Surf Artist Dave Reynolds Catches New Wave

Exhibit Maximizes the Minimal


Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Minimalist surf/ocean artist Dave Reynolds is showcasing his latest works at the Minimal Surf 3 exhibit at the Forest & Ocean Gallery (480 Ocean Avenue) in Laguna Beach June 27 thru September 7.

ForestOcean gallery

Minimal Surf 3 inviteA


Known for his depictions of surfers and deft brushstrokes and spare canvasses, Reynolds has taken his minimalist-style art to a new level with this exhibition of 3-D paintings that bring the viewer right into the piece.


SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have been longtime fans of Reynolds, who also serves as the Exhibits Director for the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach.

Talking to him about his artistic concept, he explained, “My work tries to capture the surfer’s style using the least amount of brushstrokes or lines. Somehow, when your mind sees just the basic lines, it fills in the rest.”


Eager to hear about his new artworks, we stopped by the Forest & Ocean Gallery to get a preview of the exhibit. Taking a break from overseeing the installation, Reynolds discussed how his work has evolved.



“I never studied art,” Reynolds said, noting that he started out making surf trophies – something that he still does.

longboard trophy



Then, later he began doing simple line drawings of surfers, including surfing champions   Peter Townend and Miki Dora.


One thing led to another, and recently Reynolds decided he wanted to incorporate color into his works. He uses a variety of techniques for the backgrounds. “Sometimes I use sponges or an air brush to get interesting effects and I’ve been experimenting with different inks and paints.”


air brush

Along with this, the “lines” in many of Reynolds’ new works are actually cold-cast bronze pieces that he carefully puts in place on the paintings to form the figures he is making.

DSC05142AReynolds calls these artworks his Bronze Series and told SurfWriter Girls “the bronze pieces are like puzzle pieces and you have to put them on the painting just so. It took awhile to get the technique down.”



Reynolds is also tapping into his inner Zen by adding Japanese haikus (17-syllable poems) and other types of short poems to some of his pieces. This gave him the opportunity to develop another talent – beautiful writing. “I did all the fancy calligraphy by hand,” says Reynolds.



When you’re at the exhibit be sure to look for Reynolds’ “Wavesliders,” too, which will be unveiled for the first time. These unique sculptures build on his earlier works (shown below) and enable him to explore new ways to communicate his artist’s vision. “I found out that I have a knack for sculpture.” Reynolds explained.

board and surfer



And, he has a new workshop assistant – Punkin – his orange-colored cat, who likes to watch as Reynolds crafts each piece.

1-7dave 004


It’s exciting to see an artist grow and change over time. Like the champion surfers he paints, it’s clear that Dave Reynolds is riding at the crest of an epic wave…with no end in sight.


Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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