Two Longboards

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Project Description

Two Longboards

Giclee Print on Canvas
Edition of 300 S/N
Image: 12″ x 9″

I have been a surfer since 1963. In my high school on the New Jersey coast there were 5 or 6 of us “weirdoes” who came to school with surfboards strapped to our car tops. Often we were late for school if the morning waves were good. My first board was a Greg Noll 9’6” classic and I wish I still had it. I keep expecting to find it, hanging high up on a wall in some surf shop with a collection of vintage boards.

I also had a rusty 1955 VW bus that might have reached 55 mph if we were going down a long hill. There was no gas gauge and the heater barely worked (air conditioning was unheard of), but gas was 19 cents a gallon and we camped in that old bus from New Jersey to Cocoa Beach and most beaches in between. When I was in college at FSU in the mid-sixties I rarely attended a football game. We would leave Tallahassee at midnight on Friday and be in Cocoa by 6 a.m., camping at the notorious Canaveral Jetties, home of the hungriest rocks on the East Coast. They were great days, and sometimes even now, when I’m sitting outside on a glassy day waiting for the right wave, the memories come flooding back.

When I began painting 35 years ago, I always tried to paint subjects that I know and love, whether it was guns, decoys, old mills or barns, folk art or old houses, so surfboards were inevitable. The only question is why did it take me so long? I have always liked to paint old weathered beach houses, which are disappearing fast here on the coast. The house in this painting is very similar to those that were so popular not only here in Wrightsville Beach, but in other beach towns along the coast that are now giving way to condos and mansions. It was only natural that a couple of surfboards should be in the painting. This is my first. I have 40 years of subject matter still to choose from.

I sold this painting to two good friends, one of whom I surfed with at Wrightsville Beach back in the late 80’s, when he was a teenager. I rode a longboard and he rode a “wine cork” that looked like an ironing board and was about the same size. He tells me that when he looks at the painting it reminds him of the old house he lived in at the beach and he can feel the salt in the air. His mom tells me that when she looks at the painting she can hear the old screen door slamming as she sweeps the sand out of the house. How could I receive better compliments than that? I had to print this painting and share it not only with surfers, but all those folks who remember old beach houses and screen doors, salt on their skin, sand between their toes, and perhaps classic surfboards. Let’s go surfing.

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