Laura Christian and Leo followed me around for months last year to create this beautiful video about my work and passion for plants. So many know me for my surf art but my love of plants goes way back.
Ed Obermeyer: The Patterns of Painted Plants
Some people can look at a flower and see simply a plant, a living organism that has no practical use. But for those with a more heightened sensitivity to nature, the flower is a muse. Virginia Beach artist Ed Obermeyer takes hours to perfect his hyperrealistic paintings of ocean waves and garden flora. Through the intricate placement of dots and lines, he brings nature to life.
“I try to look for the unusual. I try to make people look at plants in a way that they don’t normally see them, so I paint them with patterns.” Viewing Ed’s works from afar makes it seem like they’re gorgeous photographs from his travels, but upon closer inspection the painstaking work of brushstrokes is evident. His whole motivation is to be different than any other artist painting landscapes or plants. He hopes his works showcase his own feelings about the natural world. “I find great peace in nature.”
Ed finds immense enjoyment being outside and even occasionally does plein air painting, meaning he’s outside working in nature, with the sights and smells all around him. It seems the artist could never tire of his natural muse. “I love plants, I don’t know how to put that in words…it’s not why. It just is.”
To learn more about Ed Obermeyer and to order some of his work, visit his website
Getting ready for show season and the upcoming swells!
This year I have totally immersed myself in my water photography and with the purchase of a new Cannon 7D MarkII camera, multiple super wide angle lenses, and a custom carbon fiber housing from CMT Housings, it is a whole new world! The pure joy of being in the water and getting these shots will make my painting come full circle in terms of the inspiration for my work, and the visual narratives that will result after the photo shoots. It’s also pretty cool to be able to give those in the water shots of themselves surfing in addition to offering them those very same shots for sale in terms of prints on paper/canvas or whatever form they take.
I can picture myself down the road in the near future with a double booth that will not only feature my paintings, but the photography that has inspired them. Not everyone can afford an original work of art but a photograph will make it more obtainable for everyone!
The Jetty and Camp Pendleton have been my go to places for shooting this year. I want to show others that we actually do have waves of quality here on the east coast.
Here is my new CMT Housing, Ports for each lens, and the new Cannon 7D MarkII.
This weekend I wrapped up my final outdoor show for the season and it has certainly been a very busy and interesting year with no shortage of ups and downs. I keep a very accurate ledger of items sold at every show and totals of what was spent and taken in during each event. This helps me a lot to better understand how I am doing in my business and what things I need to work on to achieve a more successful work model as a professional artist. Much to my surprise, I did not even make booth at this show which traditionally according to my records has been one of the top 3 or 4 in sales for the year every year, spring and fall, and I was not alone. This trend has been ongoing for this entire later part of the season for 2018 for me. Others had fantastic sales and many were feeling the same results I was at many of these events.
There are certainly reasons for the demise of sales but it all seems to boil down to pure luck and good fortune a lot of the time. That chance encounter you have with a new or former client who just has to have your latest piece, or one that completely speaks to them in a very special way. That kind of stuff just happens and can make sales at your show huge…or not, and you can’t always win so ya gotta roll with it. The more shows you do the more you improve the odds of that wonderful chance encounter.
Of all the shows I did this year, it rained on all but two!….there’s yer sign! The rain can have an impact and often times it does, but the one show with the most perfect weather was a total goose egg for me! My best sales came at a show where it rained all weekend yet I managed to lay a golden egg and sell a couple really big paintings! Pure chance!
Another thing that impacts sales is your geographic area and how heavily you have saturated it with your art. I believe that this one area is the key to my demise this year because I have sold so many originals here at home on my own turf. Even some of the out of town shows where I did well I have saturated those areas also.
I believe that I will make fewer paintings in 2019, but better ones, with greater detail and clarity. I plan on shooting tons of shots in the water this winter to find the right inspiration for my works of art so that I have true and compelling narratives to go with each piece that are all based on my very own personal experiences in the dynamic and ever changing ocean environment where I live and travel. My style will continue to evolve in complexity and subject matter with an emphasis on the bubbles I see in and under the water and whatever creatures that are in them, be they real or imagined. I am just fascinated by those glistening bubbles that are all around me while shooting from the water and the many ways that I can incorporate them into my patterns.
We just got back from our annual sojourn to Playa Venao, Panama during the "green season" and green it was. The surf did not deliver as it usually does but there were some very fun waist to chest high waves the first few days and plenty of ridable surf each day after that.
Emerging Patterns, Solo Exhibition
Sandler Center For the Performing Arts, July 6-Auguts 20, 2018
Reception: Monday, July 9, 2018, 6-8pm
Looking forward to this amazing opportunity to showcase how my unique pattern paintings have evolved over time to where they are now. My portrait of Rusty and Raven are merged with my Monterey wave painting for the poster which clearly illustrates the transition my work has taken over the years.
Got some sweet little barrels at the Jetty today. Spring has sprung. Got lucky with the GoPro.
Been a long time since I wrote in my blog! Been pretty busy all winter selling and creating new work to a variety of sources. Had the pleasure of one of my art works featured at the Dare County Arts council for a fund raiser for the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station in NC.
I have spent several months preparing for my biggest show yet with over 62 very large paintings. This body of work emphasizes my passion for all things regarding the Ocean and the Earth and how connected they are. Opening is April 12, 2018. Six floors of art! Wow!
There are far too many shows coming up to mention them all here so please check my exhibition page to find out my schedule of events for the 2018 show circuit. A huge thanks to all of you out there who continue to support my work through your positive comments and purchases. I am so fortunate to be living my dream and thanks to everyone who has made this possible, especially my wife Kris!
Pre Irma swell in VB!
What an amazing morning at Pendleton!
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in any of these beautiful paintings. I have to make room in the studio and it's getting tight in here. Fantastic deals can be had. Just contact me.
Wow! August is just going to be amazing! I have a solo exhibition at the Dare County Arts Council and am the featured artist for the New World Arts Festival in that same town. The best part is we got accommodations at a lovely B & B that is "Pet Friendly" so Rusty and Raven will be with us.
The Steel Pier Classic and Surf Art Expo.
The shows are firing up and I am stoked to be getting in gear. Lot's going on in may with so many shows already and sometimes two openings and one show in one day in three different cities. That's a lot of activity.
I already had the show at the Suffolk Art Gallery for the Tidewater Arts Alliance Portfolio exhibition which was amazing and I plan to get more involved with that group. I had another opening that same day in Norfolk at the Norfolk Academy show as well as doing the Plain Air Artists event in East Beach. Busy day!
I also got an honorable mention at the Artists Gallery show this week, The Palette of Spring for one of those plain air pieces. This weekend is the Art Of Saving the River and "Fringe Fest" at the VIBE in Virginia Beach sponsored by the Lynnhaven River Now folks. It's two or three festivals in one and lots of work to do!
Next weekend is the Stockley Gardens art festival in Norfolk and then the surf art expo in Va. Bch. on the boardwalk the following weekend. I will also be delivering and picking up work at the hampton roads convention center for this years juried Halls Of Art show. Busy busy!
Just wrapped up the Sensational Spring Show at the Fred Heute Center in Norfolk, VA and it was a real blast, rain and all! Prior to that Erin Bonilla, a local photographer captured me in action at the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk and took some amazing shots of me at the office. Pretty nice office!
After the rainy Saturday we had to do what we always do after a rainy show, air out and dry the tent and all the gear that got wet. We are always prepared with plastic bins for the work, lots of tarps and straps to transport the delicate and expensive originals to the vehicle safely. We also put all the shrink wrapped prints into sized cardboard boxes and cover them with tarps to get them put away properly. That was a good thing because we had some pretty wild wind and rain that night taking down everything. I highly recommend that all artists wipe down their tent walls (the vinyl outside parts) with a sham wow or soft rag to remove that water. I found that just overnight, it can grow that nasty black mold pretty fast. We moved the vehicles out of the garage and spread the tarps out and dried them all off on both sides and then folded them up for the next show. We also aired out and dried off the carpet we use as flooring for the next show. The last thing you want to do is procrastinate about cleaning up your equipment after a rainy show and then set it up for the next show only to find you have black mold growing all over it! Not pretty. You can get it off but it's a whole lot more work after it gets nasty.
This week is going to be very exciting doing Plein Air for the CHKD charity event at East Beach in Norfolk. I also have two art openings, one at Norfolk Academy and one in Suffolk in the evenings the days I am doing the Plain air event.
I will have a week to catch up after this weekend and then will be doing the Art Of Saving The River sponsored by the Lynnhaven River Now organization in our very own VIBE Arts District. They are a great group doing great things to save the Lynnhaven River so I'm all in on that. I will be marking off the spaces for that event the Thursday before it starts. After that I set up my tent without the art and then go to Norfolk Academy to pick up my art and then on to an opening in Suffolk for the CBAA. Friday morning I will be hanging my art and filling my print bins at dawn and then will be greeting the artists as they arrive with their packets and information for the show and showing them their spaces. Lots of questions of course but this business is all about doing a lot in a very short period of time and staying positive. There will be a reception in the large tent from 5-8pm Friday. Saturday and sunday the show goes on.
The following two weekends I will be at the Stockley Gardens show in Norfolk and then the Surf Art Expo and Steel Pier Classic in Va. Bch. This year the Surf Art Expo is using one of my paintings of the jetty as their official poster for the event. Soooo....with that in mind, C Ya at Da Shows!
In addition to having my solo exhibition at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens this year March thru April 2017, I have also had the honor to have my art work chosen for three major events as their featured artist! I can't yet reveal all the details but two of them are juried fine art festivals and the other a major sporting event!
I have also figured out my problem with getting up on my board and have removed the "mind block" that was inhibiting me! It seems that Guy Takayama was a very smart guy in terms of decal placement. My difficulty catching waves was finding that "sweet spot" on the board to paddle and then get to your feet. That spot is just beneath my chin at the logo on the board. A few inches forward and you pearl, a few inches back and you don't catch the wave. I also kept looking where I was instead of where I wanted to be! Now when I paddle I look far down the line to where I want to be and my feet just fly out from under me and I am up and running! Had a great surf session today and looking forward to many more. Another issue is that I have been too busy doing art shows and not surfing enough! Time to fix that. My friends at Freedom Surf, especially David, knew my problem all too well and how to solve it. Thanks guys!
I will have a great show this weekend at the Seashore Arts Festival off of shore drive. Looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time. Thank you all for your amazing support!
I noticed lately that it takes a whole lot longer to get to my feet on my board at the rip old age of 65, soon to be 66 in June 1! I probably love the water and the surfing experience way more than most in the water these days even though I am able to catch a lot less waves for whatever reason. I thought I would share this awesome article that reflects on that very issue and how many surfers are still into their 80's and 90's and surfing or using the SUP boards.
I'm still riding my 9'2" and my 6'-4" but may have to go to a SUP eventually just to stay stoked! We shall see what the warmer weather brings this spring but after surfing at Jupiter, FL and still having issues getting to my feet, the time may have come for a change in equipment.
As far as I'm concerned, anything that gets me in the water, boogie board, fins and a camera, longboard, shortboard, kayak, sup, it's all good. I totally embrace being an older surfer and am happier in the water than I have ever been but I also realize that as time marches on, one needs to adjust your activity to maintain the stoke.
On another note, the show season has just ramped up this year and I have about 25 outdoor shows on my agenda, as well as a lot of museum and gallery exhibitions, which brings the total to around 35-40!!!! Yea, about that retirement thing....but it is just incredibly fun to have so much to do and to be able to make a difference in so many ways. I'm looking forward to sharing with you all that happens along the show circuit this year and of course, will pass along any helpful tips and hints to showing outdoors to all of you.