Aloha Big Island

Back in my studio and in front of my gray computer, I’m thinking back to my last week in Hawaii….

….recalling the distantly familiar, aching feeling of leaving a place of such profound beauty and inspiration….

Oh, how I wish I was there! 

It was my first visit to the Big Island, and I was enticed to stay for three days with a show at Lahaina Galleries’ beautiful Mauna Lani venue.

I felt wholeheartedly embraced by gallery Director Chris Cornis and sales consultants Kim Norman and Stephanie Ansley.
The spacious gallery is situated in the Shops at Mauna Lani and beautifully presents Lahaina Galleries’ many talented artists.

Mahalo to Chris, Kim and Stephanie for an exciting and successful first visit to the gallery!

Chris Cornis, Lahaina Galleries Mauna Lani Director

The Island of Hawaii impressed me with its wide open vistas and immense natural diversity.

It is the third largest island in Polynesia, and with the lava flows of Mauna Loa and Kilauea, it continues to grow larger every year. 

I am awestruck by the vast history of this planet and how the dynamic forces of nature conspire to create life. Last summer in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides I touched some of the oldest rock formations on the planet.

Now I was walking amongst lava flows just a few years old, and fresh coral beaches in the making.

And Life seizes at the opportunity to establish a foothold….

with time and the elements forming the splendid beaches, forests and grassy hillsides of all but four of the planet’s climate zones.

Sun lounging sea turtle on Puako’s beach

Hawaiian sea turtles grazing on the reefs of Puako

Although my first visit was only three days, I was able to get a glimpse of the amazing beauty of this island and feel a profound sense of human and natural history.

It is easy to see how the original inhabitants of this island found all they needed to survive, and thrive to further settle the rest of the Hawaiian islands. 

The view was as splendid then as it is now…..

The ancient fish ponds of Mauna Lani, still in use to this day.

Aloha Island of Hawai’i…

My first visit was too short but abundantly sweet.

Sunset in Hawi town

You are indeed the Big Island with enormous natural diversity, a deep culture and big hearted people, all of which I encountered, and left me so beautifully inspired.

Mahalo, I’ll be back c:

“Hawaiiana Red Ginger II” 28″x16″ oil on canvas at Lahaina Galleries

“Hawaiiana Red Ginger I” 28″x16″ oil on canvas at Lahaina Galleries

Hawaiian Sunset Bliss 12″x4″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Hula Heaven Hibiscus” 20″x20″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Kona Coffee” 10″x10″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

“Trade Wind Palm” 16″x8″ oil painting at Lahaina Galleries

Hollister Ranch Hoedown 2014

Summer’s End at the Hollister Ranch. The Hollister Hoedown Fundraiser returns. Ranch locals come from near and far to carry on a tradition. Once again, I am honored to be included.

Hollister-Ranch-HoedownThis years event began with clear, glassy conditions. Soaring summer temperatures with no sign of June Gloom.  The heat was on!

My work hangs for sale with 40 other local artists. Proceeds from all sales benefit the Hollister Ranch Fire Department.

As in previous years, Jackson Browne was in attendance and in fantastic form.

“Low Tide Ranch Painting” sold to Jackson Browne and Dianna Cohen

Jackson’s sound check was fabulous and he is sounding better than ever. But the notorious Ranch winds kicked up at 4, and due to the powerful winds, the events had to be cut short.

“Summer Set Wave, Hollister Ranch” Lahaina Galleries

It was Murphy’s first visit to the Ranch, he fully embraced the endless stretches of beach.

“Solstice Morning Swell” SOLD

“Morning Tide, San Augustine” SOLD

Truly exposed and at the mercy of Nature, its what makes the Ranch a unique place on earth.

“West of the Gate, Hollister Ranch” this painting has SOLD

The Ranch continues to draw me back. I am endlessly inspired by the shape of the land, the quality of the light, and, of course the surf.

“View from the Canyon” Hollister Ranch

Looking forward to the next occasion!

Many thanks to Bev and Kit Cossart!

Kit sells one his paintings to Jackson…

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Waves of Inspiration: Hawaii

It was December, 1988. My board and bag were packed, and I had just won a $500 award from the City of Laguna Beach’s public arts competition. I was ready: it was my first trip to Hawaii and I was going by myself.

Off the plane: CZ’s first visit to Hawaii 1988

Not only did adventure await, but the course of my Life would be changed forever.

It was my first encounter with the South Pacific and the power of the Hawaiian swells. I’ll never forget seeing winter waves on the North Shore of Oahu for the first time. The sheer magnitude, mass and size of the waves are awesome sights… and definitely a Force to be reckoned with.

“North Shore Blue Wave” 36″x48″

All these years later I’m finally painting waves. It has taken so long, as Life brings me around to this subject, it’s not full circle, but more like a spiral. Last year I found myself painting water, just tranquil scenes of water. In a continuation of the theme, I’m challenging myself with moving water. But it’s not simply about water in movement, in these paintings I’m making waves.

On the other side of the world a breath of wind conspired with the sea to create this wave. A wave of energy that traveled through the waters, across many thousands of miles to arrive on the North Shore of Hawaii. And there, its energy dissipated, but its beauty and majesty was captured, by my friend and North Shore Photographer Bernie Baker.

“Wall of Water” Ke-Iki Beach, Oahu

Bernie has sent me numerous photos over the years that have tantalized my creative imagination. How many times had I seen these waves, surfing Sunset Beach, Mākaha, Bali, Tahiti.. how many times had I dreamed of them. With his photographs Bernie marks their passage in time.
In these paintings I’m not wanting to copy Bernie’s gifted and talented eye, or recreate his master photography with paint. Bernie has kindly let me use his images  as stepping stones of inspiration, and it’s been a fun and wonder-filled collaboration.

Queen’s

With these paintings I am able to reflect on my time spent in Hawaii….

Secret Spot, Lanai

The countless trips in Search of Surf…

“Yellow Hibiscus” 11″x14″

The precious times spent on the West Side with the people of Mākaha.

Yvon Chouinard, Rell Sunn, Sam George, Caroline Zimmermann
Mākaha, 1992

My incredible fortune to have befriended their “Queen”, Rell Sunn.

“Mākaha Red Hibiscus” 11″x14″

The Westside was magical, and drew me back time and time again.

“Mākaha Palm” oil painting 1995

Not just for the fabulous waves and beautiful views, but to spend time in the company of Rell.

CZ with Mākaha Royalty

Rell truly was Mākaha royalty, but in true Hawaiian Style, she held court in the most generous and big hearted way. She welcomed us, haole and outsiders, with open arms and open house.

Rell Sunn and the Westside Wahine
1994

Surfing Mākaha with the Wahine….the girls. I’d never surfed a spot where women made up 50% of the lineup, and at a serious break like Mākaha, the waves were not for the faint at heart. Somehow, with time and Rell’s benevolent graces, I was accepted.

photo: Bernie Baker

Over the course of four years I surfed some of the best waves of my Life, there at Mākaha.

“Mākaha” oil painting 1994

Truly, one of the greatest gifts my Life has given me was the time I spent with Rell.

CZ & Rell Sunn, Lanai

Rell’s death in 1998 from cancer left a huge gaping hole in all our lives. With the passing years I’ve been able to fill that emptiness with all the goodness and beauty in Surfing and the Sea.

“Plumeria for Rell” 1998

Every plumeria I paint, every hibiscus, and now every wave is an homage to Rell…

“Little Hula Heaven” oil painting 1998

Ka-polioka’ehukai: Heart of the Sea.

photo Dennis Oda
1983 Star-Bulletin photo of Rell Sunn.

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Winter Surf

Christmas Day 2012. No better way for me to celebrate the holidays than to get my head wet after months in Italy and away from my Pacific Ocean.

After visits with family, we headed North, to friends in Ventura… the surf looked fun enough to justify a quick go-out along the way.

Pitas Point at Low Tide. I have surfed here for years… its almost like a second home. On any given winter’s day, Rincon will be jammed with surfers, and the Ranch sometimes a bit too far to drive. Pitas never fails to provide joy, even at minus tide and a tiny winter swell…

 

… all the better with a sandbar that made for wickedly hollow little inside waves….

Too much fun! For me Winter is the absolute best time of year to surf in California. So many right breaks, less crowds, spectacular sunsets and no June Gloom.

I’m inspired by the skies of Winter, the tonal colors of the landscape and the peaceful introspective atmosphere. On so many occasions my surfing experiences have inspired some of my favourite paintings.

“West of the Gate, Hollister Ranch”

Just me, a few birds and a body boarder… and a whole lot of gratitude to be out in the water on Christmas Day.

“Sunrise at Bulito Beach” Hollister Ranch

from the archives: Caroline and The Duke, Bishop Museum,
Honolulu, Hawaii

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Water Paintings

I really could not wait to get started. But where to begin? I combed through my countless photos of the waters of my recent trip to the Turquoise Coast.

Mesmerized by the radiance, the glow emanating from the sea.

I have this recurring dream where I am underwater… sometimes its a pond, sometimes the lineup at Mākaha on a flat day, or sometimes simply a pool. In my dream I am always calm, floating in the water, perfect temperature… womb-like.

caroline zimmermann under water, 15-years-old

Glass Pool, Vegas, 15-years-old

The curious thing is that I look up, see the light of day above me. But I never want to leave. I am perfectly and simply happy to be amongst the rocks, the fish, plants or whatever is on the bottom. I think of Bjork’s The Anchor Song

When I was going through chemo I had recurring dreams of water… that radiant, glowing blue of the tropics… and my desire to get in. I had my shortboard, and all I wanted was to duck-dive under a wave.

Photo: Bernie Baker

Water over my head, its all I wanted… cool my body, comfort my soul.

My water paintings are countless…  they began on my first trip to Barbados and the Grenadines in 1989. I spent some days on Palm Island in the Windward Islands.

caroline_zimmermann_tropical_beach

There I felt my first enchantment with that color blue. Was it Turquoise blue or Cerulean?

No, Turquoise is truly what I saw in Turkey.

At last,  the final paintings….

“Turquoise Blues I” 40×40″

“Turquoise Blues II” 40×40″

“Turquoise Blues III” 40″x40″

View these paintings and others available for purchase on Caroline’s Virtual Gallery
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Hollister Ranch Hoedown 2012

Each year Hollister Ranch stages a Hoedown to benefit a different aspect of their community. It’s one of my favourite events of the year – the setting; one of the most magical coastlines in North America. This year’s theme was environmental sustainability, something The Ranch has been at forefront of for many years. The residents are proud stewards of the land, balancing ecological preservation with agriculture and residential development.

“Sunrise Solitude” Hollister Ranch

I’ve been fortunate enough to be painting The Ranch for years and always marvel at the changing light and coloring of the seasons.  A sacred place indeed, it’s no wonder the Chumash flourished here for millennia.

Hollister Hoedown 2012

Though not open to the general public, residents and their guests turn out in large numbers to support the Hoedown organised by more than 50 volunteers.

 

A beautifully restored Steamer on display as part of Fire Department benefit

This year fifty percent of the proceeds from the Art Sale benefited the Hollister Ranch Fire Department.

Bulito Beach

The Ranch is 14,400 acres of grazing lands, beach bluffs, and open meadows backing up to remote mountains and valleys north of Santa Barbara, and is home to some of the best surf breaks in the world. For many years the surf was only accessible by boat… surfing at the Ranch became the stuff of myth and legend….

“Low Tide” Hollister ranch

Renzo chasing down some Spaniel skank

For Renzo it’s a chance to run free on the beach, cool off in the ocean and then kick back on a hay bale and listen to some great music…

Jackson Browne

Hollister Ranch resident Jackson Browne once again headlined the concert line-up this year which always features a surprise guest…

This year the crowd was treated to a ninety minute set by surprise guest Jeff Bridges performing songs and embracing his character from Crazy Heart.

“West of the Gate” Hollister Ranch

I’m honoured to be included in the Hoedown – it’s my opportunity to give something back to this special part of California and the people who live there.

Photos by John Charles Jopson

Come to my next exhibition “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves” in Laguna Beach, August 25, 2012. Mickey Muñoz will be signing his new Patagonia-published book “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz” and showing some of his unique photographs, and we’ll be celebrating his 75th birthday!

View more Hollister Ranch paintings.

Related: Last year’s Hollister Ranch Hoedown (2011)

About Caroline

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A Summer Sunset Surf Session with Mickey Muñoz

Summer has at long last come to the Southern California Coast and these last few evenings have been gorgeous enough to tempt me back into the water. In anticipation of my upcoming exhibition at Gallery McCollum, No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves, where Mickey Muñoz will be signing his new book, we had the pleasure of a sunset surf together at Doheny.

I suppose you could say Mickey has been my “surf mentor” over the years… if you equate “surf” = “life”. Since our first surf session at his beloved Middles in 1984, I have shared many many waves with Mickey – since long before he became my brother-in-law – and looked to him as a role model in how to live Life to the fullest degree.

My Precious Michel Junod Patagonia board has been my favorite for over 16 years…. and a pre-surf waxing up still one of my Life’s greatest pleasures….

Checking the surf… and check out this board: Mickey shapes all his stand-up paddle boards. Fabulous.

Mickey’s fin and my All Saints shorts

Yes, it’s summer, Caroline still wears a wetsuit…

See more photos of Caroline

The last time I surfed with Mickey at Doheny was for his 70th birthday.. next month he will be 75!

Still talking Story….

My first wave since surfing in February…

Mickey, of course, dominates…. he is in great form…surfing rings around all of us!

My last wave of the evening with Mickey….

Just a moment to reflect on the simple beauty of a summer evening, fun waves, the company of a good friend, and my last six months.

Gratitude.

… and gratitude for John for taking these lovely photos!

“Victoria Sunset” Laguna Beach, California by Caroline Zimmermann

Photos by John Charles Jopson

The artist’s reception for No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves is on August 25, 2012 at  Gallery McCollum 206 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA, 92651   (949) 497-4027

Mickey will be signing his book, “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz” from 3:00PM on, and he’ll be showing some of his unique photographs as well. It will be a very rare opportunity to buy an original photograph by Mickey Muñoz – and celebrate his 75th birthday!

Books will be available for purchase at the gallery. You can also pre-buy the book at your local book shop, from Patagonia, or at this link on Amazon.com.

For invitations please sign up for Caroline’s Mailing List.

Related: No Bad Paintings No Bad Waves Blog Post

View more of Caroline’s surf paintings and photos.

Preview paintings  for the “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves” exhibition.

View Caroline’s recent and available works at her Virtual Gallery.

Photos by John Charles Jopson

About Caroline

Full Slideshow below:

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No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves

Caroline Zimmermann “Quasinudo”

UPDATE (Sept 1): For those who missed the Artist Reception for “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves” Caroline will make a special appearence at Gallery McCollum for First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach. September 6 from 6 – 9PM. More info. View paintings.

UPDATE (August 15): The exhibition is now set for Saturday August 25, 2012 at Gallery McCollum. Mickey’s book signing begins at 3PM and the artist’s reception runs until 9PM. For invitations please sign up for my  Mailing List.

I’m very excited to announce an upcoming exhibition of my latest paintings at Gallery McCollum in Laguna Beach this summer. I’ll be showing a whole new series of seascapes and tropical water paintings as well as my recent work from Tuscany and Provence.

My brother-in-law, surf legend Mickey Muñoz, will be signing his new Patagonia-published book “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz”.

From Patagonia: “Mickey Muñoz has been called the “surfer’s surfer,” and is loved and respected among the cognoscenti for his contributions to surfing and the surfing life for the past 60 years as a surfer, a pioneer of Waimea Bay, a stuntman (stand-in for Gidget), a board shaper and designer, and as a sailor and boatbuilder (America’s Cup). Mentored by the Malibu greats of the ’40s, and an influence on generations of surfers since, Mickey weaves the story of a California waterman using his own life and that of his friends.”

Mickey Munoz

Mickey Muñoz and Caroline Zimmermann

Mickey’s take on life has always been an inspiration to me and I’m looking forward to our little colaboration. The show is now scheduled for Saturday, August 25, 2012. Mickey’s book signing begins at 3PM and the artist’s reception begins at 6PM. Mickey will also be showing some of his unique photographs, running a slide show, and we’ll all be celebrating his 75th birthday! If you’d like to be added to the mailing list please sign up here.

Mickey’s book “No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Muñoz” will be available for purchase at the gallery. You can also pre-buy it at your local book shop or at this link on Amazon.com.

Caroline Zimmermann, Suiting Up at Thalia Street

Related: A Summer Sunset Surf Session with Mickey Muñoz

View more of Caroline’s surf paintings and photos.

Preview paintings  for “No Bad Paintings, No Bad Waves”.

View Caroline’s recent and available works at her Virtual Gallery.

Gallery McCollum 206 North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA, 92651   (949) 497-4027

About Caroline

“Tavarua Set Wave”   by Caroline Zimmermann. Available as a Limited Edition Print

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Hoedown at Hollister Ranch 2011

Caroline Zimmermann with Mike Dunn at Hollister Ranch

Over 20 years ago I visited the Hollister Ranch for the first time. I was immediately captivated by the magic of this unspoiled stretch of California coastline north of Santa Barbara. Not just because of its pristine beauty, but for its incredible surf, with countless points, reefs and sandbars making it one of the most desirable surf destinations in California. Many of my paintings over the years have been inspired by the light and lay of the land…

For the last 15 years we have been fortunate to visit the Ranch on numerous occasions. When I was invited to participate in a fundraiser to help restore some of the historic buildings on the Ranch, I thought it a fine idea to be able to give back some of  the kindness shown to me by Ranch residents and to the Ranch itself for its endless inspiration.

Click here to view to full post on my old blog.