Creating ESQ’s collectible Winter 2020 cover

by Robert Lyn Nelson

Back in the early ’90s, I had the pleasure of meeting most of the members of The Beach Boys. It was extremely cool to meet and get to know these beloved musical entertainers that I had listened to over the years! 

Soon after this meeting, I got an email out of blue from Mike Love asking me to create a painting to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band. During the next few months, while we hung out in Maui and Tahoe, he offered some great ideas for the commemorative piece. I factored in some of Mike’s thoughts as well as the music of the Summer in Paradise album, past music, and the Beach Boys’ vibe and history to create “Ring of Life.” 

This year, 2020, brought another opportunity to create another tribute piece. With the 40th Anniversary of the Keepin’ the Summer Alive album, David Beard of ESQ messaged me over the summer. He had seen my Beatles Tribute Series and was interested in my visual rendition of the song. Dave sent me the lyrics to “Keepin’ the Summer Alive” and offered some thoughts which were included in the composition. In creating this special painting, I wanted to focus on happiness and surfing, but also to incorporate some of the seriousness of their beautiful music. I was trying to do something purely surrealistic, fun, happy, and elegant at the same time. And a little bit sexy too!

Check out the studio video ( of The Beach Boys homage piece being painted; along with an explanation of some of the different elements. I hope you enjoy my visual composition of “Keepin’ the Summer Alive” as much as I enjoyed painting it for ESQ and the band!

To purchase the Winter 2020 edition of ESQ CLICK HERE.

[*Note: Individual issues of the Winter 2020 edition of ESQ will be available mid-December.]  

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