photo: joe curren

photo: joe curren

I grew up where the ocean is cold, rough, and the skies are often cloudy. This coast is mysterious and majestic; in my opinion one of the most beautiful places on the planet. My hometown was a modest blue-collar area full of loggers and fishermen located at the tail end of Southern Oregon where the land pushes against the mighty Pacific.

Ever since I could walk my parents took me to the beach; from an early age I spent as much time as possible at or in the ocean. On my tenth birthday, after much begging on my part, they reluctantly decided to let me have my first body-board. Under my older brothers supervision and sporting a life jacket, I was allowed to go surfing. The ocean's waves were instantly captivating and have been ever since. It's become a life obsession.

My father, who was a naturally gifted creative type, encouraged me to draw and paint from an early age. I don't think this was done with the hopes that I'd someday dedicate my life to art-related pursuits, I think he just wanted to share the joy of creating. My mother was by her nature very encouraging. As I grew older I never thought twice about what I would do with my life; I would be an artist. Given the blue-collar locale of my youth, it amazes me now that I never questioned my choice. I just pursued that goal bringing me to living a life creating art full time.

I cannot escape the ocean's deep influence on my art. It weaves itself into everything I create. Be it my representational wave paintings, of which I can attach, some of the deep wonder, delight and tragedy of life. Or finding creative inspiration in objects found on my local beaches, possessing nothing representational yet having the rugged quality of something that's spent time rolling around in the Pacific. Saltwater courses through my veins and brings the two passions of my life together, the ocean and my art.