Coconut Wireless Logo Newsletter Issue #2
April 2007
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In this issue we sit down with phenomenal figurative artist Ron Croci to get his perspective on really gnarly wipeouts and introduce Tom Threinen, co-creator of the legendary Don Redondo and new Waveriders artist. Pray for surf.

The Waveriders Gallery Crew

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Inside the Studio
Ron Croci PhotoIf you´re citing Salvador Dali and Ernest Hemingway as your influences as an artist, odds are you aren´t; sequestered in a dingy loft passively painting still life. Ron Croci might be called (to borrow from George Plimpton) a “participatory artist,” taking for his subject matter watersports in which he himself partakes. In his substantial portfolio you’ll find inspired figurative art drawn of such esoteric subjects as a mermaid astride a turtle to spearfishing to, of course, surfing. We collared Ron one of those rare moments when he was in port.

Your subject matter extends far beyond surfing and waves. How’d you get into painting waveriding in particular?

It took me a long time before I felt confident that I could come up with something original in surf painting. It always seemed, with exceptions like [John] Severson and [Rick] Griffin, that the surf photography was so good, how could I come up with something better? Then about ten years ago, I started to develop a bit of a style on my own. Then, it just seemed that the doors flew open. There is no end to my ideas, and sketches. If I never had another original idea, I have so many ideas, and sketches, I could go on for another twenty years. Of course, many of the sketches are novel. For instance, a theme I often come back to is titled "Really Gnarly Wipeouts," where I show rocks, boards, leashes, and waves, doing decapitations, castration, eye-gouging, piercing, etc. When I show these pen-and-ink drawings, my fans really crack up.

Who are your influences?

My first influence, at 16 years old, was Salvador Dali. When I saw his book in the library, it came right over me: "That´s; what I want to do!" As I got older, I began to model my entire lifestyle after Ernest Hemingway. I replaced his fishing with surfing. I loved ron crocithe way he would rough reviewers up after a bad review. Unfortunately, I deserved the bad reviews I got at that age. Then I got into the professional arts, and some very influential art directors at that time gave me some terrific breaks, among these I include Chris Blum and Richard Taylor, both of whom were and still are cutting-edge directors. As my experience matured, I was mentored by one of the most well-known artists in the film business, Dave Negron Sr. who gave me some great advice, “Always make it beautiful." I still try to do that. Whether it´s; a beautiful woman, surfing a summer wave, or a pirate given forty lashes, the same principle applies.

What’s your surfing history?

I began surfing in 1962, at age 16. I grew up in the then small community of Half Moon Bay, California. Hardly anyone surfed then, and we rode balsa boards. Myself and my friends, along with the older crew, like Dick Keating, and Fred Van Dyke, discovered most of the popular spots that are a mainstay in local surfing. Surfing has kept me sane, along with diving, spearfishing, and boating on a regular basis.

Tell me a little bit about your work in Hollywood.

Croci Photo 2I have worked as feature film and commercials designer for 25 years with 45 films and hundreds of commercials to my credit. I design rough ideas that begin the illustration process that end up as sets, special effects, props, and any number of visual particulars. Although this type of art is highly technical, it is mostly ideas, and not the fine art that is sold in galleries. Then there are storyboards, in which I sketch out in sequence action that takes place in the script. Film work has given me the opportunity to travel, make money, and work with some of the world’s most talented artists.

View more images on Ron ´s page at Waveriders Gallery

Off the lip

“Remember crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access.”

--Banksy, British Graffiti Artist and Malcontent

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Sipping Jetstreams
Wade Painting
Save on this seminal work by surf auteurs Taylor Steele and Dustin Humphrey for a limited time only.

upcoming exhibits Waveriders plein air artist Norm Daniels will be showing at “Artwalk San Diego” in the Little Italy area of downtown San Diego, California, on April 28 and 29. Mr. Daniels will be kicking it at Booth 152. Drop by if you get a chance.
Waveriders artist Robb Havassy will be center stage at a benefit for SurfAid International to be held Saturday, April 28th at the Nine Star actionsports store in rockin’ Mission Viejo (27741 Crown Valley—in the Kaleidoscope at Crown Valley & the 5), California. Festivities start at 8pm, and include free food, drink, music, film clips, and a raffle. All the cool kids are going.

As Staff Artist at Surfing magazine from 1974-1978, Tom Threinen illustrated fiction pieces by Drew Kampion, including the original Don Redondo series, and he produced most of the editorial and advertising cartoons and illustrations that appeared in Surfing during those years. Tom started surfing at the Santa Ana River jetties in 1963. For three years during high school he was a pioneering surfer in Virginia Beach and out on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In the early 1970s Tom was back in California surfing Sunset Cliffs and Baja, Mexico, and airbrushing surfboards in Ocean Beach (San Diego) while attending San Diego State University as a fine art major. Tom is currently collaborating with Kampion on a new, long-running, Don Redondo comic strip in The Surfer´s; Path magazine. You can view his work here.

art for karma
Artist Micaiah Hardison and the good people at SurfAid are partnering to improve the health of the isolated folk connected to us through surfing. Micaiah is offering up the proceeds from the sale of this original artwork (commissioned for the Swim4Life Benefit) to help SurfAid in its admirable mission. You can view and purchase the painting here.

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