Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The day began with another rainbow. We've been on the beach all day watching the Pro being run in nearly perfect conditions. The big swell washed waves all the way up the beach to the house all last night and then became a day of pretty, glassy pipes. Amazing surfing. Five perfect 10.0s in a single day. Guys held together with stitches and duct tape, but giggling like schoolgirls and totally stoked. For sure, this is an event that'll be talked about for years. And tomorrow's yet another day.

Be sure to check out
<< paintingperceptions.com >>
(sorry I can't link it for you).
Niel Plotkin's interview with Alex Kanevsky is not be missed. In my estimation, Kanevsky is a kahuna.

Monday, January 30, 2012


The offshore buoy, as in offshore the Aleutian Islands (it's a big ocean out there, folks, but to a big wave it's right next door), forecast a monster swell for today. It was right, and the swell arrived this morning with 30+ ft waves. A "lei" day was called. Way too big to run a safe (oxymoron) Pipeline Pro competition, but not too big for some good ol' fun for surf rats.

The photo shows a 6 ft surfer dropping into a, what would you say--30 ft wave? Then the wave explodes as it pile-drives him into the reef a foot below the surface. Woohoo...what fun!

Should anyone live long enough to collect the loot, the PipePro prize is $130,000. I know I promised no rainbows, but the end of a bigass one is right out there, fellas.


Yeah, it's great being able to post from the iPhone, but now it's also possible to


We lucked out (I hope) This is Day3 of the Volcom Pipeline Pro. We got a superb camera position yesterday. We're heading back a mile down-beach to to the Banzai to see if the surf is too big to run heats today. Stay tuned...


Everything from a mountainside to a grain of sand is strange here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Wee geckos everywhere.
Cute, quick and tiny.

Contrasted by these not-so-tiny football players here to play in Sunday's Pro-Bowl in Honolulu.
Cute, quick and huge.

(Their wimmins weren't about to not be in any picture of these boys.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

big wave tango

The trades have been in irons for the last three days. Hot and humid and still. Last night, storms finally broke them free and the surf began thundering in again. The 30 ft. waves are big enough to shake the house.

Oh yes. This is what we love. The camera and the paint are all set up. Ready o roll. The camera jockey is happy shooting world-class surf jockeys. And painting is a pure pleasure. Problem is, I can't ignore the combination of the surfers out there and the tango playing in my head long enough to paint more than this quick sketch.

Then there's the issue of so many shrimp, so little time...
p.s. Note to self: head should not look like coconut.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

local fauna

I promised no palm trees, so here's the local fauna report...

First spotting was Sluggo's head in the seat ahead of me. Yikes.

No matter the destination, whenever I have to leave my homedog behind, I sorely miss him. To me, dogs are always as important as anything else. Anyone who knows me knows this is just who I am. So whenever I'm separated from my better half, my canine appendage, my tail if you will, I tend to lose my place and/or my mind and become so distracted by even the sight of a dog that I drift off.

A few sightings yesterday made me realize that I may have a deeper condition than just abject doglove. Seems I have a limit for seeing nothing but humans for too long. The occasional company of any animal does a thing for my oxytocin levels which I can't deny.

I went to down the beach to Sunset Point last night to watch the you-know-what set and was thrilled to run into a familiar dog. She's sort of the official beach-greeter-bitch and is there every evening. An equal-opportunity friend, she seems to know that some people just need to get them some doglove. She always makes me feel good.

When I got back to the house, I was greeted by a little feral cat. We haven't seen our last feral, Fortitude, for a couple of years and miss him every time we come back here. This sweet thing was like a messenger and stayed long enough to meow and yeowl and rub against my ankles 'til they sparked and then was off down the beach.

Then, this morning, I saw my first holy-moly mongoose. Considering their local history, he did nothing for my oxytocin, but I did take note and a picture. It's like a Hawaiian raccoon. Garrett would know just what to do...

Friday, January 20, 2012

no palm trees

Why make pictures of 
the ubiquitous palm tree,
the repetitive rainbow,
when oddities of nature like these abound?

I'm not saying I'll be able to resist
 the occasional stray weather phenom,
and animals like these are certainly always fair game.

Hawaii starts tomorrow.
We'll see how I do.

Monday, January 16, 2012

the golden hour

In the golden hour
everything becomes beautiful.


no... most especially, the baler.

Friday, January 13, 2012

tropic topic

I'm signing up for a Google app which will make it possible to post on samartdog from my iPhone. Could be useful when we're in Hawaii. Or anywhere! We'll see...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

3-legged landscape

Last week, I paraphrased Wolf Kahn:
"Paint a landscape because
no one will say you're crazy if you put three legs on it."

Here's my 3-legged landscape.
Boulder at dawn.

I also took a cue from Celeste Bergin
and worked over an old canvas,
a painting of 3-legged dog.
It seemed appropriate.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Four pretty inches of fresh snow today!
Not enough to build a snowman
but enough to paint one.


Friday, January 6, 2012


While you're waiting for me to post another painting,
I've been painting it. 
I've been taking Wolf Kahn's advice;
paint a landscape because
no one will say you're crazy if you put three legs on it.
Needless to say, I'm paraphrasing,
but not by much; it's close to a quote.
 He also says painting landscape gives us permission
to be free, to make a mess.
I'm taking him at his word.

I've also been waiting, waiting to go back to Hawaii.
In two weeks.
Here's an iPhone daydream.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


What a way to start the new year!
The Liebster Blog Award has been given to
samartdog by Reform School Art.

Liebster is a German word that translates as
favorite or dearest
The award originated in Germany
 and is intended to recognize up and coming bloggers.
 Those distinguished by this award have
fewer than 200 followers. 

In keeping with its pay-it-forward tradition, 
I have nominated the following five six blogs for the award.
To me, they qualify because of their art and/or humor.
Also, they are all damn interesting.

Brian Eppley Paintings
Sippican Cottage

I'm truly thankful that Patricia Kessler nominated me
 and especially to have been chosen by a blog called
Reform School Art.
(I just heard some of my former teachers roll over.)
How cool is that?!
Well, it's as cool as being defined as favorite or dearest. 
And to be called up and coming at my age?
I'll take it!
Then we get to
  fewer than 200 followers.
You should know that sometimes
 I have a hard time with the rules.
Some of my favorite blogs rack up huge numbers.
Small wonder, given how long they've been at this,
how world-class their art and/or blogs are,
or how prolific they are.

Then there are the rest of us.
We just might be too
or celibate
to have enough followers to populate small towns.
Good news! We either make money doing what we love,
or we qualify for The Liebster!
Life is good.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

seeing eye dog

Look me in the eye.


I have been professionally accused of being indirect.
This post is a sterling example; let me explain.
With a wild swing from obscurity to brick-upside-the-head,
this is a blind dog.

No doubt it would have worked better
if I had just said that to begin with.
"But what kind of art needs a written explanation?",
I asked myself.
(My apologies to any and all who tried to figure this out.
All three of you.)