The ocean scene of cresting blue waves that adorns the concrete guard-rails in front of the Ocean Beach Skate Park was created by artist Katy Helen Stockinger.
Stockinger, who got her start at the OB Farmers Market, donated her time and talent for the project while the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation (OBCDC) paid for supplies. She said she choose a wave scene because when people arrive in Ocean Beach, they have an expectation of reaching the ocean. Her art brings the promise of the seashore just a little closer to the road.
When planning the project, Stockinger said Tom Perrotti, president of the OBCDC, cautioned her that changes in the Ocean Beach community can bring complaints and criticism.
“He said not to take the feedback too personally,” Stockinger said. “But I thought, ‘Oh, but I do take it personally. ‘“
But any worries about pushback appeared to be unfounded as drivers cruised past and honked with enthusiasm while Stockinger painted.
“People were honking and yelling ‘Thank you’ out their windows,” she said. “It’s the first time I was inspired and not enraged by honking.”
In 2009, Stockinger started selling her paintings at the OB Farmers Market. That’s when she quit her office job to work full time as an artist. There, she was inspired by the multitude of dogs, which led her to create the first of her signature Petraits, whimsical pet portraits that are her main business.
Stockinger also creates art out of retired surfboards and designs specialty hats. Her chapeaus have been honored on opening day at the Del Mar Fair, where she received a first-place grand prize and a first place in the “best flowers” category.
Stockinger has a studio in Bankers Hill and sells her work at the farmers market in Little Italy. To see Stockinger’s art, visit www.katyhelen.com.