8.31.2008

Man, I can dig tropical, but this is out of bounds

I received a delightful birthday present this year. Shannon gave me two prints of vintage Hawaiian art by my favorite vintage Hawaiian art artist, John Kelly.

Maleana

Breadfruit Boy

One of these days - when I have a little money for redecorating, and when I can get rid of some of the office equipment in our bedroom - I'm going to do the room over with a vintage tropical look (if there is such a thing) and hang the prints.

I'd also like to someday have a room where I can decorate like they do at Barnes & Noble. Not that I love the Barnes & Noble d├ęcor, but I mean they have those huge prints of dust jacket art hanging around on the walls, and I'd like to do the same kind of thing, only maybe not quite as huge. And I'd like to do it with dust jackets from books with a tropical or Polynesian theme. Here are some of my options (but you have to imagine that these would be prints of the dust jackets, and not the actual dust jackets with the creases and chips):

1. This is the cover to a book by one of my favorite authors, James Norman Hall, and his partner Charles Nordhoff. I really like that it's a silhouette and I like the palm trees and the water, but I wish it was a little more colorful.


2. I picked this one partly because I like Hall's stories in the book and partly because it has that little boat with the ricki-tickin' striped sail on the cover, but I'm not sure I'd actually use it. It seems a little washed out, but that may just be because the dj is over 50 years old. (Kind of like me.)


3. Another book by Hall and Nordhoff. The colors are great in this one. I just wish the dude was wearing a cooler swimsuit. And looked more natural. I wonder if his stiffness is a subtle hint to the fact that he's [spoiler alert] dead at the end of the book.


4. Yet another Hall and Nordhoff book cover. This one doesn't actually look very tropical, in the sense that you usually associate the tropics with serene lagoons fringed with palms whose leaves are swaying gently in the trade breeze, and not with people clinging for life to a denuded tree while all their friends who took refuge in the church in the near distance are in the process of being wiped out. But I like N C Wyeth's book illustrations in general, and this one in particular.


5. I'm also not sure about this next one. The artwork is a little simplistic looking, and it needs a bit of red or orange or something in it. Also, there are parts of this book that I find a little disturbing. That probably shouldn't matter, but I can't help associating the insides with the outsides. Every time I looked at it, I'd remember the creepiness.


6. I haven't even read this book - mostly because I don't own it, which makes me sad for more reasons than one - but I don't care. I really like the cover. This one is a definite yes.


7. As is this one (which I also don't own). By the way, did you know that first editions of Robert Dean Frisbie's books are very, very expensive? Just thought I'd share that bit of information with you.


8. I included this one mostly because of the title, and not so much because of the artwork, which is interesting, but not tropical-looking enough for me. Also, I have the same problem with this book that I do with Born in Paradise: certain of the stories really irritate me. For instance, I can't stand Lt Cable. More like Lt Faible. So, I don't know about this one.


The last two are not book covers, but they're so beautiful I would use them anyway. The first one is a magazine cover from some time in the 1930s, I believe.


This last one was I think a travel poster, but it might be another magazine cover. Now there's a cool swimsuit!

2 comments:

Shannie said...

lol: "you usually associate the tropics with serene lagoons fringed with palms whose leaves are swaying gently in the trade breeze, and not with people clinging for life to a denuded tree while all their friends who took refuge in the church in the near distance are in the process of being wiped out"
i like the last two best, then my tahiti, and others.
p.s. what is your title from?

Janeite42 said...

It's from an episode of a 1980s tv show called "Miami Vice".