The artist is Mike Warne, a Navy Veteran who served in Northern Ireland. His mental state led to alcoholism and near death. Mike painted this picture when we developed an art studio for veterans to express themselves as part of our Surf Action Charity, we even had a visit from HRH Prince of Wales.
Swapping bullets in the 50 Cal. for surfboards, Mike had found a love of the ocean and surfing was helping him heal a few mental wounds. This piece, a one off, was ironically sold to a California couple at an exhibition we held at the Poly, in Falmouth around 2012, to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mike is such a talented artist, a blacksmith by trade, and if you've ever seen the para-military murals on the walls of Belfast and Northern Ireland, you'll understand where '50 Californian' is coming from.
The photo below is a portrait I took of Mike around that time and displayed a series of these at the same exhibition. I hope your well Mike, and still surfing.