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Painting it Forward - The Boy’s Trip



How Frank Palmer's trade in the '60s inspired a gesture that is being painted forward

Painting it Forward - The Boy’s Trip

Good things come in small packages. In the case of advertising icon Frank Palmer, it was a small package that arrived from an old friend that inspired a gesture that is being painted forward.

The story dates back to the '60s when Palmer and a pair of friends hopped into a tricked-out 1952 Mercury Convertible and embarked on an epic – and life altering - road trip from Vancouver down the California coast. It was a summer of surfing, beach parties and breathtaking sunrises – the kind of trip that inspires song lyrics and tales that old friends recall nearly 60 years later.

The trip would not have been possible it if weren’t for a trade Palmer made to access a pair of new tires to replace the balding ones on the Mercury. He traded a beloved palette-knife painting of English Bay he had created while studying at the Vancouver School of Art (now named Emily Carr College of Art and Design.)

After more than half a century of enjoying the painting, the owner recently returned it to Palmer with a note stating that the timeless treasure should be returned to the artist.

Profoundly moved by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the gesture, Palmer was touched by how easily this simple action could reignite the long-lost friendship and bring to mind the carefree emotions experienced during simpler times.  It evoked a sense of elation that deserved to be shared.

Palmer has produced and hand-signed 750 lithographs of the original English Bay painting and is planning to distribute them along with the story that speaks to the journey and value of friendship, to friends, family and colleagues around the world.  A simple inscription that it be kept as a reminder that friendship and kindness are eternal is also enclosed with the painting.

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PS DDB, Tue, 27 Apr 2021 17:46:00 GMT