Author: Drew

Drew Brophy SUP Magazine Interview in print spring 2013Talk about your Grand Canyon trip:  “That was pretty much like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna learn to surf so I’ll paddle out at Pipeline.’  I was real naive.”

I was stoked to be interviewed by Will Taylor for SUP Magazine.  

My friend, photographer Jason Kenworthy, took the shot in my studio.   

(Note about the painting on the Standup Paddleboard in the photo:  it was commissioned by KEEN FOOTWEAR, and was inspired by my Standup journey across country last year – you can read about that here:  Adventures in America’s Back Country. )

In the interview I talk about how New Zealanders were friendly when they saw me SUP Surfing Raglan, my 225 mile SUP journey down the Colorado River, and how SUPPING saved me from small waves.

Here’s a short taste of the interview (to read the entire thing, check out the magazine):

HOW DID SUP FIND YOU?  I was in my late thirties and I couldn’t get motivated to surf all the time if the conditions were bad or there were no waves.   When the waves are small, I’m moody, and Ron House was like, “Why don’t you come standup?”  Immediately it was tremendous.  It gave me something to do when I couldn’t surf.

SO YOU WERE THERE AT THE START.  …Imagine in those early days, there’s nobody around, just Ron and I and a couple other guys.  You’re just riding these waves forever and you’re not even getting wet.  It just expanded my repertoire of surfing.

WHAT OTHER OPPORTUNITIES HAVE GROWN OUT OF IT?  It has allowed me to get into other bodies of water, whether it be rivers or lakes.  I’m a water person…..

TALK ABOUT YOUR GRAND CANYON TRIP.  That was pretty much like, “Yeah, I’m gonna learn to surf so I’ll paddle out at Pipeline.”  I was real naive.

At that point we’d only heard of a few guys that had been on the Colorado with standup boards but they all only did pieces of it.  Nobody had done it all the way.

We did 225 miles, every bit of it.  It was super-humbling experience for me.  I saw some of the gnarliest, scariest things I’ve ever seen.  But we surfed the river, man.  Big laterals coming off and you bank off of them and come down and hit these pits and come up out of it and into the next one.

Art is my job but surfing is my passion. It’s a great magazine, please check it out online here: http://www.supthemag.com/

Life is Good,

Drew

 

Kids drew paddleboard designs using Sharpie Brush Tips and Neon markers

Kids drew paddleboard designs using Sharpie Brush Tips and Neon markers

With help from generous sponsors, we hosted a KIDS ART GROTTO at Race the Lake of the Sky Standup Paddle event in South Lake Tahoe last week.

The original idea was to generate artistic activities for the kids during the two day event.

Over 200 kids drew, painted and designed their own paddleboards!

But this turned out to be so much more then an art activity!

On the last day, Riviera Paddlesurf decided to give prizes to three kids for the best “Paint your own Riviera Paddlesurfboard” artwork, and give one CUSTOM RIVIERA PADDLEBOARD to the grand prize winner!

At events like this , I always end up painting something, live, for someone.   This draws a crowd and inspires

Painted for this stoked standup paddler

Painted for this stoked standup paddler

others to want to create, as well.  By having a booth with supplies where inspired kids can join in, it was a perfect combination.

Every kid that joined in the Art Grotto Booth was informed that they can design their very own Riviera Paddleboard.  There were no rules; just “Make it Look Cool!”

(You can download the “TEMPLATE Design your Riviera Paddleboard with Drew Brophy PRINTOUT here)

Over 100 pieces of art hung on this tent!

Over 100 pieces of art hung on this tent!

When each little artist finished their piece, they got a free “Drew Brophy Art Stickers” and I taped their design on the tent.  By the end of the event, the entire tent was covered with art.

I painted paddles as special awards for the athletes and Maria’s Riviera Cruiser, while the kids painted on every bit of supplies that we brought!  It was great to witness the creativity that spills out of these children.

At the end, I was asked to choose the three best Riviera paddleboard designs.

Three young artists clearly stood out; the one thing they all had in common is that they were in my booth, painting, the entire weekend!  They obviously have the skills and the passion to be great artists.

Everyone wanted to try out the Uni Posca paint pens!

Everyone wanted to try out the Uni Posca paint pens!

The winners were Georgia, GiGi and Ronen.  Each one received a Sunrise print, signed by me, and a full set of Uni Posca paint pens.

Only one of the three winners would get the grand prize:  A custom Riviera Paddlesurfboard with their own design painted on it!

And that winner was Georgia, a young girl visiting Tahoe from Florida.

When Georgia’s name was called as the grand prize winner, she jumped up and down and screamed!

 

Georgia, the young winner of a Riviera Custom Paddleboard, with the Riviera Crew!

Georgia, the young winner of a Riviera Custom Paddleboard, with the Riviera Crew!

We are grateful to the Sponsors who helped make this happen:

  • Uni Posca for providing the paint pens and funds for additional supplies;
  • Sharpie for sending packs of Sharpie Brush Tips and their new NEON fine point pens;
  • Riviera Paddlesurf, for providing the “Paint your own Riviera Paddlesurf Board” materials and the grand prize
  • South Lake Tahoe Standup Paddle Surf shop, for providing the 10×20 booth, table and chairs!
  • Fredrix Canvas for providing canvas cut-outs for the kids to paint on
  • ROXO, for sending us bracelets with “Drew Brophy art rocks” to give out to the kids (and adults).  Everyone loved them!
  • And, to my wife Maria, who worked without a break for 8 hours each day, running the booth, getting the sponsors involved and organizing the entire thing.
Kids going bonkers over the ROXO wrist bands!

Kids going bonkers over the ROXO wrist bands!

Together, we made a lot of kids happy that weekend!

Life is Good,  Drew

Maiden of Lake Jocassee

Maiden of Lake Jocassee

During the 1700’s, there was a thriving Cherokee nation that lived in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains which is located in the upstate of South Carolina.  Little did a Cherokee maiden in that time era, named Jocassee, know that her name would become a legend. 

Last year Maria and I gave an Experiential Workshop at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

It was warm and sunny in the Appalachian Mountains outside of Greenville, so we took a day to drive out to Lake Jocassee, a must-see if you are near the area!

Lake Jocassee is situated in the foothills of the Appalachians, surrounded by forests.

The water was crystal clear with miles of nooks and crannies to explore.

Maria at Lake Jocassee with Riviera Standup Paddleboard

Maria at Lake Jocassee with Riviera Standup Paddleboard

The lake was perfect for standup paddleboards, and the water was still warm the second week of October.

It was peaceful and picturesque.  There are many mountain trails around the lake and waterfalls around the area.

After a great day of paddling and exploring the lake, we met Debbie, owner of Eclectic Sun Paddlesports.  She loved our painted van and seven months later, Debbie commissioned me to create artwork for her company logo.

It’s funny how taking a vacation always gets me new business!

The Design:

When I create a new piece of art, it’s important to me to capture something that’s real about the subject.

When I researched the history of the Lake, I found hand-drawn pictures of Native Americans standup-paddling their canoes.  Maybe they were the first standup paddlers!  I imagine this place was very special to them.

The lake is named after a maiden Cherokee named Jocassee.  Legend has it that a broken-hearted Jocassee walked on the water to greet the ghost of her beloved, who had been murdered.  Her name has come to be known as “The Place of the Lost one.”

So it seemed fitting to paint my version of the beautiful maiden Jocassee “walking on water” using a standup paddleboard, across the lake.

The painting was created with paint pens on canvas board, sized 12″ x 18″.  Eclectic Sun bought the original painting.

Below you can see pictures of the different uses of the artwork for Eclectic Sun.  If you ever find yourself at Lake Jocassee, stop in and see Debbie and tell her hello for me!

Life is Good – Drew
Eclectic-Sun-art- by Drew Brophy Lake Jocassee May 2013

ECLECTIC-SUN-CIRCLE-LOGO tees shirst design by Drew Brophy Lake Jocassee

Drew Brophy and painted Riviera Paddleboards for KEEN photo by Larry Beard April 2013

“All of my paintings depict real life experiences that I have.  When I paint from my own memory, that’s when the art shows vibrant energy and life, because it’s real.”

I never travel without standup paddleboards, even when I fly overseas.  

They allow me access to get up close and personal to wildlife and water caves and nature. 

Standup Paddleboards have made my life, and my family’s experiences, so much richer.

Last year, my family and I took four Riviera Paddlesurf boards with us on a five month exploration across America.

We paddled lakes and rivers and hiked and camped in the vast back country of America.

Two of those paddleboards became one of the most fun painting projects I got to work on this year.

When David, at Keen Footwear, asked for something special for the entrance to their building in Portland Oregon, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Keen is all about living the Hybrid Life and the great outdoors, and most everything in their building is made from recycled materials.

So I thought that it would be perfect to “upcycle” and paint on two of the paddleboards that we had so many adventures on.

Keen has been a long time supporter of my adventures, and I’m stoked to have been one of their very first ambassadors.  Keen water shoes, hiking boots and gorge boots go everywhere with us in our van, because, well, you never know when you’ll need them.

Lake Superior!

Lake Superior!

These paintings are on 12′ paddleboards, the biggest boards I can remember painting.  I used Uni Posca Paint Pens and sealed it with Krylon Spray.  It took me a few weeks from start to finish.

I loved painting my travel memories on these boards; it didn’t feel like work to me at all.

All of my paintings depict real life experiences that I have.  When I paint from my own memory, that’s when the art shows vibrant energy and life, because it’s real.

This project for Keen was no exception.

Each of these two paintings tells a story of adventures that we lived, and I think that’s what made painting them so enjoyable.

It was as though I was reliving those moments of adventure all over again.

PADDLEBOARD PAINTING #1:  THE GREAT NORTHWEST

This painting shows some of the wildlife my family and I saw on our five month trip across America last year.

The Trout:  In Redfish Lake, Idaho, I was catching trout off of the paddleboard.  It was funny; there were a few guys out there in a nice fishing boat, with all new equipment, and here I paddled out with my son’s fishing rod and a red bucket, and I was catching all the fish!

The Bear:  While in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, we saw a bear walking on the ridge not far from where we were parked.  The kids were excited to see a bear in the wild, and I was glad it was far enough away!

The River:  I took my inflatable Riviera Paddleboard down the Salmon River in Idaho for 11 miles.  Along the way, being the only human in the water, I saw elk and deer and eagles.  It was amazing.

Keen Paddleboards in their office

Exploring Lake Jocassee, Appalachian Mtns South Carolina

Exploring Lake Jocassee, Appalachian Mtns South Carolina

PADDLEBOARD PAINTING #2:  NELSCOTT REEF

This winter I finally got to surf giant waves at Nelscott Reef in Oregon.  This painting shows the giant kelp you see out there, the big fish and of course a small surfer in a huge wave!

I wrote a post all about the Nelscott Reef Adventure, you can read it here:  Mission to Surf Nelscott Reef – Big Waves in Oregon.

You can visit these paddleboard paintings in person – just go visit the Keen Garage in Portland Oregon.  (Click the link to see a short video of their really cool store.)

It’s a cool building and worth your visit.

You might want to pick up a few killer pairs of Keen’s new, lightweight CNX shoes while you’re there.

GET OUT THERE AND HAVE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!

Everyone should plan an adventure.  Do it  this summer.  Don’t wait until you’re too old to enjoy the rivers and lakes and oceans and mountains and whatever else makes you happy.

I hope these paintings and sharing my experiences will inspire some people to go enjoy life, now.  Because now is really all we have.

Life is Good,

Drew

Soul Surf Check by Drew Brophy Check AdvantageIf you’re going to write checks, they might as well be cool ones, right?

Apparently, people are still writing checks.  Check Advantage, the maker of check books and address labels, has grown greatly every year during this down economy.

They called and wanted to do a licensing deal for checks and address labels.  Maria was stoked, because she always wanted to see my art on checks.

Knowing that 80% of the people buying checks are women, I put together a few collections with that in mind; happy suns, bugs and hearts.  Happy Smiles Check by Drew Brophy Smiling Sunflowers

But my favorite is, of course, the Soul Surfer checks, which features my classic surf art.

The checks and checkbooks and address labels turned out great – I’m really happy with it.  Maria just ordered our first set of Drew Brophy checks – the Happy Smiles Checks.  (Next time I’ll do the ordering – Soul Surf for me).

If you’re ready for some eye-popping artwork on your checks and checkbook cover and address labels, check out all of my check collections.Smile Style bugs art by Drew Brophy Check Advantage

You can see all of the designs here on the Check Advantage Drew Brophy Page.  Let me know what you think!

Life is good,

Drew