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Art has always been a part of life for me. My drawing abilities were called upon for illustration, even through my studies in biology. My focus of interest in biology was that of studying the behavior of wild animals in their natural habitats. I continue to carry this interest with my love of animals, and am often able to encounter and observe animals through my surfing experiences.
I have been surfing for over 30 years, always holding it as a priceless and important activity for my health, and as a wonderful way to keep in touch with nature around the sea. I often see shore birds and sea birds and have close contact with seals and sea lions. I have swum with dolphins and seen whales passing near shore. These experiences, along with my love for travel, have made surfing a most rewarding part of my life.
Inspired by the movie: "The Endless Summer", my travels have taken me to places in the world primarily in search of good surf in warm climates. I have been to Fiji, Mexico, South Africa, French Polynesia, Japan, and Tonga, and have made repeated visits to Australia, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Indonesia, and New Zealand.
For over 11 years, I have enjoyed rock climbing; in amazing areas such as Joshua Tree and Yosemite National Parks, Idyllwild, Red Rocks (Nevada), through Arizona and southern Utah, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia. My experiences of these environments has expanded my appreciation of this planet as a multifaceted gem.
While surfing and climbing is a great physical expression combined with visual and soulful experiences; art is a great visual and soulful expression combined with the physical experience of painting. Whether it be in my studio or outdoors in a natural setting. These two passions compliment each other, and my attention is shared between them to create a balance, like the natural subjects which inspire me.
For over 20 years, I have dedicated most of my time as an activist in the effort to protect cetaceans (dolphins and whales) and to bring commercial whaling to a halt. I have worked as volunteer coordinator of "Children's Whale Art" activities for the Santa Barbara Whale Festival. In 2004, I initiated the "Origami Whales Project", which has expanded to become the "Curtain of 32,000 Origami Whales" Project. For information on this project please refer to my website: www.peggy-oki.com/cu_origami.html
Just in case you were wondering… Yes, I'm the Peggy Oki from the "Dogtown and Z-Boys" documentary, and the Zephyr Skateboard Team: www.z-boys.com