Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Keith Paull and Psychedelic surfboard

Keith Paull

When I was working at Peter Clarke Surfboards in Brookvale during 'The Summer of Love' in 1968, we did the artwork on this board for ’68 Australian Surfing Champion, the late Keith Paull.

It was totally Keith's concept and to achieve this end in strong, vibrant colours we purchased ordinary colour markers from the nearby news-agency and set to work.
Keith Paull and his '68 'Flower Power' Peter Clarke surfboard.
Long Reef, Sydney. Photo: Jeff Carter

As a collaborative artwork - it was a disjointed affair. Keith himself took pen in hand to draw and colour some of the smaller fill-in flowers in the design.

The words you can see: 'Clarke' [under Keith's hand], 'Surrealistic Clarke', 'Psychedelic' and the big 'Love' where all my hand drawn craftwork.

Keith in a 'HangTen' clothing 
ad from US Surfer magazine
Circa: late '60s
This influence was late ‘60s social recoil, as Keith was in the early stages of experimenting with drugs, discovering his own exploration, so this surfboard had an authenticity of its own.

Remember there is no absolute authentic originality in art, all art builds on other art. My ideas were spurred by music album covers & rock concert posters of the time [late '60s] that we all embraced. The board's bottom is embellished with all the peaceful ornaments of Hippiedom. It had no real manifesto.

It encountered no public indifference.

It was a first full-scale artwork on a surfboard of its kind, its clarity of form, its high spirits and legibility - were almost of mural scale.

It was delivered in the pre-air brush era and clearly signaled a time where surfers began to awake from an artistic subconscious. As themes diverged, top surfers began decorating their boards with individual visions to define themselves.

Along with World Champion Mark Richard's Superman logo and World Champion Peter Townend's pink theme, followed a short time later by the Sultan of Swing; Terry Fitzgerald’s Hot Buttered fertile air brush designs that elaborately revealed the dreaming surfers mind in paint.

Much like we did here with Keith’s board in the Age of Aquarius in 1968.

Ironically; Roger Daltrey, the lead singer of 'The Who' had a very famous line of lyric from their '65 No.1 song 'My Generation' - that said; "I hope I die before I get old". Sadly, we lost our good friend Keith in 2004.

For more Keith Paull information visit these links ...

Read a Keith Paull Bio: on Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing blog site

Read a Keith Paull Obituary from Fairfax Media

Keith Paull's surfing can be seen in Steve Core's 1971, 16mm classic surfing film 'In Natural Flow' - for a look at the 'In Natural Flow' trailer Click Here