Artist Peter Spacek pioneered a new way to create scrimshaw in 2009. In this technique, the surface of a material, in this case-vintage surfboard fiberglass-is etched into with a sharp tool and filled with ink. Spacek has been using the technique in this new way to create interesting and emotional works of art for the surfer and the non-surfer alike. After the success of his first solo show, “Salty Inky Fingers” and his second, “Fishy, Inky Fingers”, he rounded out the trio with “SCRATCH”, a show entirely devoted to his new craft. While focusing on surfing, he also showed more traditional littoral imagery.
Sometimes called “modern scrimshaw,” his pieces look contemporary- and because he’s working on aged fiberglass-you get a feeling of history with that modernity. The pieces possess luminosity and a patina that can only be gotten through years of exposure to sun, sand and saltwater. Describing his work Spacek says, “I seem to be going in two directions, a more traditional approach, that resembles engravings or lithographic etchings and also a simpler graphic approach, trying to convey the essence of riding waves through scribed lines. These come from sketches I do with my eyes closed, where I imagine myself riding a wave with the pen recording my path on paper. The trick is to not lose the fluidity that I had in my initial sketch when I move to the fiberglass with etching tools, It needs to be accurate to my experience, if anything feels out of place, it’s discarded, if I get a mini-stoke looking at it, its done.” While this approach speaks more of his non-representational pieces, it still reflects the emotion and technique he used when working on the pieces for “Twelve Miles North”.
Peter, an accomplished fine artist, illustrator for magazines, newspapers and books, including The Surfer’s Journal and The New York Times, was born in eastern Europe and came to the United States with his family when he was two. Raised in Santa Barbara he later earned his degree from Art Center in Pasadena. Spacek has spent much of his life chasing waves around the world, and creating art about his passion as he went. He currently divides his time between Leucadia, California and East Hampton, New York.
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