Posts Tagged ‘Gaviota Coast’

Gaviota Muse

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
Gaviota Muse

Gaviota Muse

Robb Havassy is up visiting right now. Yesterday, I got to introduce the publisher of the culturally iconic book Surf Story, to Joe Cardella, who among a long list of artistic accomplishments, was also the creator and publisher of Art Life, a leading collectible monthly publication. Joe’s stint at the helm was twenty five years long.

I smiled on the inside, as both of these amazing men, were people that Mary Osborne insisted that I meet. Mary rarely does that: insists. So, when she calls me, and then follows up, I know I had better pay attention. For over twenty two years, Mary has been my muse. We have  co- conspirited each other’s careers and colored each other’s life and creative vision. Now here sat Robb, Joe and I.

Mary Carmel Osborne

Mary Carmel Osborne

Robb was in town to speak with a few people about contributing to Surf Story Volume 2. Curiously enough, most of the artists cum surfers have connections to the Gaviota Coast and of course the Ocean. Joe, by virtue of his next large project after retiring as Art Life publisher was the first conversation, of what may be three days, awash in the influence of the people who live lives connected to the ocean here.

So it did not surprise me that Robb, Joe and I sat in one of the amazing rooms in Joe’s home and that the subject turned to that of the muse and their role in our lives. Plans were made. They involved muses. As we chatted about some of ours, and how they influenced us, my thoughts went from Mary, to the many people who have driven and continue to push my work.

Today I have a show that opens in Santa Barbara at Couch, with fellow artist Glenn Gravett. Here is the invitation.  It will be my first show in my home town in twelve years. Curiously enough that last show was with both Glenn and Rob Heeley in their gallery workspace on Canon Perdido.

Below is the description for the installation, which will be in place for a month.  Curiously enough, this show is all about one of my most significant muses, the Gaviota Coast. Two of the center pieces in the show are large nude illustrative compositions of both Mary Osborne, and Jeanette Ortiz, which were shot in two very significant locations on the Gaviota Coast, and carry deep resonance with the history of the Chumash tribes native to that coastline, and my own rich experiences under what I have been cognizant of experiencing in their footprints, and under their gaze.

The show was custom designed by Glenn and I, in collaboration with the artists at Pi Studio Printing. It was a huge group effort, and tonight’s opening should prove a great opportunity to experience quite a cross section of amazing artists on First Thursday in Santa Barbara.

Coastal Blossom

Coastal Blossom

Gaviota Nude

The modern day boundaries of the Gaviota Coast extend from Coal Oil Point in Goleta at the South, to the Northernmost location of Point Conception, which is the Westernmost tip of the Continental United States, and is also known as the Western Gate to the original occupants of this land. That was the spot where native legend has it, their souls would leave earth at life’s end.

The Gaviota Coast was originally populated by multiple tribes of Chumash natives.

As a part of the California Missions land acquisitions, which took that coast from the Chumash, was the largest Spanish Land Grant in the Continental United States: the land which became known as Rancho Dos Pueblos. Today a shrinking Rancho Dos Pueblos is still owned by the Schulte family, who for decades, in the tradition of the Californian ranch and land operator, have been faithful stewards.

In Memoriam. Rudi Schulte

In Memoriam. Rudi Schult


It was my good fortune to grow up along this coast. I have walked, swum, surfed, fished, dove and sailed every inch of it, in a massive triangle, which ranges from Goleta, out to the Channel Islands and up to Point Conception, and every point in between. I have photographed quite a bit of it over the years.

This show is a very limited look at, and homage to, the amazing spirit of this stretch of coastline.  If you take anything away from this collection,  may it be the understanding that the spirit of the Chumash people still occupies this place, and it should forever be treated with reverence and respect.

David Pu’u

Gaviota Campfire

Gaviota Campfire

Walking Backwards

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Dark as Night

Dark as Night

When growth really isn’t.

This was inspired by a conversation with my oldest son Joshua, as he and I were looking at what defines our paths forward.

“I think a life for music is a well-spent one.”
-Luciano Pavoratti

Light Dance

Light Dance

What I have learned, is that the  things which I embrace and implement into my life, act as filters. They color my perceptions and growth, or lack thereof.

Peace

Peace

Did you know that sometimes growth is not such a great thing?

I have found that often the most remarkable creative moments are happened upon by walking in place, or even backwards so that your perception is in step with a reality that growth would have taken you away from.

This is why, within the context of an artist’s life you will see periods of work, that history will later describe as being great, definitive of that person’s ability to do whatever it is, he or she does.

Warhol would not have become Warhol, or Monet become synonymous with such a definition of a style, were it not for this.

Seth Godin had this to say about taste and fashion today.

Sapphire Surreality

Sapphire Surreality

This week I had multiple big projects to assess. Work with civic action groups endeavoring to fix some things in my town, designing a shoot and campaign for a prestigious ocean lifestyle marque, looking at how growth should go for a very promising Corporation, and designing an Art show on the “Gaviota Coast”, which is under assault by developers due to it’s pristine nature.

Gaviota Local

Gaviota Local

I saw something being repeated to me in each project. Sometimes the way forward, is really found in walking backwards a bit.

You are never really sure how the variables will be forward. But looking back, you will know. Because it happened.

Want a good future?

Watch where you step. It will determine the view.

Change

Change

Fear Anger Hope

Monday, June 21st, 2010
Process

Process

Fear, anger, hope.

These three things are very inter-related and part of the process of progress.

I find myself falling into fear, that entities which we have entrusted, like Government, Industry, and aspects of modern culture, such as certain Environmental PACS, have totally failed the Earth, as evidenced in the recent potential Global killer, that is the Platform Horizon Wellhead Blowout.

The fear generated by this realization leads to an intense burning anger.

That anger causes a hell of a lot of introspection of myself, what I stand for, and a VERY close look at the things I am able to affect in this world, that could contribute to a course change.

In my life, I have always been about social contribution through enlightenment, and understanding of Man’s role in this world via a relationship with God and Nature. In my experience, Science has always proved God, and vice versa. The entire world gives testimony to the glory and power which created it.

So out of all of this examination, there arises amidst the dark swirling clouds of a prior Eon’s birth and death throes, (which MADE the oil which may kill off a substantial portion of our planet) a glimmer of hope within a very serious message of impending doom.

Here is a very close look at the Gulf Disaster . Make sure to watch the News report at it’s end.  Yes, you should be scared, as well as angry. That is a righteous response.

But………..

Below are two links. They will make you sad, they will cause you to fear, you will get angry, feel sorrow, and at the end of it all, a small light will begin to flicker inside. Grab that. The other stuff, it just needs to be experienced, for you to find that little glimmer. We need informed hope.

Story One A beautifully done grand perspective on our struggle to exist.

Story Two is a piece that I shot while working under Cinematographer Greg Huglin. Edited by my friend and colleague Rob Dafoe. I WANT you to ponder the Gulf Sea. Consider also, that this was shot in the waters that I grew up in off of Santa Barbara and the Gaviota Coast. These pods have existed there for ages.

In 1969 I lived in Goleta. I saw the affects of the well head blowout that affected my beach, and gave rise to the modern day environmental movement. I swam, sailed, dove, fished and surfed in an oil soaked ocean, much as the Chumash who inhabited my home, generations before had done. But I am convinced what I experienced, was far worse in terms of oil contact. It went on for decades. (Think about that.)

The tale of the 1969 Union platform blowout is here.

A couple weeks ago, I was up working on the Gaviota Coast. Beaches once soaked in oil were now clean. For the first time in my 50 year long life, and possibly ever, they were pristine in appearance. I suspect that the Environmental movement had nothing to do with this, nor did the EPA. The steady pumping of the reserve simply lowered the pressure, and both the issues from the old wellhead blowout, and natural seeps, slowed to their lowest point.

I shot a few images to illustrate Man’s relationship with the coastline that has been my home. When I get angry, part of my process is to create something positive. Jeanette Ortiz, who is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and connected human beings that I know, collaborated with me. Donna Von Hoesslin helped style the work. The four images in this post, are part of a 24 image collection we created as an homage to the Gaviota Coastline.

Organic Relationship

Organic Relationship

Now ponder this. We have drilled a hole into the past, and unleashed a geologically based poison into the Gulf waters. All of what we know and have done in the past may now be ineffective. We could be wrong about everything. Our Govt. agencies are wrong, our environmental groups are wrong, we were wrong. Wrong about what?

Our choice to disconnect our culture from God and subvert our role in creation. We placed commerce and money in the position of being our God. We cut ourselves off from Wisdom and Truth. Wrong choice.

Timeframe

Timeframe

Reconnect. It is where the hope lies.

Here is a beautiful invitation to do that.

Better

Better

Here is a piece on Jacques Yves Cousteau , that is probably one of the more succinct and pertinent instructionals which I have read, with regard to Politics and the Earth.

Broken Bells. Good name. Sobering social commentary, exquisitely produced.

Steady on.

Hope.

Deep

Friday, April 30th, 2010
Voyage

Voyage

Some of us may have thought that it was an oxymoron to call our locally produced little magazine, Deep. I mean as paper publishing began to spiral, here were a bunch of us doing a locally based magazine called Deep. It had seemed a little bit ironic.  The publication was based on one begun in Goleta originally and called Wetsand Magazine. It was soon absorbed by the News Press and was called Blue Edge. As the News Press version tailspun in response to business issues, Deep sprung up, and many if not all of the contributors began to throw in behind Publisher Mike Van Stry,  editor Chuck Graham, director Andres Nunez as Deep was born out of RMG Ventures, a Carpinteria based publishing concern.

Here is the letter Shannon Menzel and I received today. The ad in reference, is one that Ventura based Wetsand, originally an online  only concern, which began in a meeting at Dos Pueblos Ranch many years prior, with me handing off 40 images to Henry Schulte. Wetsand now also has both retail and wholesale offices on Main St in Ventura and is run by Chuck Menzel and family.

Letter:

I wanted to congratulate you guys. We were at an awards conference last week and DEEP won 7 national awards at our annual AFCP conference. Over 2,000 entries were submitted from over 130 companies nationwide.

Your ad with Mary lying on her back that ran in our January/February 2009 issue won second place for original photography used in an ad!

Thats bad ass!

Thanks for all of your help with the mag and for the support!

Andres Nuño
Director
DEEP Surf Magazine
www.deepzine.com
(805)684-4428
Facebook: DEEP Surf Magazine
Twitter@DEEPocho

As larger publications lose touch with their contributors, go advertising based for their content sources, and destroy the editorial integrity (and market value) of their publications, thinking that no one will notice, Deep magazine stayed entrenched in the sport and community. My continual rant to set our bar higher has been tolerated with good humor, and patience by my editors. I am really lucky that they tolerate me, and give me article space and a cover every once in awhile.

Seth Godin writes a very timely blog on this subject.

Though I have gotten a lot of advertising and photography awards, this one was especially sweet, due to the integrity of the publication and looking for the deep, rather than shallow end. Nice work!

Dos Pueblos Ranch, Gaviota Coast

Dos Pueblos Ranch, Gaviota Coast

Blur

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Adam Gray-Hayward

Adam Gray-Hayward

Remember what it was like as a child, where in your grassy yard on a Summer’s day, you held arms outstretched, tilted head back and whirled around in circles? The scenery would whiz by in an increasing blur. A fun thing to do, as you examined play options.

The whirling activity sort of is my life this beautiful spring day, with birds singing outside as the morning expands.

I am looking at a lot of things right now. One interesting piece was just sent to us by Elmar Von Hoesslin (Donna’s ex husband)  and is a creative look at his Berlin based company. I liked Elmar from the moment I met him, as he and Donna had traveled through California and stopped in to visit. This video says a lot about why. Curiously, the subjects AND the length are similar to the film that Donna and I are creating for Intuit which is titled Passages.

In addition to working on my girlfriend’s film, I have been deep in study for a project. I use books for reference. I love books and own a LOT. There is no substitute for them in the digital realm. Books require an investment in time, money and physical space. They have weight. They require a commitment that digital content examined on the computer does not. You cannot press enter or delete. They have an analog form. Sort of in the same manner as our physical bodies do. Probably why I like em.

In front of me is a book entitled Toni Frissell, Photographs 1933-1967. Toni’s work was so very diverse that I believe she would be thrown out of most Art and Photography schools today, which encourage an aspiring professional to focus on one thing. Fashion, Journalism, Portraiture, Art and yes WATER! Toni shot it all, and did it so well that she will live forever in her imagery.

As I flipped the pages, my eyes fell upon a paragraph with yellow highlighted words (a study tool I learned in school) which I had applied maybe 12 years ago on the page. The paragraph reads:

1. Catch the subject at an instant of pleasure or emotion.

2. Know your subject’s interests beforehand (highlighted)…this so you can get him or her talking, even to the point of saying something provocative to the extent of outrageousness.

3. Click your camera at typewriter speed. Film is a cheap commodity.

4. Luck-the commodity that puts one at a crucial event and the chance is given a vital instant. (highlighted)

Below in my own hand I had written these words:

Preparation breeds foresight, foresight gives birth to opportunity.

In doing my research I found the seed which gave rise to the tree bearing the fruit of my own career and in looking through her imagery once more, I found my own self. It was shocking to me,  and caused a slowing down. The whirling scenery stilled and pulled into focus.  God I love books. You cannot press delete!

The project I am designing will invite a select group of subjects on to a friend’s estate where we will spend some time on a one of a kind property which has locations that are the photographic equivalent of gems in a crown. I will have an assistant or two, a small crew, wardrobe and the new Canon 5DM2 and new RebelT1i. We will also be shooting some motion picture. It could possibly be one of the more ambitious projects that I have endeavored to do. Time will tell as the process unfolds.

These sort of loosely scripted shoots have generally been looked at askance by some of my colleagues with the possible exception of Shawn Frederick whose challenge: “You think that you can do something better than anyone else? So do it!” always rings in my psyche. So I just do, and the images without fail end up being something that rewards both myself, subject and crew in multiple ways. It is sexy, exhilarating, adventurous, artistic, wearing, emotional, fun and well, REAL. But there is zero fiscal motivation for me. It costs in that way.  It can be terrifying as you are banking the recovery of the time and money of all involved in long term return. I don’t think the IRS likes em(my shoots) either.

The imagery below is a sampling of a few in the “Because I can” genre. Friends, colleagues, special people and moments.  Some have passed on but they live in the imagery. From Academy Award winners and famous covers, to simple snapshots.  Click on any of the images for the back story and a full view. There are fifty one here.  I have a lot more.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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