Behind the Scenes…

Loving my Puerto Tube! Photo (c)

SUP allowed us to take off deeper and be at the bottom, waiting for the tube to throw over.  From there, it’s just trying to stuff a 10’ surfboard inside a big tube and hold on!

I’m really excited that I’m invited to compete in the Puerto Escondido Stand Up Paddle Surf contest in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.  Sponsors Hinano Tahiti and MegaFood are making the trip possible.

It’s often called “The Mexican Pipeline” because Puerto Escondido has some of the heaviest tubes in the world!

In 2008 I surfed in this event with waterman Chuck Patterson, Duane DeSoto and other great athletes.  At that time, none of us were even sure that you could stand up surf the waves at Puerto.

But on the height of the swell, just before the contest, all of the athletes pushed SUP to its limits and got giant barrels!

What’s great about SUP at a place like Puerto is that it allows you to sit really far out the back, and you can see the waves coming from a greater distance, allowing you to get in a better position earlier, hunting the waves from behind.

SUP allowed us to take off deeper and be at the bottom, waiting for the tube to throw over.  From there, it’s just trying to stuff a 10’ surfboard inside a big tube and hold on!

One of the crazy things about Puerto is that the waves are so big, just the paddle out takes a lot of strength and endurance.   Some don’t even make it out and end up on the beach, defeated.

I have to be in the best condition possible, so I’ve been preparing by paddling every day and getting my body in tip top shape.

Just like I did before SUPPING the challenging rapids of the Colorado River, I’m staying in shape on the inside, too. Maria makes healthy salads for me every night and we juice in the morning.  I take100% whole food vitamins by MegaFood and eat as much organic food as possible.

I feel privileged to be invited to compete again this year.  Riding big tubes is one of my specialties and I’m up to the challenge.

I hope the waves are huge this year!

Life is Good – Drew

Seth Warren enjoying the beauty of the Colorado River

When my good friend Seth Warren asked me to standup paddle gnarly rapids, 225 miles down the Colorado River, and live in the wild Grand Canyon country for 16 days, I wasn’t sure I should go.

But I knew it was a trip of a lifetime.
Not just anybody is allowed to do it – you have to put your name in for a “lottery” and some people wait years for their names to be pulled.
The river was running it’s highest in thirty years and the rapids were super crazy, and it was awesome!
We took some Go-Pro cameras with us and documented as much as we could.  Some of the footage was used in The Paint Shop TV show and you can watch it here:  (Please leave a comment if you like it)
Fred Swegles of the Orange County Register Newspaper wrote an article about the expedition, and you can read it here:  SURFER’S GRAND CANYON RUN AN ADVENTURE LIKE NO OTHER.
It’s also been written about in the January 2012 Issue of STANDUP PADDLE MAGAZINE – a 6 page spread of photos and story written by Seth Warren.
The March 2012 issue of STANDUP JOURNAL magazine also featured photos of the trip.


The Paint Shop Episode 6 “Life is Grand” Full Episode in HD from The Paint Shop on Vimeo.

The Paint Shop Episode 6 “Life is Grand” Full Episode in HD

In this episode, Drew goes stand up paddle boarding through the rapids of the Grand Canyon with his friend, award-winning filmmaker and adventurer, Seth Warren. After 16 days in the wilderness, he’s glad to be back in the studio working on a new painting featuring reptiles for local San Clemente shop “Reptiles Reptropolis”.

In Episode 5 of The Paint Shop, my studio is hopping all week.

An art collector asked me to paint a 15′ wooden paddleboard with Japanese tattoo-style paintings.

Then I stoke out pro surfer Tanner Gudauskas by customizing his surfboard; and then,
I get commissioned to paint the strangest thing I’ve ever had to paint….watch the show to find out what it is!

The Paint Shop Episode 5 “Surf and Turf” Full Episode in HD from The Paint Shop on Vimeo.

Drew’s studio is hopping this week as he paints a 15′ wooden paddleboard, stokes out pro surfer Tanner Gudauskas by customizing his surfboard, and then Drew is commissioned to paint the strangest thing he’s ever painted.

Not worried about stroke marks...

Here’s an E-mail I got from an artist struggling with Paint Pen Strokes: I’m painting on a skimboard with your paint pens.  How can you avoid “stroke marks” ?  When painting on the board you can see each individual stroke line also making marks between colors.  It’s not noticeable from a distance but up close looks bad.  Thank you – Joe

Joe, the stroke marks are actually a good thing – I use the stroke marks to my advantage.  They help me create flow and depth and direction, as well as creating curve or flow in one direction or another.  You can work with the stroke marks to create a better painting, rather than try to avoid them.  It takes some practice and experimentation at first.  I go into great detail on this in my DVD – if you don’t already have it, check it out!

One other thought on stroke marks – just like pencil marks, I tend to like having my paintings look less than perfect.  When I went to the Rick Griffen exhibit in Laguna Beach a few years ago, I really enjoyed looking at his originals that had not only imperfect pencil marks, but also some of his sketches and paintings had areas that were whited out!  It made the art so much more real to me, and I keep that in mind when I’m painting my own pieces.

Life is Good – Drew          Follow Me on Twitter

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