Letty Nowak is a talented surfer/artist who creates wall size portraits of some of the biggest names in surfing. Her vibrant portraits of surfers like Skip Frye, George Downing, Joel Tudor and others, cover the walls of select art galleries all over the country. We asked her some questions to learn more.
What is your background in art and surfing?
My background in art and surfing is from my Father who was first a sign painter and screen printer. He also ended up opening up surf shops in Michigan. He taught me the basics of line, color, and composition at an early age through his experience in design. By the time I was 11, he had me working in the shops and even doing some of the buying at the Surf Expos.
What was the inspiration behind these portrait paintings?
The inspiration was to bring together the two loves of my life – fine art and the surf industry. And to push myself as an artist within the medium of oil while making a portrait.
What were some of the challenges involved in involving such a range of personalities?
The only challenge has been trying to get some of these busy subjects to get to some of the exhibitions to see the paintings between their travels. Other than that, the support has been amazing!
What has been the impact or reaction to the paintings?
The impact has been strong. The more people see the paintings the more I seem to be getting more interest.
What’s next for Letty Nowak?
My next step is to start painting to create the second series. Some of the subjects I am starting with are Donavan Frankenreiter, Bruce Irons, and Gerry Lopez. The real challenge will be to find the right venue in NYC to debut them.
To learn more about Letty Nowak and her art, click here. Her recent show ends this Saturday at the La Jolla Art Association Gallery with a closing reception party. Photo of Letty Nowak by Corey Patterson.