Dan Mackin


Surfboards, Paintings & Brian Wilson Collaborations

Mackin knows a little something about special places. He is a world-renowned artist famed for painting scenes from his exotic trips in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Asia, and the Amazon River rainforest — where he spent time working as a tour guide.

The view from his studio windows; however, is particularly inspiring. From the mesmerizing flow of the water below to the gentle brush of the leaves on the windows, there is a play of light and color that is as warm and calming as the man himself.

“Everyone, at some time in their life, yearns to find their own peaceful paradise and escape from the demands of today’s hectic world,” Mackin says describing his artistic credo. “I offer viewers their own tropical paradise, embody my desire to preserve Earth’s fragile beauty, and encourage the harmony that exists between people and nature.”

Whether his “canvas” actually is canvas, or a surfboard (such as the one on his easel at the time of my visit), or tiles, or something else entirely, Mackin is certain to capture the essence of paradise. In fact, his fine art collaboration with Brian Wilson, yes, that Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys fame, is called “Paradise.”

Brian Wilson is one of rock and roll’s most deeply revered figures.  He is a legendary songwriter, singer, producer, arranger and concert performer of the most cherished music in our history.  While Brian grew up in Southern California singing songs of the surfing life, Dan lived that surfer life and is an honorary member of the surfing hall of fame. Mackin and Wilson owned sailboats across the dock from each other in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was an instant success as the two artists made the connection of painting songs on canvas as they did eight songs/images together and they are available in the form of Giclees as well.

Mackin started painting surfboards for the National Kidney Foundation of Florida in 1994.  The first one was signed by Kelly Slater, world champion surfer, and musician Jimmy Buffett and auctioned off for $10,000.  After several years, Mackin thought these would be popular as fine art pieces in the galleries.  He researched many surfboard manufactures in Florida and found that the highest quality surfboards are made at the factory of Pro Design Glass in Rockledge, Florida.