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Mesa Lane
Mesa Lane Beach, Santa Barbara, CA. Circa 1963.


Perhaps it was the joyous youth that I spent at the beach playing in the sand and whitewater while my mother worked on getting a tan. Maybe it was the endless hours as a teen spent at various beaches squinting at the horizon for an inkling of what might be offered from thousands of miles away. Then again, it could have been the bone chilling winter rainsqualls with no shelter or wetsuit, shivering in anticipation of catching a wave. Something was imprinted upon my inner spirit that lives on to this day.

I grew up by the sea. The shining heat. The windy cool. The most prized possession in my youthful peer group was a surfboard. You really didnít need anything else. No fancy accessories or electronics, just you and the board. During the course of owning a surfboard I came to use resin in both patching and then making them. I found the material fascinating in its ability to turn from a liquid to a solid in a matter of minutes. With the addition of colors it was both a structural material and paint.

Now I attempt to capture the fluid, ever changing properties of the ocean in a static work of art. The dynamic ocean surf, with its transparency and depth of field, shimmers in constant motion. This presents a challenge in presentation that I feel is somewhat overcome by the temporary liquidity of the resin medium. Once applied, the resin does not simply sit. It flows to find equilibrium. Pigments will elute and migrate into their surroundings. These qualities can be contained somewhat but not fully controlled. That is a feature that it shares with the subject matter.

The media used are surfboard epoxy resin, liquid and dry pigments, and, in some cases, stainless steel. These are applied to a hardboard panel with an integral hemlock frame.

Rick French was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. With appreciation for the ocean's magnificence undiminished, Rick now resides in Tualatin, Oregon.