatar), check out this new interview on Drift.

Happy Surf Fridays!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Light My Fire

Jay and I recently went to the local ACE Hardware which is not as boring as I thought it would be. I saw a 10-pak of Diamond "Strike Anywhere" box matches and realized I was out of box matches at home (which I love). Guess I hadn't been to any fancy bars lately, so why not pick these up for $1.57?

Then I had an idea...what if I decorated the matches myself? There happens to be Mod Podge at ACE, too (which is the coolest stuff). I could cut photos out of magazines and paste them on when I got home...

First, I decided to paint each side so that I wouldn't have to cut the magazine images so perfectly. I used some white flat wall paint that we had in the garage and poured some into my paper coffee cup. Easy. I was really getting into this!

Then, I grabbed all the magazines I had laying around and started cutting images. Choosing the images was probably the most fun and creative part. I used one box of matches to trace the shapes.

And finally, I pasted an image on each side. It was interesting to learn that some magazines had more suitable paper for this project. For example Surfer Mag's paper was pretty thin, and I had to baby it a little by getting air bubbles and creases out. Whereas Art on Paper rocked. I am certain the thick paper from a Surfer's Journal would be terrific, but I'm not cutting those up.

I really like lighting my candles with these. My favorite right now is Trapp No. 4 Orange Vanilla (2 oz votives). I know scent is a very personal thing, but I highly recommend these.

By the way, it's nice to be back. Thanks for your hello's recently.

A little bit of San Diego in San Francisco

Lulu by Liz Cockrum

One of my favorite photographers, Liz Cockrum, is having a show in San Francisco. Liz is a very special person who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Mattson Family Art Benefit in June. She is pure talent and goodness (and happens to have excellent taste in music)!

Her work from Sirens will be at Gensler September 25 - December 7. The reception is this evening from 5:30 - 7:30pm. 2 Harrison Street at the Embarcadero, Suite 400.

It's going to be a hot one in the City today! (Looks like San Francisco summer has begun). Duck in for some cool refreshments and bask in the glow of these female photographers.

Check out more of Miss (soon to be Mrs.) Cockrum's work via her blog and her website.