Glide, Soar, Fly by Jonnie Parker Hartman
By Kristin Bucher
Every month in Southwest Art, we profile all kinds of artists—young and old, traditional and contemporary, emerging and established. One of the best parts of telling their stories is learning how they got to where they are today. Sometimes their artistic paths are instructive and enlightening, and sometimes they’re just plain surprising. This month’s feature on California expressionist Danny McCaw, for example, reveals that the artist’s first passion was not art, but—of all things—surfing, a passion he still pursues today even as his young painting career is flourishing. At first glance there might not seem to be any situation in which surfing would be useful for, or even related to, the pursuit of artistic excellence. But as writer Virginia Campbell points out, “a surfer’s emphasis on inner and outer balance serves a painter well in negotiating the creative anxieties that can lead to artistic wipe-out.” Perhaps that emphasis on physical and mental balance also translates to a heightened sense of balance and proportion in the artistic sense, as well.