Sketching on Santa Rosa Island. Feb 26, 2010

In 1994 I was asked by the Santa Cruz Island Foundation to participate in a benefit show to raise money for their cause. So I, along with fellow artists, John Iwerks and Tom Henderson, was flown from Camarillo Airport out to Santa Rosa Island in order to paint pictures of the ranch, for three days.

This photo shows me in the midst of painting a little watercolor of the 18th Century Vail and Vickers Ranch House, and all I will say about that is yes, there are ghosts out there, and things that go boo!!

SRI is a wind swept Island; if one could hunker down low enough to the ground, then that would make the painting process a little easier. The winds average 35 mph, and seemed to be blowing constantly. It is psychologically draining, and physically exhausting to be in wind.

On this day, I remember arriving to the ranch house ahead of the Vail family, (they flew in after us). I put my food for my trip, in the large indoor refrigerator. You see, I was a practicing vegetarian at the time and here I was on a cattle ranch. I was mulling about the dining area when the Vails walked in to the kitchen to unpack the food for their stay, when I heard one cowboy say, "TOFU? WHO THE HELL BROUGHT TOFU??" Ah...that would be me... (I was still cruzin' on the left side of the isle with my spiritual arrogance and crystal induced logic).

Ah...but there's nothing like the feeling of being far from home, and slightly unacceptable. But alas, I let things slide and went to work on my art.

The painting went well; I created eight or so watercolors; (in fact, on this trip I created my very first nocturne watercolor. Out of the eight paintings I produced, I sold six at the benefit exhibition. (Not a bad way to make a living!)

SRI is one SPOOKY place, esp. at night; it's a lot spookier than some cowboy a chidin' me 'bout ma TOFU!