“THE NEW HAT”~ Sparhawk painting



I painted this years ago in one hot humid summer week.  I was exploring me, testing my mettle on 60 desolate acres in the log cabin I’d rented in Blue Ridge mountains alongside Harper’s Ferry, where I feverishly filled canvases with pictures for a gallery I found that said they’d take me, and filled notebooks with words for the bones of a novel, for which the publisher remains unfound.



I needed a break. Too broke to shop for real (and DC was about 2 hours east), this was the substitute. Okay, imagine with me: speeding off in a fabulous little (Robin’s egg blue) Sunbeam Alpine convertible (my dilapidated old Ford on its last legs) to an unbelievably divine shop (somewhere) and buying a hat! matching the dress! Not a farm hat but one incapable of protecting from wind or rain or bees, simply THE superb bonnet made for late afternoon drinks in an incredibly gorgeous famous old Washington bar with a handsome poet who just phoned he’d be landing his seaplane on the Shenandoah especially to meet me ~~4:30 sharp  ~or thereabouts. Be there! He could only stay til Wednesday. Before which he’d be ripping off said new hat etc. and we would be lost to lust. So here in the picture, rushed home to try it on, all the bits around including the hatbox and tissue it came in, getting ready for my quick dip in the pond then roaring off on the long and dusty trail to my rendezvous. Oh what a life!

Well, I thought about it all week while I worked on this, and the marvelous fantasy embroidered itself in. Big canvas too, about 7 X 4 feet. It went to the gallery in Middleburg,  Virginia where it did not sell.

The following fall I moved west.  The New Hat  went from east coast storage to garage to covering a broken fireplace flue above the mantelpiece in some godforsaken cottage; then across America in moving vans to horse ranches and eventually slotted into the back of a 1974 Chevy & up the mountains of Yosemite.  There, 7  years later on the day before I moved back to the coast The New Hat sold to the Yosemite gallery owner who’d exhibited my work and fallen in love with it. Which happily covered gas and my first month at a fellow artist’s house in Pebble Beach, a room of my own en suite, the smell and sound of the sea, and the sight of the breakers  below. And some sweet romps with an interesting surfer who never read poetry or wrote it, preferred beer to Benedictine, couldn’t pilot a plane, didn’t like being indoors ever but knew how to handle serious waves and me, and did nice work with fish on a campfire, too.

There’s never any telling where a new hat will take you.










PURE WOW. American Surfer Rides 100 Footer

ONE HUNDRED FOOT WAVE SURFED (<<<video link)   by an American  guy from Hawaii via Massachusetts.in Portugal  (Scroll down for video of McNamara’s previous 90 foot record wave!)  (And…See original Sparhawk The Zen of Surfing  and  The Rogue Wave oil paintings at bottom of blog)Garrett McNamara : Garrett McNamara surfs at the Praia do Norte beach in Nazare, Portugal 2011

Surfer Garrett McNamara makes world record ride in Portugal

“The Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara is said to have broken his own world record for the largest wave surfed when he caught a wave reported to be around 100ft off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.  If the claims are verified, it will mean that McNamara, who was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts but whose family moved to Hawaii’s North Shore when he was aged 11, has beaten his previous record, which was also set at Nazaré.  When McNamara set that record in 2011, he was accompanied by fellow big-wave surfers Andrew Cotton and Alastair Mennie and at the time Mennie said that the conditions were “perfect” for McNamara whom he described as “inspiring”.  ” www.guardian.co.uk 

Garrett McNamara : Garrett McNamara Surfing at AvalancheVideo Nov.2011, 90 footer w/Garrett~click on photo above for link>>

Thanks for the rush, Garrett.

Garrett McNamara : Garrett McNamara of Haleiwa, HawaiiThanks for the rush.

Garrett McNamara : Garrett McNamara surfing on a giant wave in Nazaré Portugal


The Gallery, April 18, 2010 016

the hawksperch mermaid©™


The Rogue wave

The Rogue Wave, 12 X 12 inches, oil on canvas by Sparhawk, $150. sparhawk@barbarasparhawk.com

The Zen of Surfing

The Zen of Surfing, $150., oil on canvas, 8 X 10 inches, by Sparhawk

These are both one of a kind original oil paintings by Barbara Sparhawk, The Hawks Perch Gallery, Carmel Valley. Send an emal to sparhawk@barbarasparhawk.com if interested in purchase. The paintings are both only $150. each. 

Surfer, Sand, Sea

One of those brilliant bright days along the Pacific central coast, light the moreso with the play of clouds and skies going dark to to stark.

Alone on the beach, a desolate place of privacy and not easy access. There’s something nearby of civilization, a hose on hand to wash clear to salt and sand when ready; a house ramshackle or spectacular somewhere in the hill behind him. And he sits on a long ago wood deck that’s being absorbed back into the elements. He watches where he’s just done battle with the Pacific. Watching to see what he’s missing on shore, what’s lost and found, feeling the connecting in his flesh alive with the pounding he got, with the wind, with the sun.

Expressionist Painter’s Christmas

Christmas is Coming!

I’ve got 2 websites with my TOTALLY UNIQUE  Expressionist Paintings and Drawings on Clothing, Posters, Ipod cases, & Greeting Cards. MERMAIDS! BILLBOARD PAINTINGS! FLORALS! SEASCAPES! RedBubble is a fabulous Australian site, they do beautiful work. Zazzle is USA. Both deliver speedily, I’ve used them for years. Easy shopping on line with PayPal.

Click on:   Australia’s RedBubble

and Zazzle: The Hawks Perch Clothing Line

To purchase an original Sparhawk oil painting or drawing, please email: hawk@hawksperch.com. to be sure the paintings are still available and discuss details.


This is from today’s UK Daily Mail

A shark attacked a surfer off a California beach on Saturday, biting him in the neck and arm and sending him to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Bless My Ride, West Coast Winter Surfer

Eric Tarantino, of Monterey, was attacked around 7am, just minutes after he and a friend entered the water at Marina State Beach, The Monterey Herald reported

The shark bit Tarantino, 27, on the neck and right forearm and left teeth marks in his red surfboard. Tarantino’s friend, Brandon McKibben of Salinas, helped him out of the water, and other surfers used beach towels to try to stop his bleeding.


Tarantino was taken to a local airport by paramedics and flown to the San Jose Regional Medical Center, authorities said.

His condition wasn’t immediately known but Tarantino’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Following the attack, Tarantino’s damaged surfboard was placed in the back of a state park ranger’s patrol car in the beach parking lot. A few fellow surfers stopped to examine the board’s new gashes.

Signs will be posted along the area’s beaches advising of the shark danger and recommending that beach-goers refrain from water activities for the next week.

The sand portion of the beaches will remain open.