Welcome to the blog of Melanie McDonald ! I'm a professional artist, my life is divided between my home in Newquay, Cornwall and my renovation project - an 18th Century farm - in North Brittany, France. My inspiration comes from the beautiful beaches, skies and seas of Cornwall, Brittany and Scotland. This is where I share my paintings and photographs, I hope it inspires you.

February 01, 2012

Vintage Surfing .... (Taschen style)

Mahola to my friend Mark who surprized me this week with a great little Taschen Icon book called Vintage Surfing.  Composed of a collection of vintage images from the Jim Heimann collection, Jim being a cultural anthropologist (.... and Executive Editor of Taschen America to boot!).  Here are a few of my favourite images .... above are engravings of Surf-Swimming in Hawaii from around 1872.  For more info on ancient surfing see my earlier post Surf-Bathing.
It wasn't until the early 1900s that surfing was introduced to mainland California, wave-riding was demonstrated to crowds at Venice Beach by 'the man who could walk on water', George Freeth.  Tourist brochures like the one above dated 1920, soon began to promote the sport.
And visuals associated with surfing expanded to include children's book illustrations (above left 1936) ....
And soft drinks' labels (top left 1930s), luggage labels (bottom left 1950s - bottom right 1937) and postage stamps (top right 1918) ....
Here's one of my favourites - a U.S. Airmail First Flight letter postmark from 1950, the picture on the left is an advertisement from 1938.
Media images generated after the War set the stage to transform surfing from a sport into a lifestyle, summed up in this photo of California in 1963.
From the early 60s, surfing's popularity has continued to grow and continues to inspire a global following .... drawn by the wave and the mystique of an alternative way of life.
In my recent paintings I've been experimenting with the classic surfer silhouette, as seen here in this poster from 1967.  As I head off to my studio this morning, I'm sending a big lei to Benedikt Taschen for once again providing me with another inspiring art book - Vintage Surfing  #lovebooks xx

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