Scott W. Prior does not follow simple rules. And that extends to his art collecting as well. There is no single theme or trait that binds his three choices to showcase in this article. He just likes them.
It may seem that Prior gravitates to surfing subjects, and that would make sense. “Water and surf — that’s my spot, that’s my stuff,” he says. “When I go there, it’s like going to church.” But his first piece is set in the desert.
“Afternoon Commute,” by Pierre Bouret, oil, 16 x 8 in. Collection of Scott W. Prior
“We own a dirt lot in Arizona, and Logan Hagege’s painting will be for that property,” explains Prior. “This was a trade — that’s how I got most of my paintings. It’s how I can afford them. We did a straight trade. We were at a plein air event, and he took home one of my paintings because I had to leave early. So afterward he says he wants to keep mine. I said, ‘OK, send me something the same size — I really don’t care what it is.’ Eight months later, a profile of a Navajo came in the mail.”
“Boards and Bus,” by Norm Daniels, oil, 8 x 8 in. Collection of Scott W. Prior
Prior continues, “I love Logan’s work because he simplifies stuff, and that is not very simple to do. I would add things, but he takes things away. He designs things. He sticks to his ideas in his drawings even when he is painting outside.”
Next is a piece by Pierre Bouret, a painter in Kauai, Hawai’i. “I let my wife pick from his pieces, and she liked this one, and I was like, ‘Cool!’,” says Prior. “This was a barter, and he picked what he wanted. I get a nice, calm feeling from this piece that takes me back to being in Maui. It is in our guest room. The colors and atmosphere in it are great.”
“St. Mary’s Garden View,” by Scott W. Prior, 2013, oil, 24 x 36 in. This piece won Best of Show at the 2013 Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational
Finally, Prior discussed a piece by fellow San Diego artist Norm Daniels. “Norm does plein air pieces as well as kooky-style paintings,” says Prior. “He was in a show we went to see, a surf art show in Pacific Beach. I had just sold some paintings, so I bought one of his. This was one of my first purchases. It’s like a caricature of a beat-up bus. I keep telling Norm to raise his prices, and he says, ‘No, I keep selling them, so I’m good. I make art so people like us can afford it.’ I like that.”