The stamp that time and exposure puts on wood is beauty and one of a kind. Whether it's sand stuck in the grains of the wood, barnacles growing in a rusty hole in which a half inch lag bolt used to live or an old white wash thats flaking away leaving room for lichens and bleaching only the sun can do. It's what makes the frames we use so special and it's why I'm taking the time to write this.
Harvesting usable weathered lumber doesn't come easy. For my larger giclee's or originals I'm constantly beach combing the shores from Big Sur to Mendocino or looking for abandoned wood piles off the back roads of Santa Cruz County. Often when I'm hiking down the beach to one of my favorite surf spots, I'll be on the lookout for wood that's been washed ashore during a storm. It's not uncommon to see me dragging back old beat up 4x4"s after a surf. Nor is it uncommon for me to knock on a door and ask if I can haul that "old wood pile" away. I've ended up with a pretty nice rack of lumber that, for the right painting or gicleé, will harmonize with the art perfectly.
Santa Cruz natives and husband & wife team, Chris and Paige Curtis, inspire and bring to life all designs at their home in Aptos. Production takes place at their warehouse two miles away with the help of their team of employees. With roots all over Santa Cruz, the material they source -from mossy fences, old floor boards, barn wood, and anything else they can get their hands on- is 100% authentically weathered, recycled, and thoughtfully repurposed into sustainable goods for the home.
Chris and Paige are deeply inspired by their natural surroundings; the forest, the sea, and the art of slow living, fuels their inspiration and love for what they do. From picture frames to custom farm tables, each product is thoughtfully designed, hand crafted, and usually made to order because these two believe that good things are worth waiting for. -------- See more at www.thealibiinteriors.com and follow their Instagram for latest products, updates and events.
Upon printing and proofing your gicleé, I flip through every frame and try to match up qualities in the wood with a particular aspect of the artwork. Some frames have a bit of paint on them, some nail holes. Some have a patina of texture from years of salt air moving off the Pacific Ocean. All are one of a kind. I may pick a prominent grained frame for a halibut to go along with the waves of sand that the fish is commonly found on. If you've ordered a dorado, I may pick a frame that has a bit of green lichen growing on it to harmonize with the color of the fish. I enjoy doing this because it really makes the artwork shine as well as making each framed print unique.
We try to offer most of my artwork with framed options. Start here.
"Your illustration will only be as good as your references."
This is something I tell myself and my students often. There are basically three types of references. From life, from photo/video or from experience with subject matter. What I speak to in this post is photo/video and is probably the mode of reference realistic illustrators rely on for their artwork most. Below I outline the key points in collecting good references for a simple fish identification at least for my purposes.
Here are the primary shots that are necessary.
2. Pectoral fin:
3. Dorsal spines (not all fish):
4. Dorsal rays:
5. Caudal fin:
6. Anal fin:
7. Pelvic fin:
8. Whole body:
What I do with the pics?
In Photoshop I tile all the pics back together so that all the fins are in the correct position for an identification. This is what I draw the basic body plan from.
I've created a page that shows what fish I'm looking for at the moment. If you see one on the list that you are planning on catching and want to help, please follow the above instructions as best as possible. If I use your pics for one of my paintings, I'll send you a signed giclee on canvas of that fish.
note: The above fish is a 40lb pargo (Lutjanus novenfasciatus) our panga captain Moral horsed up while we were all diving. He was pretty happy about that and I was very happy to get a great reference of a fish that usually beats itself up in caves and on the rocks.
For those of you who are returning to you may notice a completely different look. My goal was to make it much easier for you to view all my artwork as well as provide a full catalog of all the products featuring my work. So... what's new?
Each print has multiple variants including small framed giclee's in weathered wood frames. We're really excited about these frames. They are made locally by Alibi Interiors. Since the shop is local, this allows me to go through the stock and pick out the wood with the most character or best match to my artwork. Because of this, I'll be offering a "Specials" page where you can view some of the very unique frames I have in stock paired with the most fitting artwork.
Where applicable, we'll also be offering large gallery wrap giclee's for those of you who have a larger space to fill and want more impact.
We are offering many more hat designs covering all regions of California and some for you east coast anglers. Our goal is to expand the hat and apparel line into waves of limited editions and special on off printings. So if you see something you or a buddy may like, grab it up, as we may not run that print again.
This site will also allow me to blog nicely. While I'm not much for words, I will try to keep this updated with latest events and showings as well as integrate some step by step lessons and process pics for those interested.
Thanks so much for the support to get my artwork to this point. I illustrate, draw, paint to explore my curiosities and experiences, but really it's for you all to enjoy.