In 1990, I travelled to Indonesia on a surf trip. Planning to spend three months there, I decided to bring along a diary in which I could record my wanderings and make drawings of some of the people I encountered. It would also introduce some daily discipline in what might otherwise have been simply a hedonistic escape into surf, sun and all the rest of it. I chose the demanding medium of pen and ink, a time-honoured art pursued by the likes of Da Vinci and Van Gogh.
It turned out to be a great medium for the purpose – immediate and easily transportable – and since then I have maintained the practice as a great way to record the faces of some of the interesting people I meet.
Excerpts from the original Indonesia diary were featured in The Surfers’ Journal (vol IV, no I) in 1996. I also produced a series, titled Portrait of a Surfer, in Waves magazine in 1994-95, featuring various high-profile surfers of the day. I have produced several sketchbooks full of these portraits, depicting all sorts of people, over the intervening years. I find it’s a great way to keep my hand in and even produces the occasional gem.
They are available as prints, posters or by commission. Email for details.