David Marple has been drawing and painting since at least grade school. I met David in Salinas, California many years ago where we attended the prestigious El Gabilan Elementary School together. Many afternoons we four squared and sockouted on the blacktop. Mostly though, our free times were spent drawing shit even at this early age.
Salinas is commonly referred to as ‘America’s Salad Bowl’. Salinas is about 100 miles south of San Francisco and about 300 miles north of Los Angeles. If you’ve ever been to the area, you’ll surely see some of it in David’s work. From the vast fields of agriculture to the skating, cholo and cannabis subculture…you’ll find bits of it in his work.
I asked him what he considers his style to be and he confidently replied, “I’m a Rasta Cholo”.
If you’re like me, you have no clue what that means. Luckily David followed up by saying, “My art is definitely street-like. Urban art…you know, really bright coloring? Usually similar to a graffiti piece, but a relaxed style”.
I was certain that David meant painting while high. So I asked, “Do you often paint while lifted?”
“Yes, EVERY TIME! If I paint during a live performance, I’m high. I wasn’t high the first time in 2012, but mos def EVERY SINGLE TIME after cuz it helps me not think about the thousands of eyes staring at me.”
Speaking of first times David, when was the first time you got high?
“I never really partied until I was a little older cuz of travels, sports and my involvement in combat sports. So, the first time was when I was about maybe 23 years old.
But in 2010 is when I really started getting deep into the cannabis culture. I started working at ‘Creme de Canna’ in Watsonville.”
Tell our readers a little bit about your process. Do you start on paper with a pencil? Do you smoke? Do you jump right in without a sketch and use paints right away?
“50/50 in a bong is preferred when painting. A nice indica is my thing and if I had Lemon Tree that’s all I’d ever smoke. I’ve had some this last year on and off, I’ll smoke anything but sativas cuz they give me bad anxiety.
As far as the creative process itself, it really depends on what I’m painting. Like when I paint live, it can be real dependent on the time of sets, how long between bands or what not.”
“Sometimes I got enough time to go legit bad ass and then sometimes I only have enough time to go Bob Ross on that shit! But at home I just dive in and take smoke breaks and shit. Go out and chill with my green ladies in the sun for a bit. I gotta say that cannabis doesn’t rule my life, I rule it…but we work good together.
I do a lot of things high, but I’m not always high. I disc golf, skate, go bass fishing! IDK😉? I used to always stay active working out like a mad man. Back in the days I would’ve said hockey, soccer and blah blah, but not these days 😭. I’m lazy in my old age.
I’ll sometimes play Mario Kart online not high. One thing I absolutely cannot do while high is go to church.”
Yeah I haven’t tried that, but I can imagine some sermons wouldn’t snyc up with my high. Now that you’ve learned a little about David, it is time for y’all to check out his art.
I was hoping that I could refer y’all to some of the galleries that David has his work in, but when COVID hit he had to bring most of his artwork home. The only place that currently hangs any of his work is Natural Motion Creations, a print shop in Santa Cruz. For now follow him on Instagram at MarpleArt.
David used to own is own gallery in Old Town Salinas named, ‘The Bowl Gallery’ but he learned that he enjoyed doing festivals much more. “Shit, usually I just post a pic on Instagram and BOOM, it’s sold! I don’t put them out until like festival season. California Roots if my real spot. I kill it! Sell a lot of art during that festival.
Anyone you wanna give a shout out to?
“Yeah, my first shout out is to Salinas.
I guess my family too. LOL! Oh, and I can’t forget @weshouldsmoke and to cannabis herself!”
For more of David Marple, follow him on IG @marpleart.