Friday, September 19, 2014

USMC CH-46 Sea Knight “Battle Phrog” T-shirt and Poster Released by Gavin Arts: “The Old Breed” Sea Knights soon fly into history

Back of Shirt Design: CH-46 Sea Knight: The Old Breed
Marine Corps Battle Phrog
This CH-46 Battle “Phrog” Sea Knight tribute T-Shirt and Poster design by Kimberleigh and Paul Gavin honors the helicopter and its pilots, crews, maintainers and the Marines and cargo they transported in their 51 years of service. 

The 46 is depicted literally “Flying Off into the Sunset” with “The Old Breed” as the title because the helicopter and all those involved with it share the proud tradition of those Marines who have gone before and flew, lived and died courageously and under indescribable conditions. 

The project was conceived by the CO of HMMT-164 and the Gavins worked with him and Vietnam era and current pilots and crews.  The aircraft will retire from US Marine Corps service in April 2015 when the last 46 squadron, the  HMMT-164 “Knightriders” transitions to MV-22 Ospreys. 

A friend of the artists put it simply and elegantly when he saw the design: 

“Good Knight CH-46, and rest in peace.  You saved a lot of men.”

These shirts are available directly through the squadron or they can be mailed if you order from the Gavin’s web site.   

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Paintings of Pelicans and Trains in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano

Painting of "Reverence for Pelicans" Flying in the Surf
Coastal Commute:
Eastbound Pelicans
San Juan on the Old Santa Fe Trail

 Paul Gavin has painted pelicans and people as they commute up and down the Southern California coast through San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.   Pelicans fly silently and gracefully as they find, follow and use the off shore and on shore wind currents along the coastal cliffs and out in the waves and surf.  People travel up and down the coast by train which are also animal like as large silvery snakes that swiftly and curvaceously slither along the glistening rails, rumbling as they hug the small shelf between the land and the sea.  While the birds are silent, the trains moan; lights flash and bells ring as they approach emitting a roar that is simultaneously mournful and menacing.   The pelican travelers are featured in "Coastal Commute: Eastbound Pelicans" and the human pilgrims in "San Juan on the Old Santa Fe Trail".   


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Paul Gavin's San Clemente Pier Painting Featured on Summer 2014 City of San Clemente Magazine

Painting of walkers and people enjoying San Clemente Pier
Morning Colors: San Clemente Pier Walk
Artist Paul Gavin's "Morning Colors: San Clemente Pier Walk" Oil on Canvas is featured on the 2014 City of San Clemente Recreation Magazine.  Along with regular morning pier activities this painting captures the three stripes down the pier phenomenon.  For only a few weeks in the winter the sun rising directly perpendicular to the pier creates long and wide shadows of the three piece railing all across the pier down its entire length.  The colors of both the shadows are and the pier are truly 'fleeting".  Not only do they change every day depending upon the moisture in the air and the dampness of the pier but they also vary by the minute throughout each sunrise with the changing angle of the sun. Not yet even on the web site the giclee's will be available soon.  The image measures 24" x 30" and the giclee's will be available soon.  Are you interested?  Email us for more information.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ferndale Ranch and Thacher School Return with San Juan Capistrano Trails Horseback Rider

John and Sunshine the Paint with San Clemente in the Distance
Sunshine the Paint and John on the SJC Trail
with San Clemente in the distance
Today I was momentarily transported to my days at The Thacher School and my grandparent's Santa Paula Ferndale Ranch when I met a horseback rider in the San Juan Capistrano Hill Trails. Taking another later morning walk in the sun I was again enjoying the sage and mustard scents in the warm wind when I heard a horse approaching from the rear.  Being on a hilly trail seeing only distant buildings it felt like the days of walking and riding horses in the Santa Paula and Ojai Canyons and mountains.

Horse and Rider walking up hill
John and Sunshine continue their ride

I was lucky enough to spend my summers growing up at my grandparents Ferndale Ranch (now Thomas Aquinas College) in the Santa Paula River Canyon where I learned to ride for pleasure and to herd cattle on semi-annual roundups throughout multiple properties almost the entire length of the Santa Paula Canyon towards town.  My good fortune continue when I spent my junior and senior high school years at The Thacher School in Ojai where horses and many outdoor activities  still are major school programs.  The school is nestled at the base of the Los Padres National Forest from which creeks pass through campus and the sage covered hills rise up to mountains behind the campus inviting riders and walkers to enjoy the beauty and solitude of California Chaparral.  I competed in gymkhana and took daily trail rides on campus and into the Los Padres Hills throughout my junior year.

Seeing John and Sunshine the Paint was refreshing and reflective as my mind wandered back to beautiful places and impressionable times and special people and also served as a reminder that those moments and the naturally beautiful sights and smells and individuals are still here and available to enjoy on a daily basis.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mustard along San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano Trails and Hills

Saddleback through mustard
Saddleback and Capistrano Valley through Mustard
Trailside Mustard San Juan Capistrano
Trail side Mustard
The recent rains helped spawn some mustard and helped the other native plants along the roads and  trails in the San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano hills that will hopefully survive the recent Santa Ana Winds and heat wave.  Walking on the trail in the late morning I am enjoying views of the San Juan Capistrano Basilica,  Mission San Juan Capistrano, St. Margaret's School and the San Juan Capistrano Valley across to Saddleback Mountain. The sticky monkey flower and Coyote Brush are plentiful and in full bloom and the warm gusting breezes intensify the mustard fragrance as I was entertained and truly inspired by natures creatures and aviators frolicking in their element.

In the last few days three red-tail hawks, an American Kestral, two white tailed kites, a pair of turkey vultures, the occasional crow and a Northern Harrier effortlessly maneuvered in and negotiated the strong and changing wind flows.  Of course the Capistrano Cliff Swallows zipped through the air snagging snacks while two or three roadrunners shared the walk at a few turns and a curved beaked California Thrasher zipped across the trail in front of me.

Sticky Monkey Flower
Beautiful Sticky Monkey Flower
South County is beautiful and these days are special. Hopefully the green and blooms will be around for a little while longer.  

As with them our lives are always getting shorter.  Time is flying, we are getting older and the world is turning.

Get out and take a walk, even a little one.  Look listen and smell.  Disconnect for just a little while.   It is very good for the soul. These moments are precious.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Bunny Pictures at The Fisherman's Restaurant on the San Clemente Pier

ids with Easter Bunny at Fisherman's Restaurant
Easter Bunny Entertaining
Get your pictures taken with the Easter Bunny at the Fisherman's Restaurant on the San Clemente Pier until 2:00 today.  People having a very good time; kids pretty exited.  Come down in your Easter Best.  Bring your little ones - or just yourself and have a funny Bunny moment.

Nice art in the back!

Monday, March 31, 2014

12 Ship HMM-364 Purple Foxes CH-46 Sea Knight Flight over San Diego and Coast Salutes Phrogs' 50 Years and Remembers Marines

CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter parked on ramp at MCAS Tustin in front of Blimp Hangar
CH-46 Sea Knight HMM-163 Ridge Runners Evil Eyes
parked at MCAS Tustin in front of Blimp Hangar I
A twelve (12) ship Heritage Flight of CH-46 Sea Knights (or "Phrog's" as they are better known) from USMC HMM-364 World Famous Purple Foxes will fly today from MCAS Camp Pendleton (NFG) South along I15 to MCAS Miramar, across to the ocean then down to San Diego Bay and back up the coast.  This Helicopter began US Marine Corps and US Navy service in Vietnam.  CH-46's are being replaced by MV-22 Ospreys over the last few years and Phrog Squadrons designated "HMM"'s for Helicopter Marine Medium are now becoming "VMM"'s for "Vertical/Short Take off and landing (V/STOL) Medium Marine" Squadron.  Only two HMM squadrons remain:  HMM-364 Purple Foxes, due to transition to Ospreys this year, and HMMT-164, the last squadron to have CH-46's that will transition next year. Paul grew up in the flight path of MCAS Tustin (then MCAF) and watched as the CH-35 Choctaw's were slowly replaced by the CH-46's and drew both as a child.  This led to doing paintings of aircraft for Marines personally, to paintings of the MCAS Tustin Blimp Hangars, and to support of their Open Houses and the MCAS El Toro, MCAS New River, MCAS Cherry Point and MCAS Miramar Air Shows that continues to this day.

HMM-364 CH-46's turning and preparing to launch at MCAS Camp Pendleton