Just got back from our trip to Playa Venao Hotel and Resort in Panama and wow! I wished for big surf and got some big time, more than I could handle at times for sure. This was some of the most inspiring and terrifying surf for my art I have ever encountered but I survived to tell the story, thanks to some very good people like Nicole Columbus who came to my rescue while taking photos in the lineup, only to be carried outside well beyond view of most everyone in a ferocious rip current from hell!
Our journey began in Panama City where we met my good friend Alex Valdes who drove us the five hours to Playa Venao. On the way, I visited my dear friend Ivan Marquez whose photography has inspired many of my paintings of surf art from Panama.
When we arrived the waves were about 3-4 feet and rising. After surfing a few days of that size, I did a few Plein Aire pieces like this one above. Both sold on location along with some of the prints I took with me. One of my goals was to paint on location to see how it would go and develop a plan to take other surf artists on a journey to Venao to do the same. I was pretty pleased with the preparation and pretty much remembered all things I would need. Painting in the wind with pinstripe brushes is pretty hard, especially when the wind is blowing the tips all over the canvas!
The sunsets in march are just amazing. Last time I was here in July, the sun was at a different angle so we did not get to see that much of a sunset each day but this year was amazing. There will be a lot of great paintings coming out of this journey!
I definitely have my batteries charged for making a series of paintings about this epic surf trip and am so ready for the show circuit this year. Thank you to all who helped us out in Panama to experience everything! A special thanks to Jesus Christ who saved me not once, but twice and gave me my life back so I could make a difference. Know thy limits!