Surfboard artist spreads aloha through painting
HONOLULU (KHON2) – Jeannie Chesser switches off negative vibrations and focuses on the surfboard in front of her for hours.
She has been a surfboard artist for decades – she paints and cleans her designs.
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Chesser said the process was therapeutic for her.
“It’s a kind of therapy, getting into the zone, turning on music, I go with the flow. When someone tells me whatever to do with the board, I put the board on the rack and look at it. Something will come to me and “this will look good.”
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It started in the 1970s when someone asked her to airbrush her surfboard. From there it snowed and she designed designs for Hawaiian Island Crateions, Local Motion, and Ben Aipa. However, her passion for surfboards began long before that in the sea.
“It feels so good to be submerged in water, it’s a wonderful feeling,” said Chesser.
Chesser started surfing when she lived in Florida. She won numerous titles, the first being in 1965.
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“That’s the main thing that helped me surf,” said Chesser. “If I didn’t surf, hell would be paying because it calms me down.”
It has helped her through some of the toughest times in her life including the loss of her only child, Todd.
“He [Todd] I rode the big waves and then that was the big day in Waimea and he decided to go to alligators, less people, ”said Chesser.
The professional surfer died that day.
“And to this day it will never go away,” said Chesser, “it’s just able to handle it, it gets a little better.”
Being in the ocean has also helped her cope with the loss of her good friend, surfer Rell Sunn, who inspired Chesser to compete. Chesser has also battled breast and skin cancer, believing the ocean and positive attitudes have lifted her spirits.
“So now I’m relaxed and free of fantasies,” said Chesser. I surf, teach zumba, just trying to love life and have a sense of humor about everything because if you don’t laugh you will cry every day. “
She chooses surfing, art, and lots of humor to brighten up her days. It is a therapeutic combination that will keep them going for as long as possible.