Thursday, April 29, 2010

Neil Blender: The loaf --UPDATED

Tons of new stuff added at the bottom. Dig.***This is going to be an ongoing post with updates any time I find new material by Neil. Feel free to contribute.

photo: O

OK, "art week" here on the site wouldn't be complete with something on my main man Neil. This is probably going to be the biggest post I'm ever going do but when I started gathering material for this it just kind of snowballed. Here it is, "The Loaf" meaning Blender by the barrel-full, an all-you-can-eat buffet of tastiness. After that whole debacle with the lame messenger bag company using Neil's famous "Coffee Break" graphic for their $400 bags I felt like a part of my childhood got raped. I felt personally offended that someone would take something that's such a fond memory for me and completely ruin it for the sake of greed. Back in the summer of 1986 just as I was turning 12 I saw Neil's artwork for the first time. It was the Picasso-influenced "Rocking Dog" board. The ad was in the August issue of Transworld. The ad was for a mail order skate shop and his graphics immediately stood out from all the skulls, 80's neon art damage, monsters, etc. that were on most of the decks. I've been into his art ever since. I only had one Blender deck when I was a kid, the "Coffee Break" one of course circa 1987. G&S wood just wasn't up to snuff with the John Lucero Schmitt Stix deck I had before it so I pretty much stuck with Schmitt Stix/New Deal after that. These days I'm riding a Small Beating deck made by the PS Stix woodshop a/k/a Schmitt Stix. Neil was even the reason that I begged my parents to let me build a mini ramp in our backyard after I saw his footage in Santa Cruz Speed Wheels "Speed Freaks". (see clip near the bottom of this post) I think I have about 10 of Neil's paintings and prints now, not nearly enough I think. One of my favorites, "Traffic Games", I got when I traded Neil a very rare 1970 Yahama 12-string acoustic. If you know anything about guitars, you'll know that these sound about as good as a vintage Martin at a fraction of the cost. Just make sure to get one made in Japan, not Taiwan, way better quality. These days Neil sells his stuff through eBay ever since he shut down his The Heated Wheel site. The Heated Wheel is still around but you can only get it from Neil on eBay. There's not always stuff up there but it's worth the wait. Nobody skates or creates art like him, a total original. Basically, Neil rips. Thanks to Chrome Ball Incident, Vert Is Dead and Pharaochin from some of the images.
"Should We go In There?"
"The Kids" acrylic on cardboard
"Worm Trainer" acrylic on denim fabric, photo: Neil Blender
"The Third Profile" lino print
"Green Volvo" with the little one checking it out.
"Traffic Games" acrylic on denim fabric, photo: Neil Blender
"The Slide"
"The Owl"
I got the "Squirrel" lino print on wood in Dino jr. color combo
The entire run of these prints. photo: Neil Blender

"Go-Kart" on canvas photo: Neil Blender
"Flower Guy" lino print on wood. An earlier version of this drawing was used for a G&S sticker.
"Distant City" watercolor
"Without A Sound" cover art
"BMW Hatchback" (2 panels)
"Am I The Guy You've Been Trying To Draw?"
"The Third Profile" on canvas
Alternate cover art for Dinosaur jr.'s Greatest Hits album

"Fish Wrangler"
"Tarp Art 1"
"Tarp Art 2"
Thrasher Magazine February 1985 cover

Black Label Kristian Svitak

Black Label Wade Speyer deck
Black Label Omar Hassan deck

AWS Duane Pitre
Schmitt Stix Joe Lopes deck
G&S "Snake & Lattice"
G&S "Sketchy Dudes"
G&S "Coffee Break"

AWS Duane Pitre
G&S "Rocking Dog 1" pre-dates the later Picasso-esque version with the man holding the dog. According to Neil only around 100 were made.
G&S "Pow Pow Pow"
Firm Lance Mountain deck

AWS Duane Pitre
AWS "Karate"
BBC Jeff Phillips R.I.P
Black Label Matt Hensley
Black Label Matt Hensley
Black Label Omar Hassan
Black Label Jim Gagne
"The Fox"
G&S "Dead Cat"
G&S "Rocking Dog"
AWS "Bo Turner"
Black Label team deck
Black Label Salman Agah

AWS Duane Pitre

Consolidated Steve Bailey

Alien Workshop Scott Conklin

Firm Ray Barbee

G&S Steve Claar
AWS "Speakers"

AWS Josh Kalis
Black Label Salman Agah
G&S 2nd pro model "Falling Dude"
Driven team model

AWS Bo Turner

The Heated Wheel "Squirrel" linoleum print deck, 2006. Neil's last pro model to date.
G&S "Scorpion" artwork by Eric Gordon

G&S "Prayer" aka "Picasso"

AWS Duane Pitre from the "Notebook" series
The Heated Wheel "Coffee Break" hand-painted numbered run of only 50.

G&S 'Driving"

Hand painted Larry Bertleman, Lance's tile art is below.

AWS "Shooters"
G&S "Coffee Break" sticker

AWS Scott Conklin
G&S "Heads in a Row"
The Heated Wheel "Boost" hand painted decks
photo: O, fakie ollie tail grab 1990
photo: Jim Goodrich, frontside invert
Victoria, Australia

Ohio Skate Out contest 1988
Tail block fakie

f/s rocknroll, Suzuki Banks, photo: O

photo: O, bean plant to tail, Neil's backyard ramp
photo: Greg Baller, sadplant, Border Wars contest, Vancouver, B.C. 1985
photo: Miki Vuckovich, b/s ollie, Sadlands, Anaheim, CA

photos: Hagop Najarian, Tuck-knee f/s air and lien air, Mountain Manor, Alhambra, CAf/s ollie, Sadlands, Anaheim, CA
photo: J. Grant Brittain, f/s nose pivot, Vancouver, B.C. 1986
photo: Mofo, f/s 5-0 Terror in Tahoe Contest, Lake Tahoe, CA 1985
frontside invert, Clairmont YMCA
layback air, Del Mar keyhole
photo: Mofo., b/s air, 24th & Mission BART station. One of the raddest photos ever. 1984
Tuck knee, St. Pete, FL. photo: Chuck Hults
Varial invert, St. Pete, FL photo: Chuck Hults
Mute Air, Skate City, Whittier, CA. photo: MRZ
Lien air, Kona, Jacksonville, FL: photo: Chuck Hults
Fastplant, Skate Ranch, Vancouver, BC photo: O
photo: Chuck Hults
hand out, Sacto, CA
Andrecht, Mountain Manor Ramp, Alhambra, CA
photo: Hagop Najarian, Go Skate contest, Sacto, CA 1985
photo: Eric Nash, invert, Whittier Skatepark, Whittier, CA
photo: J. Grant Brittain, f/s hand out, Vancouver, B.C. 1986
photo: Michael Burnett, Ho-Ho plant, S.U.A.S contest, Houston, TX 1987
photo: O, b/s ollie, Neil's ramp
photo:Hagop Najarian, tuck-knee eggpant, Moutain Manor, Alhambra, CA and f/s rock, location ?

Andrecht, Skate City, Whittier, CA, photo: MRZ
air to fakie transfer, Vancouver Skate Ranch, Canada
G&S "Snake & Lattice" sticker
G&S "pow pow pow" sticker
G&S "flower guy" sticker
Don't Mean Maybe cover art
Madonna, Del Mar Skate Ranch keyhole
f/s invert Del Mar Skate Ranch keyhole
fakie ollie hang up, Del Mar Skate Ranch keyhole
f/s crail block, Del Mar Skate Ranch keyhole

Andrecht hand out, Clairmont YMCA
"A portrait of the artist as a young man"

floating beanplant "Step By Step",Thrasher

Fastplant fakie, June 1986 Pro Spotlight, TWS, photo Goodrich

b/s ollie at Sadlands, Anaheim, CA. photo: Vukovich
nosestall. photo: O
Eggplant. photo: Grant Brittain
Heated Wheel "Name This Painting" contest 4/16/10
Ollie, San Berdo, CA
hand out. photo: Goodrich

photo: Grant Brittain
FLA. photo: Chuck Hults

"Celebrities and Creeps"

"Coat Hanger Man"
24th St. BART station, SF photo: Mofo

Neil, Ron Allen and Lance Conklin at Hensley's Pub, Carlsbad, CA 2010
Lance, Gonz & Neil 2010
Sacto, CA 1985. photo: Ron Cameron
Sacto, CA 1985. photo: Ron Cameron
Sacto, CA 1985. photo: Ron Cameron
backside boneless, Sweden


Anonymous said...

ultimate blender post. so cool!!!

PiddlyD said...

Couple of things. Great pics of Sac at Country Club. I've got a Neil Blender Rocking Dog spoon nose deck, the one that you say only 100 were made.The deck itself is in pretty good shape, but the graphics are thrashed. I bought it from High Rollers in Sacramento around 1984. Has Tracker Ultralite trucks, City Street Wheels, German Precision bearings. Old school all the way.

Sounds like you talk to Neil. Seems like restoring an original might be a worthwhile cause if there were only 100 made being that the one in your pic is broke? I'd love to hear back from you on this. You can find my blog, Californication, at -

There is a Sac OG Punk Rock group on Facebook, with pics of that same ramp in front of tower (probably the same day). You should check it out, either way.

Nick C. said...

So stoked on this post. Thank you!

I've been a Blender Fan since the 80's. He was an inspirartion for me when I was getting into Skateboarding. He showed me that I could be creative and have fun on my board without having to 'compete' or 'live up to' the Hosois and Hawks of the world.

Neil Rips and does it HIS way.

A few little things. That shot of Neil behind the wheel of the Volvo is so funny... I always thought that must be the inspiration for the Driving graphic from 89/90.

I used to work for Splash in St. Louis and Val Surf in North Hollywood. I used to get my pick of Blenders when they came in and when we met with the reps from G&S. I must have owned 20... every deck from him from 85 to 93. and I alwasy bought Coffee Breaks. Note to readers, they continued to print Coffee Break graphics on many of his issues for years, so there are different concave and nose length C-Breaks out there.

Thank you for all the paintings as well. You have covered ust about every peice I've seen and more! Awesome. There was one on the Heated wheel that had a yellow Honda s500 coming up and over a hill at the viewer. I lOVED it, gathered cash and by the time I was ready, it had SOLD!

Lastly.. all the videos in one place. You are my hero! (after niel i guess)

Anyway, thank you again and take care!

Nick C

Jason said...

thanks for the comments guys. i've been gathering a ton of new material to add to this ongoing post. i'll be putting it up next week.

Jason said...

piddly d, hang onto that rocking dog sppon nose by all means! it would totally be worth it to restore it. that's the rarest blender deck out there. neil still has one NOS. i gotta bug him to send me a pic of it. take care. -jason

Anonymous said...

Man, this is the best post of any blog I have seen in a long time. This guy is so under the radar when it comes to today's young skaters learning about skatings past iconic figures. Without a doubt my favorite artist/skater of all time. Loving all the material on here. Thanks for this post!!


Anonymous said...

jason.. give me a call... i have a coffer break and the BLACK LABEL series for sale...
kevin 619 784 3523

Dan Moynihan said...

Awesome post! It's great to see more of Neil's art. Thanks for sharing.