Hang Loose, Make Art


“All IN” (10″x20″) acrylic on canvas

For those of you who haven’t heard, The North Shore of Oahu has some fairly impressive waves, especially in Winter. I can spend hours on end there, allowing all of my senses to witness what happens when moving water meets land in the middle of the largest ocean on earth, it’s a spectacular show. The unleashed energy of the tide is rhythmic, yet random. It always catches me by surprise to see a person methodically attempting to harness that power, if even for just a few short seconds. What would inspire a person to strip themselves of most of their clothing, jump onto a floating board and paddle their way against the relentless current in search of an opportunity to surf a really big wave? Apparently the rush of traversing that vertical slab of water over a shallow and razor sharp coral reef is pretty addictive.

Artists tend to approach life much like the surfer. Look at all of the effort we put forth, all in the name of feeding our addiction. Beach Bum…Art Bum, its really all the same. For us, feeding the soul always seems to take precedence over feeding the bank account. We tend to base our decisions, not on good business, but on good faith that finding the right line of expression is what its all about. Like the surfer, our victories are often un-noticed by others. How many surfers have household names and make a living doing what they do? The comparison of those who don’t is easily demonstrated with a decimal point and lots of zeros.
What other lessons do we gain from the surfer? In order to ride a wave, you have to go “all in”, you have to commit yourself to the effort long enough to have a chance at success. We can state all day long that failure is not an option, but the truth is that failure is a distinct possibility and more likely than we wish to admit in any endeavor we pursue. When failure does happen, the thing that prevents it from becoming defeat is our perseverance. A little bit smarter and a little bit stronger, we ride out the turbulence, turn our board around and give it another try.

I’d love it if you would share the things that you are passionate about. Have you bypassed practical opportunities in the interest of feeding your dream? How do you pick up the pieces and get moving again after a crash?

4 thoughts on “Hang Loose, Make Art

  1. I surfed all my youth and started slowing down in my late 20’s. Today at 65 yrs your words ring true. And I agree with your comparison. It has been a life long love affair even though I don’t surf. When I go home to Hawaii I too sit on da beach and dream of better days.

    It come from your heart. How you live. All things you do. The soul surfer is more than a board and water.

    Aloha …. Pete

  2. Very well said and so true! I’ve wanted to quit being an “art bum” many times. It’s a lonely pursuit with not a lot of encouragement. You wouldn’t catch me on a surf board though! I’m too big of a chicken. Love your painting!

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