The luckiest people on earth are those who can make a living by doing what they love. In this episode, wildlife artist Chris Hoy joins Mark Yuzuik and Yolanda Martinez as he shares his love and passion through his adventures as a wildlife artist. Get to know how Chris overcame great odds to pursue his passion after a life-threatening accident as they talk about his journey through the years. Chris, Mark, and Yolanda explore the wonders of wildlife as Chris talks about becoming an artist and the gift he discovered early on in his life. Tune in and get an overview of Chris’ amazing life and adventures.
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Doing What You Love: Adventures Of A Wildlife Artist With Chris Hoy
We’ve been absent from our conversations. Mark had a couple of webinars that he needed to do. If anybody has any questions or anything that they would like to ask me or talk about, we can talk about it. We were on a road trip. We’ve been absent from our conversations, but we did do some videos because we wanted to share where we were at. We also wanted to share places that we wanted to do some events when we can do that. It was fun to go and see our favorite places. Whenever we go on a road trip, we try to find what’s in the area and then we’d go and visit like a tourist. We look for new things. In Sedona, we do have some favorite places that we like to go to. Our guest is finally getting up to date and not being old school and learning new technology. We have a special guest who we met years ago through Tyson.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are not going to believe this. He is here in America. He flew in privately all the way from Indonesia. He was wrestling over there. He is from WrestleMania IV.
He wasn’t wrestling anywhere.
They don’t know that. He was one of the greatest wrestlers in high school. He won a state championship. He has turned his life into a beautiful painting, a picture. Give it up for Chris Hoy. Check that bad boy out.
If you get the two of us together, it’s real trouble.
I love the studio.
I’m glad Tyson introduced us way back when and you guys found out that I painted his dogs.
Mike Tyson, the professional boxer, we’re friends.
Don’t believe him. I don’t know what he’s been smoking or drinking or eating. Tyson, the hypnotist from Canada, he introduced us. How we got to meet Chris was Tyson had posted a painting that you did.
A nude painting of himself.
No. I don’t think Chris wants to see anybody’s nude painting.
I never got one.
Tyson posted a portrait of his two dogs that you had painted for him. He mentioned your name and I was like, “I’ve got to meet him because he’s got to paint my two dogs.” I did a portrait with my two dogs. Sure enough, I got ahold of Chris and he did do a painting of Bentley and Molly.
Also, Julie’s dogs.
Our friends, Julie and Michael Nitti, they had lost one of their dogs as I have. We have lost one of our dogs, Molly. For Christmas, we gifted them a painting of their two dogs which was Hailey and Paris. Hailey had passed away. We had Chris do the painting for them. We surprised them for Christmas with it. Of course, there were tears. When I got my painting, there were more tears. He does amazing work. I was reading his website about all his travels and he has been everywhere. He’s painted every exotic animal you can think of.
He’s been to Africa sixteen times. He’s painted three giraffes, four rhinoceroses, three iguanas, and an elephant.
You’re making that up. I don’t think he’s kept count on how many iguanas he painted. Tell us how you got started.
I always got encouraged all the way from the time I was a little kid. My schools and my teachers recognized it right away. My family didn’t. They were more interested in my wrestling. My three older brothers were great wrestlers. I have no complaints about that. It was quite a journey doing that. The great thing about wrestling, I won’t go into it, was a ton of goals and discipline which a lot of artists don’t have. I’m a hard worker.
By the time I got to high school, everybody was talking about it. I do the megaphone for the cheerleaders and doing all the murals around the school. Some of them are still there and I’d go back and see them once in a while in my high school. That’s fun. I never dreamed that I’d be an artist. I graduated from high school and I was thinking, “I’ll have a wrestling career.” I busted up my knee and it ended my wrestling career.
I got accepted in the biggest show in the United States at the time at nineteen years old, Laguna Festival of Arts in Laguna beach. At that time, that was the biggest show to be in. I was the youngest at the time. My career took off back then. I didn’t go to school or anything. I always had that gift to draw. You’re talking about travels. My parents never took us on a vacation. We were bellmen back in Anaheim. I was born in Anaheim, by Disneyland. We’d check in people from all over the place. I checked in a lot of Canadians. They were much into Disneyland tours.
Two of my buddies, we decided that we want to drive up to Canada. I’ve never been anywhere. I was eighteen years old and we drove up to Canada, Vancouver, Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise. In 1978, ‘79, it was right around then, the bald eagle was extinct in California. There were none left. Now we have tons of them all over. It’s quite a sad story how they came back. They were not extinct. We get over there, Mark and Yolanda, we’re jumping up for joy seeing them. They see them like seagulls over there. They thought we were some weirdos because we were jumping up and excited seeing a bald eagle. They were way up a tree. We’re seeing them up there and going crazy.
There’s a scenery in Canada. When I got back, I started drawing animals. It changed my whole life. The great thing was we stopped on the way up there, in Oregon. Here, I’ve never been outside California. My aunt and uncles own a zoo. My cousin runs it in Bandon, Oregon, where the famous golf course is. Right there on the ocean down there, they own the zoo. They’re famous and its hands-on. You can go there and hold the baby tiger and lion. We stopped there on the same trip. Here, I wasn’t drawing animals. That wasn’t in my foresight. We got to hold all that stuff.
We’re cool guys. We graduated from high school. I asked Raoul and Bob, I go, “Do you mind if we stop at my aunt and uncles for an hour? I don’t get to see my mom’s sister and everything else.” We ended up staying there for five hours playing with all these animals. We went backpacking all over in Oregon, Canada, and Washington, the whole bit. On the way back, Raoul and Bob asked me if we could stop at my aunt and uncles. They got to hold the baby tiger and the baby lion and all this stuff. That changed my whole life. As you guys know, I’ve gone all over the world studying animals hands-on. I don’t recommend it to people all the time because you’ll never know what can happen. I’ve been with many big cats in my lifetime, tigers, leopards, and cheetahs. You name it and I’ve been with it. Fortunately, I’ve never had a bad incident happen. I’m lucky that way.
You sent us a book. I’m going to start reading it.
I printed it so that we can get some ideas for questions. You had an accident with your hand.
In all honesty, Mark and Yolanda, I’m a miracle kid. I should’ve died that night. I was adjusting the lights above my art desk to get ready for a show in my studio. I did it every year. The San Diego Zoo would bring animals to my place and I had it all catered. I do this once a year. I was getting ready for it. That night I was adjusting the lights above my art desk on a stool and I fell off and put my hand right through a glass table. It cut my hand right into the bone. I went through half of my blood in twenty minutes.
They said at the hospital, another ten minutes and I wouldn’t have been alive. I was fortunate. Doing grippers my whole life, since I’m a wrestler, that’s what did a number. I grabbed onto my wrist because it cut it right to the bone at my wrist. It happened at 10:00 at night. It took two doctors and eight hours to put this hand back together. They said they’ve never seen such a bad injury in their life. South Coast Medical at Laguna Beach did it. What a beautiful hospital overlooking the ocean down there in Laguna.
My doctors came into my room the next morning and they said, “Chris, you’re probably never going to paint again.” There have been many write-ups of what I did and everything else. Six months later, I was painting as good as ever. My therapist said she’s never seen somebody who’s dedicated and go through pain and everything else and able to get it back. With the scar tissue, I knew I didn’t want it to harden. I was biting my tongue while she’s working on my hand and getting the scar tissue out. I went through it each week. The end result is I got my hand back. It doesn’t do a whole lot. It’s deformed but I trained it to paint.
You were standing on a stool and fell off the stool.
Your stool is a place you sit on, not stand on it.
You make a note of that.
You watch your stool.
Everybody does it. I was the one that had the misfortune to fall off of it. This is the table that I did that with. Now, it’s got a safety glass. If that happened now, I wouldn’t get cut. It was regular glass.
You should show us a sample and say, “This is my stool sample.” You’re married. I hear you have three wives. There is one here, I can’t tell if that’s a male or a female, that thing with a stick in its nose.
He’s looking at the picture on your website.
That’s what’s amazing. We’ll talk about a few of those things. I was fortunate to go over to Papua New Guinea. They still have cannibals over there. They eat humans and everything else. I want to show Mark a couple of things when he comes back. I have one of the weapons here and the whole bit. It was mind-boggling because I was with people that had eaten humans. They were looking at you like you were dinner.
They were like, “You’re chunky. You’ve got some good meat on you.” You still do the art show in Laguna, right?
Yes. You came by and saw me one year.
We did. It was nice.
You were there at the fair at the time.
Unfortunately, we’re not there for 2020.
I miss it.
We’re missing being out there and seeing everybody. We’ve got to stay safe and be home. You’ve been keeping busy.
Even more so, I figured I might as well get new paintings done and everything else. When this thing does turn around, I’ll be ready doing all the shows and everything. A lot of my art friends are doing the same thing. This is the time to buckle down and get new paintings done and everything else. Most of my life, I was smart. Years ago, when I started doing this, for some reason, I’m different from most artists. I started doing commission work. Rarely do I do a painting for the heck of it. I’ll have someone come up and say, “We want a zebra painting.” A guy called me. I’m doing a giraffe painting. I’m working on it.
I love giraffes. That’s my favorite animal.
The one I’m working on is a baby giraffe. I’m in the early stages of it.
I can see the face right there.
The one in the background is just his body. The face is going to pop. The background is soft. That’s my background, it’s his body.
You’ve got some other ones, the dogs. They’re awesome.
That’s what I’m known for. I was known for my wildlife, forever. I’ve gotten recognized because I capture their personality. I’ve done many lectures in my life and I always tell this. I’ve had up to 200 artists to come hear me speak about what I’ve done in my career. They’re fascinated. I always tell them my idols should be Picasso or Dalí or Van Gogh. My idol was Norman Rockwell. The way he captured personality and everything, I’ve applied that to my paintings. I can do that even with a giraffe or a zebra. When I get done with this baby, he’ll have such personality.
I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. You do capture that essence of the dog because you did our dogs. Bentley is the serious one and you did capture that personality quite well in his painting. Molly was the happy-go-lucky dog and you captured that amazingly. You’ve done commissions for famous people.
It’s great. My greatest one, I brag about it because it was a thrill. I was born in Anaheim. I get this phone call one day and I got done doing the Beverly Hills dog show, which they don’t even do anymore. It was one of the tops. There were three of them that were well-known, the one in London, one in San Francisco, and the one in Beverly Hills. I was one of the vendors at the Beverly Hills. She walked by my booth. I get this phone call from one of her people that took care of her. I went through the three phone calls before I found out who it was. I swear I almost dropped the phone while I’m talking. I didn’t talk to her directly on the phone. I talked to her people. It was Mrs. Disney. She was 92 or 93 years old.
I went to the home that they built. Walt built that. It had the train tracks in the backyard that he used to drive the kids around in Holmby hills. It’s famous. Walt is my other idol. I’m telling Mrs. Disney, “I have to tell you something. I’ve done lectures and I talk about my favorite artists. My two favorite artists are your husband.” She glowed. It wasn’t the drawing. He was the creator. In my eyes, as an artist, art is about creating. Walt was mine. Other artists do it but he was the creator of all these great movies and everything he did. My art is about bringing joy to people.
I’m at her house and I can’t even believe it. She’s 93 years old. She lived to be 96. They said, “You’ll probably get 10, 15 minutes with her.” I spent an hour talking to her. She didn’t want me to leave. It was such a beautiful time. I told her that I was born in Anaheim when it was orange groves. We had a blast together. I told her about Walt Disney and I said, “My other idol was Norman Rockwell.” She looked at me with a big smile and she goes, “Norm and Walt were best friends.” I tried to keep my composure around her. They did it with Disney. I said, “They bring so much joy to people.” Here, I find that out. I finished the painting of Sunnee, their chow, and she told me they always had chows their whole life. When I finished it, they put it next to the Norman Rockwell piece. He did the two daughters. For the Disney family, he did a painting of the two girls. I was thrilled that I had to do that with Mrs. Disney.
Through friends from Newport Beach, I ended up moving out towards Santa Barbara area after Solvang, an unbelievable house. He owned the big dealership in Newport Beach, the Mercedes. Chris and Bobby Gray are great people. They are unbelievable. I’ve done a number of paintings and she was a great artist. She had me commissioned because I’ve done it a number of times for these great artists. I asked them, “What happened?” “We can’t paint like you do.”
They had friends over for dinner one night and they moved to Solvang. Their friends were Cheryl Ladd of Charlie’s Angels. She commented that her husband was smart, like yours is, Mark. He paid attention to her and she went by this painting and she said, “I like that painting of Chris and Bobby Gray’s dogs.” When she walked away, Cheryl’s husband says, “I’ll get in touch with you. I want to know who this artist is.” Her husband called me the next day and saying, “My wife’s birthday is about three weeks. Can you get this painting done for us in time?” “I would love to.”
I drove all the way out there. He paid me exceptionally well for coming out there. He appreciated that I did that because that’s quite a drive. At the time, I was living in Dana Point. I drove all the way out to Solvang and back the same day. I finished the painting in two weeks and I drive it back out there. She’s not there of course. It’s all wrapped and ready to go. He couldn’t wait a week. He’s not supposed to give it to her for a week. He went nuts over it and he had to give it to her. I’m in my studio painting already. I drove all the way up there. I left at 3:00 in the morning or something like that and got up there.
Someone’s calling on the phone at 10:00. I answered the phone and she goes, “Is this Chris Hoy?” I go, “Yes, it is.” She goes, “This is Cheryl Ladd.” You know my personality. I don’t act cool or anything like that. I go, “Cheryl, how are you doing?” She goes, “I can’t believe this painting.” I get this a lot, even like you guys did. It means so much to me to have that reaction almost every single time I do a painting. It’s the greatest thing in the world to put a smile, as you guys do with your show. I’ve been to many of your shows and the stuff you guys do. I admire what you do. Life is this about putting enjoyment. I was telling your wife about that, how lucky she is and vice versa, how lucky you are to have her. You make people smile, Mark, it’s unbelievable and so does your wife there too.
You’re the one doing the show. I don’t do anything.
Don’t chop down that palm tree.
Don’t cut down my palm tree. I’m going to be a tree hugger if you try to cut down my palm tree. What’s your favorite location that you’ve been to where you’ve gotten inspired for your painting and for some of your wildlife?
Of course, Africa. I went there the next year after Canada. I moved out when I was eighteen. I tell people, “If I lived at home, I would never have gone anywhere.” Imagine my daddy and the baby and the brothers. My dad would say, “Absolutely, you’re not going to Africa.” I was fortunate that I got to see the world back when it was primitive. It’s all gone now. We were running around with nothing but our clothes on and all that stuff. The same thing in the Amazon, they’re all gone. You have to go far back in there. There are a few left. It’s unbelievable, back in the Amazon.
In Africa, there aren’t any real tribe. You go to the site and dress like they do on a regular basis. They don’t wear regular clothes. It’s not the original where they’re going out and hunting lions. In 1979, I saw a tribe going to fight another tribe. That’s gone. They were carrying spears and shields. They were running in a row. We wouldn’t get any closer. We were about two football fields away from them. We were watching them run around along the horizon. It’s unbelievable.
They had cellphones back then and not cameras.
They look like little pen drawings that are running around. A funny story is one of my trips over to Africa. I took one of my older brothers. He got excited at the first giraffe we saw. They were probably a football field away and he’s snapping away. He had a Canon AE-1. When he got those pictures back, it was little pen drawings. I said, “Relax. We’re going to end up driving right up to them.” Before he knew it, we’re 5 feet away and he’s flipping out. I always used to tell people, “Be patient because you’re going to end up being right there with them.” Especially back in the good old days, you could drive up to them. I get why they don’t let people do it anymore. In fact, I won’t go back because I was spoiled. Now you get to stay on the road. You’ll spot a rhino 100 yards away. In my days, you could drive right up to them. I get why they did that. I was fortunate to get to do that.
One of the places I want to go is Africa.
I highly recommend it.
That’s one of the things that’s on my bucket list. I want to go on an African Safari. I want to get on one of those Jeeps and be out there with the wildlife and check everything out.
You’re standing on top of the Jeep. Your windows are rolled down and you’re photographing them right there. It’s unbelievable. I’ve got to tell you, Mark. I brought a couple of things I want to share with you. This is a weapon from Papua New Guinea. I knew you would get a kick out of it. When it hits you in the head, it hurts.
Seriously, there are cannibals over there. They are serious. When we got there, they said if a tribe breaks up with another tribe, you get out of there because they don’t know any different. There were 30 of us there probably and it was a Sing-sing. National Geographic was there. Discovery Channel was there. There was a group of seven of us and then everybody else was in that business thing. What a thrill it was to see this Sing-sing because there are 500 tribes of people there. What was bizarre is they all stayed in their own groups. Look at this piece, Mark. This is another one here.
Is that a mask?
That’s a mask from New Guinea. My buddy brought it back for me. He’s a doctor. He gave me that. I went with him and we became good friends. He’s a diver and they were over there to dive. I met up with them over there. I didn’t want to dive on that. It was short notice when I went over there. Mark, this is the necklaces they wear. They use everything. There are seashells and probably some monkey or something. I’m not sure where these teeth came from over at New Guinea.
All those are teeth and not seashells?Life is about putting enjoyment. Click To Tweet
These are seashells here. It’s common that they got the bones going through their noses. It’s the last permanent place left in the world. It’s still dangerous to go over there, those jungles. They don’t want you there. We were thrilled because they do put this on with us and everything else. I got to photograph all these different tribes and it was something. I would have never gone there but I saw what happened in the Amazons. I hate to say it but maybe in the future that won’t even exist. Otherwise, I would have left them alone. I documented all that. I’m thrilled that I got to do that. This one is from the Amazons. They did the same thing with the seashells. I picked this up in the Amazons.
What is that?
It’s got a skull.
It’s a little baby alligator.
A gator or a crocodile?
I think that these are crocs.
There’s a difference.
This is the last thing I’ll show you here. This is from Africa that they store the milk.
They have a leopard on it. This is way back. You can’t bring any of that back. It’s got leopard print. It was from a tribe back there in Kenya, back when.
That’s cool stuff.
My last trip there, I went with a good friend of mine. He’s the funniest guy. You would love this guy. I’m proud of what he’s done in his life. We grew up in Anaheim. His mansion is a few doors down from the Playboy Mansion. His is well-known. He’s one of my five best friends. We went and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the two of us. It was sharp. We went into this tribe and I got smart. You can’t do it. This was pre 9/11. I went to Costco or Price Club or whatever, and I bought 50 lighters. They rub two sticks together.
I never could figure out why they wouldn’t get a lighter. I always wondered about that.
Because they live in the jungle.
It’s much easy with a lighter.
I bring all these lighters. I thought of it one day. Instead of bringing frisbees or paper and pencil that everybody brought to them and everything else, I thought, “I’ll bring these lighters.” They couldn’t believe it. I gave this chief five of them. He invited us into his hut. He had all these tribes. The homes were made out of cow manure. The whole bed is mind-boggling. We’re in his hut and he offered us a drink. They go from blood and milk and all that stuff. We said, “No.” Nobody else in the tribe could speak English. He learned to speak a little bit of broken English. Drew asked him and he goes, “How do you like your wives?” He had 25 wives or something like that. He had 40 kids or some ridiculous number of kids. He goes, “I like my wives. I don’t like all my kids.” We lost it. We laughed so much when he said that.
You’ve also done sea life, right?
Yes. I’ve done some. I try to avoid it because Wyland is a good friend of mine. He’s probably the most famous artist. We grew up together down at Laguna. We both got around 18, 19 years old. He was that age or right about then when he got there. He moved from Chicago and we became great friends. I avoided painting whales. I’ve done it but I don’t advertise it and all that stuff. When I do it, I enjoy it because I don’t do it that often.
You’re more well-known for your wildlife. You’ve got elephants, rhinos and the giraffes.
I was lucky during the times when it was popular to buy paintings like that. That was a huge thing. My stuff was on everything you can imagine. I used to do the shirts for the zoos and all that stuff. That’s how I got in the cage with all these exotic animals. I’ll tell you a thing about zoos. I was doing some work for SeaWorld years back. Jack Hanna was the special guest at SeaWorld. Conrad invited me. She was in charge of all the birds at SeaWorld. She invited me that day and I had always wanted to meet them.
I got to go backstage and there are about twenty of us backstage before he went out into the main arena where their shows are. I bet there were a few thousand people there to see him that day. I’m back in the backstage and he’s talking to all the animal trainers, what animals they were going to bring out, a little bit of stories and everything else. When he got done talking with all the trainers, he goes, “Why don’t you go introduce yourself to them?” We’re in the backstage and I said, “Jack, I’m Chris Hoy.” I put my hand aside and he says, “I know who you are.” He goes, “I went to your website. You’re painting my dog for me.” I went, “Okay.”
He came out here and he was doing a world tour about his adventures all over the world. He had his TV shows regularly every week on TV. He was doing a show out here at the theater. He was traveling and I knew it. I got people in and we got to go backstage. A good friend of mine, David Jackson, had all these animals on the stage with Jack. They’re great friends and everything else. He had all kinds of neat animals. After the show, my friends went with me. There were about eight of us. We all got to hold all these animals and everything else.
His wife was there and she was sitting in the audience and he pointed out that she was there. I hadn’t met him yet. After the show, he pointed her out and she was five rows in front of us. After the show, I yelled down to her. I said, “Suzi, I want you to stick around. I have something for you that your husband ordered.” A lot of times, like you guys, we’re out of here. We don’t want to deal with anybody once the show is over. After everybody left the area, we were about the only ones left in there, I turned the painting around and she starts balling. My friends got to see it. She couldn’t believe it.
They used to have the dog commercial with the food and their dogs were in the commercial with Jack and Suzi and all that. I ended up painting one of the dogs from that commercial. He passed on. She goes, “You have to paint our other dog, too.” I go, “Perfect.” Jack was in the lobby with a crowd of people signing books and posters of Jack and everything else. We waited for him. She waited with us. When he got done, I turned the painting and he fully went nuts. Jack and I became good friends. He’s been nice. What a neat thing in your lifetime to be around somebody who’s incredible. I got to meet Betty White.
I love Betty White.
What she’s done with the animals is the same thing with Jack. I didn’t get to meet Steve Irwin but a few years back, I went out and saw Terri, Robert, and Bindi up at the zoo up there. They let me in with the Komodo dragon. I won’t do that again.
Why did you do it in the first place?
He got to.
I am fascinated. I deal with more animals hands-on. It’s insane. I’m in probably the top 50 people in the history of the world for years.
You’re crazy, that’s what you are.
I had rhinos. Look how Steve ended up dying. It’s sad. He’s my hero. Mark, I love the one when he brought her wife to California and he wanted to see a rattlesnake. He reminds me of you in a lot of ways. They went out to the desert and they found this hole and he stuck his head in the hole. I’m watching this on TV. They knew there were rattlesnakes in there and he popped his head in there. He pops out and he goes, “We hit the jackpot. There are about ten of them in there.” This guy is crazy.
I would definitely stick my hand in there.
His crazy. I’ll look at an animal behind a fence and that’s it. We were in Sedona and we’re walking around this Fort that we liked, this hotel area. There were skunks all over the place. This one, of course, he was like, “I want to get close.” I’m like, “No.” I’m running the other way because I know what they do. If they get freaked out, they’re going to spray you and you’re going to stink for days. I ran the other way. He took my phone and he’s over there chasing the skunk. He wanted to get close and personal and I’m like, “You’re nuts.” I’m the opposite. I run away from it and he runs towards it.
I did a lot of skunks in my days. They have the softest belly you’ve ever seen. It’s unbelievable. It has an adorable little face.
You touched it?
I’ve held a lot of skunks.
They’re a great pet.
I understand why everybody has a problem with it. I get it. They are a neat and incredible animal. They’re the prettiest animals with that stripe and everything else.
They’re beautiful from afar. You look at it from afar and say, “That is a beautiful animal creature. Go away. Go hide in your little hole.”
I could tell you many adventure stories. I pray on every trip. I never talk politics with people and all that stuff. I try to still weigh it. I’ve never had a bad trip in my life. I do it quietly and everything else. I’ve done it a couple of times that it was unbelievable. I had heard that you could go over the Antarctica and you can’t get off the ship because the waves are that bad. It takes two days from Argentina to get over to Antarctica.
We’ve been there.
We’ve been there for six months.
There’s a little island, Falkland Islands. We were on a six-month cruise.
One out of three times, you’ll get off.
Sometimes the ship will go and drop people off and the weather changes and then they’re like, “Nope, get back on. We’re leaving.” It’s happened where they’ve gotten everybody off of the ship and everybody gets stranded on land. There are always more people on the cruise ship than there is that lived in the Falkland Islands. We’ve been there.
Did you get to see the penguins while you were there for six months?
Yes, we did.
In all the years I’ve known you, you’ve never told me this.
We’ve seen a lot of things we didn’t tell you.
I posted pictures.
He said, “I know somebody who’s got 25 wives. You only have one.”
We’re going over there.
I’ll show you pictures the next time I see you.
I want to see them. I will go nuts. Mark, you could go over there all the way from Argentina. It was smooth all the way there. The ship captain got on the thing and thanked me. He said he had never seen it smooth.
That was once in a lifetime because it’s not when we were on there.
It was unbelievable. Wait until you hear the story on the way back. We plowed through the ice because it was nice that we went to the Polish station, which is on land in Antarctica. Few people get to say in their lifetime that they touched land in Antarctica. Antarctica doubles in size during the wintertime. That’s like making two of the United States. It grows that much ice and then melts. You know about the 24-hour light. You get an hour of darkness. That was fascinating. It’s dark for only one hour and it wasn’t even dark.
We’ve gone over to the Polish station and they were excited to see us because we were the first people that had seen them in months. We dropped off a bunch of food to them and everything else. Talking about frisbees, Drew brought a frisbee and we thought we were the first ones to ever throw a frisbee at the Antarctica. Somebody did it in the ‘50s or something like that. I was at the adventures club up in LA. I was a guest speaker. I was the youngest person there. They were fascinated that I hit all seven continents before I was 30 years old. They had me come speak to all these great adventures.
I didn’t know the LA Times was there recording what I was saying. They put it in the newspaper. A guy stood up said, “No, we did it in the ‘50s.” I go, “Okay.” We were the first ones to throw a frisbee in Antarctica. Bob Roberts asked me, he goes, “Chris, wouldn’t it be cool to say we hit a storm?” Remember, he’s the one I went to Canada with in 1978. He’s the reason I travel. I love that guy so much. I said, “That would be cool.” I went up above with him and I prayed that night that a storm would hit. It came.
You guys have been to Antarctica. We hit 30-foot waves and 90% of the ship was sick. Bob and I don’t get seasick. Our other three friends were locked up in their rooms, sick as dogs. We were up there. There are seven of us on the whole ship that were out there. We were all locked down and we were up there steering the ship. We had a whole line going up to the top level to get up there. The people were mad at us. They said that we wanted this storm. You should have seen the waves, you guys could relate, hitting the front end of this huge ship and powering through this thing. It lasted about three hours and we cleared through it. It was unbelievable. It’s something I’ll never forget. I wouldn’t want to go through it again because it’s crazy.
We had little waves. I get seasick. I don’t like any of that. He doesn’t, but I do.
You wouldn’t believe it. We were hooting and hollering like we were on roller coasters and you’re getting thrown all over the place. It was amazing.
If somebody wants to get in touch with you to do a portrait of their animal, how do they do that?
How do they get ahold of you?
My website is HoysGallery.com. My friend is the one that had it hooked up on the computer. He’s a genius on the computer. He still has my website. It’s a neat website. It does show pictures from some of these trips I was telling you about.
Your website is great. I looked at it when you sent it to me and we relooked at it. Somebody said, “Your ultimate thrill is to chase skunks on a ship in the Antarctic with 30-foot waves.”
In Palm Springs there was one, 6 feet away from me, in front of my door and looking at me. It’s weird how things like that happen. He wasn’t even interested. It was almost like he was checking me out. It didn’t turn his tail. I believe they know certain things. All the animal people out there say that about me, “That trained tiger is a leopard.” They said that they’ve never met a guy. Animals, like our dogs, they can tell that you have that aura about you and they feel it and everything. If you’re scared of an animal, they know it right away.
I want to get closer and it’s like, “I’m getting out of here.” I don’t mind the smell.
I hate the smell. The smell makes me sick.
That’s how they survive. Otherwise, they have no defense at all. They got a dinky little mouth.
They can keep their little odor to themselves.
This is cool that you took some time to hang out with us and the readers and all that.
I’ll be out in September 2020.
Las Vegas. I can’t wait to see you.
We’re coming up to Vegas.
We’ll be here because we have no appointments until 2021, maybe 2022. We’re going to hang out. It’s not bad.What a neat thing in your lifetime to be around somebody who's incredible. Click To Tweet
We had our friend here from Orange County. She came over and she’s like, “It’s weird. Usually, when I see you guys, you’re either at a fair or you’re packing to go somewhere or we meet up for lunch or something. We never get to sit down and talk.” We sat down. We had dinner. We talked. She came to our house and we sat down and chatted some more. She was like, “I like this.”
Did you make them dinner?
No. We went out to dinner.
We had some sushi.
I’m never going out to dinner with you again. After looking at what you cook every week, I want to have dinner at your house.
Next time you’re here, I will cook something.
I would love that. There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal, though I’ve always enjoyed it when we eat out.
You’ll have to call us when you come to town.
Look up his gallery, HoysGallery.com. Look up his artwork. If you want him to do a painting of your little mascot, give him a call.
You have to send in your dog alive. He’ll keep it about a week and a half and he’ll send them back.
He’s got my Facebook page on there and all that stuff. I can get through them that way and everything else.
We’ll definitely keep in touch. Thank you for spending the time with us. I’m happy that you said yes, you would do it. You were stressing out because you were like, “I can’t get on my phone. I don’t have a computer. I don’t have internet. My friend is over here and fixing all this for me because I’m old school.”
I’m glad I was on it because I found out I can get the update on my phone and I could easily get on.
We’ll have to do this again.
I’ll do it on my phone. This has been fun.
It has been fun.
Thank you for hanging out with us, Chris. We definitely appreciate it. Your work is by far the best of the best, obviously.
It’s a good thing your hand didn’t get messed up. That was a blessing.
I can’t wait to see that baby giraffe painting that you’re working on.
I’ll be posting it for you to see it.
We love you.
Thanks, Chris. We appreciate it. We’ll talk to you soon.
He is awesome. If you do ever want a painting of a pet, whatever your pet is, a snake, a rat.
We had a turtle one time and it ran away. It was fast.
I don’t think he liked living here. It was too hot.
I looked up and minutes later he’s gone, “Where’d he go?” That thing ran out and he was like, “I’m out of here.” He kept running. He was fast and before you know it, I couldn’t catch him.
He didn’t want to stay here. He didn’t want to live here.
You should’ve seen the snail behind him, “Wait up.”
If you do ever want to get your little mascot painted in a canvas, call Chris. He’s awesome.
Share this with other people. Get it out there.
We will see you next time. We will be cooking because we’ll be home.
I have a seminar.
Here in Vegas.
You’re not going to be here then?
Maybe we won’t be cooking.
Who wants Yolanda to cook?
I will see what I’ll make. Thank you for joining us.
We’re doing a total transformation.
Chris, thank you so much.
If you have any questions, you can check me out. Go to MindsetWithMark.com. Book twenty minutes and we’ll be there. We’ll talk to you soon. Make sure you share this.
About Chris Hoy
Chris spends his life traveling the globe, visiting and studying the animals in their natural habitats. He visits wildlife reserves, sanctuaries, and zoos. There is no secret to his paintings; it all lies in experience, observation, and the ability to recognize the gestures, postures, and expressions which characterize the animals. Chris states “although most of my paintings are painted in the studio, they really start in the field.” He believes the most important items is to observe the scene and surroundings – not just to look at them. Take in and note the colors, shapes, textures, and the relationship between the objects and the animals.
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