Elwood Decker Elwood Decker: A Path to God

Visual Works

We've attempted to present examples of Elwood Decker's visual art in chronological order, where dates are available. A clear demarcation between figurative and abstract periods may be noted, although in later years Decker sometimes returned to representation. Some pieces can no longer be accounted for, but most are in the possession of Norm Hammond, Charlie Goodman, and others in Decker's circle. We have a large number of images not yet online, so this page will see frequent updates.

Untitled, Ink (?) on Paper, 1930s

This sketch is one of a series Elwood made at a dump in Monterey in the early 'thirties. -- NRH ***

Alphabet, 32" X 40", n.d.

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Dune Goddess, Bowl with Carving, 1939

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Inscription on back: "A Dune Goddess -- scattering bubbles of Illusion to entertain and instruct children like us"

An Upright Purpose Yields a Rich Harvest, 1939

This piece was donated to the Oceano Depot Association by Elwood's art buddy in the dunes, Howard Bradford. The reason each board in the ceiling is a different color is because Elwood said he "always wanted to live in a rainbow." -- NRH ***

Spheres and Obelisks, 1939

Inscription on back: "Time -- Unveling a shower of dreams upon the world of the senses."

Eternal Journey of Nature and Man, 1940

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Dunescape, 1940s

This early 'forties dunescape by Elwood belonged to Hazel Haddox of Arroyo Grande. Hazel and her husband knew Elwood when he lived in the dunes. They managed the old Black Lake hunting lodge, just east of Elwood's cabin, and that's how they got to know him. -- NRH ***

Dunescape, Charcoal (?) on Paper, 1940s

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This belonged to Dorothy Montgomery, who lived in Oceano for many years. She and her husband owned and operated Montgomery's Market in Oceano (founded in 1931) for many years, back when the store also served as the Post Office for Oceano. It was located on the corner of Highway 1 and Beach Street, where the Tapatia is today. Dorothy and her husband were good friends with Elwood. On some weekends they would drive down the beach at low tide and deliver his groceries to him. -- NRH ***

Dots and Triangles, Ink on Paper, 8 1/2" x 11", n.d.

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Noel, Color Photogram, ca. 1952-1955

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Sails of Silence (for a yacht race in jail), Black & White Photogram, 16" x 19", ca. 1952-1955

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Trying to Control Your Mind, Maybe?, Color Photogram, ca. 1954

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Untitled, Black & White Photogram, ca. 1952-1955

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Purpose Coming from Meditation, Color Photogram, ca. 1952-1955 (image courtesy of Phyllis Stiles)

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This photogram includes two of Decker's painted wood sculptures, the meditation figure in the center and Karma in the right foreground. Karma is also depicted in the painting An Upright Purpose Yields a Rich Harvest (above).

Symbols Burning, Color Photogram, ca. 1952-1955

Read A Note on the Photograms

Flowers, Acrylic on Canvas, n.d. (1973-1982)

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