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LA artist David Palmer colors in California's vintage carousels




L.A. artist David Palmer stands next to his oil paintings of carousels, which inspired the new coloring book,
L.A. artist David Palmer stands next to his oil paintings of carousels, which inspired the new coloring book, "Carousel."
Beidi Zhang

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David Palmer is an artist who's spent a lifetime capturing the Southern California lifestyle. He's painted skateboarders in Venice beach, airplanes over LAX ... and now, vintage carousels from Santa Monica to Griffith Park to San Diego.

The result is a coloring book for people of all ages that's called, simply, Carousel. Take Two sat down with Palmer to talk about the artistry behind these vivid wooden horses.

Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
David Palmer

Palmer's inspiration for the Carousel coloring book dates back to his childhood. "I remember riding one when I was a little kid," Palmer said. "I didn't know anything about them. I was just a little kid trying to grab on to the brass ring."

A few years ago, Palmer started thinking about the sound, the color, and the feeling when riding the horses. That's when he began traveling around California for his latest series on carousels. 

Carousels are not all about horses. Some of them have cats and dragons.
Carousels are not all about horses. Some of them have cats and dragons.
Beidi Zhang

"Each one of them is unique," Palmer said. "The Griffith Park one is all horses, but the other ones have cats,  dragons and other mythical creatures."

In addition to painting, Palmer has experimented with other mediums as an artist. He has transformed his artwork into wallpapers, designed dinnerware and worked on digital effects for many Hollywood movies. 

Balboa Park, San Diego
Balboa Park, San Diego
David Palmer

"I've always explored other areas, and this feels like a nice way to branch out," Palmer said. "Instead of creating something finished, it is as though I'm starting a conversation with the audience." 

You can download a page of David Palmer's coloring book HERE