Eric Soderquist.

“I happened to have a lot of photos of my desk, because I document the stages of my paintings.  My desk looks like a wooden robot, it’s very functional and I built it out of scrap wood.  It has wheels, so I can roll it next to the painting I’m working on.  The cup holders are two box surf trophies turned upside down.  I store my tools on the shelfs below.  When I’m painting I line my paints out and generally set my palette on it.  My art studio I built out of wood that was lying around, the main redwood beams are from the original Avila Grocery (late 1800’s) the floor joists are from Tony Hawks ramp and the siding is from my mural I did at the Nike Trestles Pro, the slider I traded for a painting, so the whole deal is cool to me.  It’s like an art fort and speaking of art I got to get back to painting.”

Eric Soderquist
has managed to wander this planet looking for waves for the past twenty years. His travels have taken him to countries such as Australia, Somoa, Canada, Indonesia, Peru, Chile, and others. He has participated as an artist and surfer in many art shows, art festivals, surf films and community events. He has been featured in photographs published in Surfer, Surfing, Transworld Surf, Water, Surfing LifeJapan, Surfer’s Path, and an assortment of foreign publications. The California Surf Project is his first book. He lives in Shell Beach, California.

Riding a wave is pretty much what I’m thinking about every time I wake up.

FROM YOUR DESKS: How did you decide on the California Surf Project?

ERIC SODERQUIST: I was obsessed with oil painting when I came upon an art book titled The Golden Coast by Jim Caldwell.  The book is full of beautiful paintings from Big Sur to the Russian River.  I would thumb through the book daily for inspiration.  At the same time Chris Burkard and I were car pulling to surf and shoot photos and started throwing around ideas that we should do a book of our own, one that spans the whole state of California.  His future wife was all for it, so we had the green light and it snowballed from there.  We had no money and nothing but time so he pitched the Idea along with his photos and won the “Follow The Light” grant.  We then had the money and no excuses…so we set off.

FYD: Who does the yellow VB bus belong to and how is the gas mileage?

ES: I own the 1978 yellow camper van and it’s my daily driver.  The gas mileage is pretty good figuring it has two beds, a sink, a stove, closets…Gets around 15 to 20 mpg, a dream of mine, is to put a Subaru or Porsche engine in it, but keep dreaming right.

FYD: As a California native; what stops along Highway 1 surprised you?

ES: The back roads of the Tijuana Sloughs were pretty trippy and the vibes of San Francisco are always surprising, but less surprising and more magnificent would be the red woods and the mountainous beachscapes.

A 5’8 Clyde Betty Rocket Fish.

FYD: What board did you take along on your journey?

ES: I had a 6’0 Dave Parmenter, 6’8 Wahl board for bigger waves and a 5’8 Clyde Betty Rocket Fish.

FYD: Does riding a wave and painting a wave give you equal pleasure?

ES: Riding a wave is pretty much what I’m thinking about every time I wake up.  Nothing beats the flow. I try to simulate it on a skateboard or day dreaming on a cool landscape that resembles a wave.  Painting is more of a tribute to remember the moments I love, so I guess I’m saying I would rather get barreled than paint.  Surfing is tiring though, so surfing and painting go hand in hand.  It’s the perfect relationship of exercise and meditation.





Painting is more of a tribute to remember the moments I love, so I guess I’m saying I would rather get barreled then paint.

FYD: What’s next?

ES: I really enjoy camping, so in 2011 I want to camp and surf as much as possible.  I want to perfect and peel through the layers of painting and  sculpture.  I also want to quite dragging my feet and get my film “The Death of a Soulman” done so I can shave by.

(Images 1/2/3: Eric Soderquist workspace.  Image 4: Mural Trestles.  Image 5: The California Surf Project. Image 6: The Golden Coast. Image 7: Santa Barbara. Image 8: Medicino. Image 9: Van Curaza and heavy water (7/8/9 by Chris Burkard). Image 10: painting by Eric Soderquist.

2 Comments For “Eric Soderquist.”

  1. jim caldwell says:

    I am pleased that my book inspired you to do one of your own! Thanks for the plug on your blog. Keep up the good work.

  2. Heide Neill says:

    I googled you and recognized your face – that is how I returned your credit card. If you had not talked to me about the dog I would have never looked up

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