Jamie Watson is an artist who loves surfing, art, and life. She is the author of the popular surf blog “Pineapple Luv.” Her prints are a colorful reflection of her love and passion for the ocean and island life. She shares with us her thoughts and interests.
When did you get your first surfboard?
The year 2000. I traded it for a new-ish TV and DVD player that I had.
What was the feeling you had when you you first stood on a surfboard?
Wow, it was a thrilling, happy rush (and I was probably going really slow). It was in Waikiki around 1998. The feeling was so good that I couldn’t stop thinking about it and finally realized I needed to get a wetsuit and not worry about the cold water in Northern California.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, in order of age I wanted to be a teacher, shop owner, flight attendant (my dad was a pilot) and interior designer. Now I want to be like John Severson.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young girl?
My grandmother, Grace Coles. She helped support her family as a teenager by playing the organ in silent movie theaters. And her presence made people really happy. I admired people who were happy and self assured and kind to all people. And the interesting, seemingly fearless creative ones like David Bowie.
Where did you study painting?
I studied painting and printmaking at San Jose State University and found a couple of mentors after graduating.
What is your process when creating your art?
I usually go to my studio and think about colors first. When I figure out my palette, I take the paint and just use my instincts to get started. If I get stuck, I’ll look at things I’ve cut out of magazines or look at a Taschen book, for example. I work until the kinks are figured out and then I start printing and see what happens! I do monotypes mostly these days.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out?
Hawaii. I have been to some interesting places like Haiti and lived near New Orleans, but Hawaii. Because I need something that it offers. Such beauty, so much surfing, and the aloha spirit. It’s really there. You can feel it.
What is it that makes you such a nice person? What code do you live by?
Gosh thank you, Glenn. My mom taught my brother and I (with many of her own stories and examples) to be kind to others, to include them and to be a friend, especially if they are left out. And my dad’s side of the family has a gentle sweetness to them – which might be genetic.
Who/what inspires you?
My husband and my brother who make their living doing what they love, and they are very good at what they do. Someone like Thomas Campbell inspires me. John Severson for all the neat, creative things he has done. Anyone who is true to themselves inspires me. A lot of musicians inspire me. People who are really in touch with nature. Shoot I could go on forever, I think nearly everything inspires me.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
That life is a fun game. That you can play it and it can be as full of as much love and interesting things that you can handle. And that feeling one with the love of God or the Universe and others is the best feeling in the world. And that smiling is very, very important.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
I wish I were braver to do what I love and do what it takes to make that my career. I hope I can get to that point someday. I’ve always worked in an office and I’m just starting to make peace with that.
What are you most proud of?
That I keep making my art and I keep growing as a person. I am proud of all the things I’ve learned about life, so that I have a happy marriage and get along with all of my family and friends very well. That kind of means learning about yourself so you can align your good feelings and instincts with the stars, so to speak and create a happy life.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
It means freedom to me and communing with nature. It goes deep and it has changed my life in that the more I surf, the healthier I get, in my body and mind. It has also changed my life in that I have just begun to tap into the amazing community of surfers in the world, much of which has come to me through blogging. Some amazing things have resulted such as participating in group art shows and helping to produce the Mattson Family Art Benefit.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Making art, listening to music, surfing in warm water, being in nature, being with Jay, my dog, my family… and those small moments like receiving a smile from a stranger, feeling a breeze on your face, watching birds on the birdfeeder, coffee in the French press…
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Well I am not an expert but perhaps because I’m attracted to it, I’m noticing there’s an artistic movement right now. I think there is an appreciation for Joel Tudor and the versatility of a rider like Rob Machado… free surfers like Donovan Frankenreiter, Dave Rastovich and then people like Alex Knost, Cyrus Sutton, Ryan Burch, Christian Wach, Kassia Meador… I’m also seeing new respect for innovative riders like Derek Hynd and George Greenough. I’m keeping my eye on Malia Manuel. I follow her on Twitter.
What is in your current quiver? What is your favorite board?
Your favorite surfspot?
I have my first board still, an 8’0 (I don’t remember who shaped it) and my newest and favorite board, a 9’0 shaped by Ted Gallup. I really want to surf for the rest of my life and get a lot better at it. Favorite local surfspot is Sharks Cove in Capitola. I am a sucker for Waikiki. The few times I’ve gone, there have been long, mellow rides and plenty of room for everyone.
What’s your favorite meal?
Yummiest and healthiest would be some sushi like tuna maguro and avocado rolls and some mangoes and pineapple.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
The latest album by The Mother Hips, “Pacific Dust”, the soundtrack to the film “Whip It”, a couple of Tommy Guerrero CDs, Bob Dylan “Live at the Gaslight 1962″ and a medley of Hawaiian music to pump me up for our upcoming trip to Oahu!
What causes/ projects/ organizations do you support?
In the last couple of years I realized that my affinity for the ocean gives me the desire to feel responsible for helping to keep our oceans clean. Surfrider Foundation is tops on my list, as well as Save the Waves and research vessels such as Algalita, who study the effects of plastic in our seas and marine life.
What’s next for Jamie Watson?
I will be curating a Brazilian show in San Diego next summer. It’s not finalized yet so details to come… and I really want to produce a small art and film festival near San Francisco that will benefit the ocean. And eventually have an online surfing/lifestyle shop that will feature amazingly cool designs on comfy t-shirts, and inspiring artwork. And maybe a special section for jokes.