Bob Nash ~ Big Sur Artist Biography Gallery & Store Table of Contents
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Upon Meeting Bob Nash, 1964 (continued)
by
Ric Masten

of course
the same thing can be said
about the human heart
and love
which gets us to the place
where Bob lets us see his art
pen and inks
so minimal and microscopic
they might be easily ignored
but in the right light
if you focus
the sparseness and simplicity
takes you aboard
until you find yourself
in league with molecules
closer to zero
than you have ever been before

lines as fine as these
can only be drawn
by someone who knows
precisely
how many angels can dance
on the head of a pin
and realizing this
one wonders
 Inspired by the rarified air of this company, his inner quest reached its goal in Big Sur with a deep, personal commitment to his art for its own sake.  It was during this time that Henry Miller wrote his famous essays about Bob and called him, a linear poet, a critical challenger, an enigma.  Nash produced over 26,000 line drawings during approximately 35 years of his time living in Big Sur, California. These small, black and white, pen and ink drawings have been seen in shows as far away as well as in Europe, India, New Zealand and Japan.  Since the fifties, Bob has been the subject of numerous articles, essays and documentaries by journalists and film makers around the world.
In 1967 Bob met Rosa Marchesano, a nun from Los Angeles who began visiting Big Sur and eventually stayed to become Mrs. Nash. Rosa found Bob to be “the the most religious person I’ve ever known, the most reverent” and admired the simplicity of his life. For some years the two of them supported themselves by making a line of ceramic tiles, a craft they learned from their friends, the potters Eric and Teresa Gagnon.  Eventually the tides of time moved Bob and Rosa in different directions and Rosa returned to religious discipline. They remained great friends until Rosa’s passing in 1990. 

Bob continued to produce his remarkable drawings, called Linear Poems by Henry Miller and visual haiku by Rosa Nash until his eyesight began failing in the 1990s.  Failing eyesight has not stopped Bobs irrepressible curiosity, storytelling or ability to hold a visitor enthralled by his life, his musings or his spontaneous flights of fancy.  People from all over the world still come to Big Sur looking for the mischievous monk on Partington who still lives in the famous little cabin in the most beautiful place on earth.

Still hale and sharp in his mid 80s, Bob is revered in Big Sur as a living link to a storied past.   His love of nature and Big Sur has not abated and he still takes walks to hear and smell and feel the place he knows so well.  He can still occasionally be found at Deetjens Inn holding forth with a whole new crop of artists, musicians, thinkers and writers.  As Chris Counts writes, “in a place where artists are accorded the kind of reverence usually reserved for returning war heroes and astronauts, Bob Nash is considered second to none.”