I am an extremely sensitive artist type person. Fear, anxiety and self doubt can cause stagnation in my abstract art practice, and life in general.
But thankfully, I have found tools to help get past these times of sluggishness. One of these tools is surfing. There is nothing that puts me in the moment and shows me my place within the universe quite like being in the waves.
Thank you to TinyBuddha.com for publishing yet another one of my essays, How Surfing Helped Me Turn My Fear and Anxiety into Confidence. Take a read and comment below and/or share if it resonates with you.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Don't forget to get outside and play after all that turkey and pie!
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The abundance of ocean art and surf paintings is proof of just how much inspiration the ocean gives.
I've just returned from Baja and although the surf Gods were not really stirring things up in my favor this trip, I left Mexico reminded, once again, of the power of Mother Ocean. Visually, there is nothing in comparison with looking out over the vastness of the ocean. There seems to be no end, and in comparison to the self centered, ego driven, social media heavy life that people in our culture gravitate toward, the ocean puts us humans in our place and makes us remember how small we really are.
Mother Ocean astounds me. Graceful, beautiful, and I am yet a twig in comparison to her power.
Mentally, the ocean seems to change my brain waves. My gerbil wheel of a thought process slows down when I'm ocean side allowing me to ponder more deeply and not be so reactive. Physically, the ocean lets me know that I am nothing in relation to even her "small surf", as seen by the mighty mouse of a wave that grabbed me under water, flipped me around 4 times, and injured my back on the last day we were there. (An hour later I was standing in a taco shack and salt water came pouring out my nose.) At times she beats me down, but in doing so I get stronger and stronger.
But I love her so. Even if she kicks my ass every now and then. She keeps me in check. She helps me remember what's important. She reminds me to be present in my life. And she encourages me to keep challenging myself even when I feel I've been beaten.
While my art is not as "surfcentric" as some, it is certainly influenced by the ebbing and flowing of the tides and the ever changing, yet somehow repetitive surface of the water.
Below are images of some of my very favorite ocean and surf inspired art.
These artists see Mother Ocean through the eyes of water dwellers. If they're anything like me, a piece of them feels like it's missing the longer they're away from the sea. Sand in my toes and water up my nose. Yeah. That's my happy place.
Wolfgang Bloch: Wolfgang's painting are moody, mysterious and alluring; reminiscent of the the beauty and danger of the ocean. Calming to look at yet uncomfortable in their darkness and distance, these paintings are the simultaneous trepidation and elation I experience sitting on my surf board on the edge of the ocean. So joyous to be on the water yet unsure about the world under my dangling feet and the white thunder that will inevitably come rushing towards shore.
Untitled NO. 175, Mixed Media, Wolfgang Bloch
Untitled NO. 7, Oil on Vintage Painting & Wood, Wolfgang Bloch
NO. 1025, Oil on Wood Panel, Wolfgang Bloch
Untitled NO. 3, Oil on Vintage Wood, Wolfgang Bloch
Pelican, Reclaimed Indonesian Teak, Ross McDowell
Hammer Time, On Reclaimed Indonesian Teak, Ross McDowell
Honu, On Reclaimed Indonesian Teak, Ross McDowell
Complexity, Water Color By Heather Ritts
Purity, Water Color By Heather Ritts
Fourth Watch, David Macomber
Wind and Waves, David Macomber
North County, Joe Vickers
The Original Birdy Beach, Joe Vickers
Panhandle Summer, Joe Vickers
The drawing at top was done by me about 4 years ago. Just pencil on paper.
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