Sun King

1971 - The Sun King

This scene of the Sun King was created on location way back in 1971 in my "sepia pen & ink wash technique." I started using this technique a year earlier when I created my first scene at the Gates called "The Issaquah." I felt that sepia brown ink truly captured the feeling of the houseboat community back then. Since all the old ferries and the unique collection of houseboats were in the mud flats the area just didn't have a lot of color to speak of. As I looked around at this incredible area for the first time back in 1970 I remember being struck by the total feeling of being surrounded by the color sepia brown and off-white. Capturing this area in sepia brown ink not only gave my scenes a warm feeling but also gave them a timeless feeling. My work looked like it might have been created back at the turn of the century. It looked a lot like the old sepia toned photographs I loved to check out from the late 1800s. I continue to use sepia brown ink to this day - over 4 decades later. Since my houseboat series, which I created for my Master's project for San Francisco State College in 1972, I have created a number of other series such as "Timeless Scenes of San Francisco" & "Timeless Scenes of the French Quarter in New Orleans." While in New Orleans the sepia brown ink was also used to capture a series of 4 sets of black Jazz Musicians as well. While in Europe my ink wash technique captured the Cologne Cathedral in Germany and the series of "Timeless Scenes Of Ibiza, Spain," a small island off Spain in the Mediterranean, where I lived from 1978 - 1983 after I left the houseboat community during the houseboat wars in 1978. My extensive series of Tall Ships started in 1980. My interest in Marine Art began way back when I enjoyed studying the reflections of the boats surrounding my A-Frame when I lived out behind the old Charles Van Damme. My recent series of Maine Windjammers & Lighthouses shows my love for trying to capture a moving body of water using my ink wash technique.

Sun King was built by Adam Foreman, one of the members of the houseboat community. In addition to being a good carpenter he was a creative character who branched out into a number of varied areas. Adam was adept on piano as well as guitar and was able to play and sing many favorite American cover songs. For this reason he often sat in and played with the Redlegs soon after they formed in 1970. Back when the Redlegs started practicing together on the Oakland lots of people showed up often turning into crowds and impromptu parties. The floating docks tied up to the Oakland turned into an instant Marina named Whitey's Marina after Jeremy Conn's cat. Many talented musicians and singers used to show up at these open air parties. As Joe Tate put it "From these parties we recruited many auxiliary members who played and sang with us on a regular basis. Most notable among these were CiCi Wilcoxen, Adam Foreman, Bob Seal and Francine Lowenberg." Adam paired up with fellow musician Francine who moved into the community, and had two children, Jarred and Jadine.

Lawrence White lived on the Sun King for two or three years back in the early '70s' when I created this scene. Larry worked with me on my Master's project on Shel Silverstein's boat the Evil Eye during the winter Shel spent at the Playboy Mansion. As a photographer & filmmaker, who was working on his BFA at the Art Institute in San Francisco, Larry's help was invaluable. He filmed from my drawings, still photographs & colored slides with his old 16mm movie camera to create a film capturing the houseboat community back then (when the old ferries and riverboats were still there) which led to my Master's Degree in Creative Arts in 1972. Larry got his BFA in 1974 then his MFA in 1976. As one of the most creative people I have ever known Larry went on to be a photographer at Rolling Stone Magazine and then won a number of prestigious Awards for his short films from places such as the American Film Institute, the Chicago Museum of Art, and the Seattle Film Festival. He received the New York Press Association Award in 2001 for his photographs of 911. Lawrence White's professional photography career now spans over 4 decades. In that period of time his photographic work has been seen world wide in publications such as the NY Times, Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, Vogue, People, Time. Forbes, Der Spiegel, and Le Monde. As a filmmaker he even has a couple of short films in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. His film called "The Retrieval," about the community of SoHo returning to its identity, features a song which Larry felt fit the mood of his wonderful film called 'Heralded Angels' which my brother James had earlier written and recorded. James, now a prolific song writer in his own right, has over 1,600 songs to his credit, He now records in my Gallery with my two sons Christopher & Cody who are both fine musicians in the group KENDALL. Larry, Jim & I all lived at the houseboat community at Waldo Point back in the '70s' and all went on to so far be life long creative individuals. Larry's site is a MUST SEE!!! Please check out my site as well, which shows over 4 decades of "Timeless Scenes" that I have created in my ink wash technique around the world.

Sun Kings

Prints & Pricing
Please contact artist John A. Kendall if you would like a custom size: or 603-763-3295.