Wyland – A Whale of an Artist!

Painter’s Canvas is Larger than Life

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Big, bigger…Wyland! The paintings of world renowned marine life artist Robert Wyland are instantly recognizable, both for their vivid style and massive size.


wyland-on-boat-divingIn the art world nobody does it bigger or better than Wyland, who just celebrated his 60th birthday this past summer (July 9th).


Since 1981 when he painted the first of his Whaling Walls life-size whales on the side of a Laguna Beach, California building, Wyland has been enthralling audiences with his visions of the life beneath the sea.


Not one to be limited to an artist’s canvas, Wyland’s paintings of whales, sea turtles, dolphins, colorful fish, and more have adorned all types of buildings (the 100th Whaling Wall was painted in 2008) …






books, calendars, clothing…


jewelry and even specialty license plates and postage stamps.

In addition to being an artist, Wyland is an explorer, scuba diver, entrepreneur and educator.

Whether it’s hosting Wyland’s Ocean World on the Discovery Channel, working with the United Nations or the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Wyland can be found enjoying and sharing his love of the ocean.


SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that Wyland believes in promoting conservation and giving back. In 1993 he created the non-profit Wyland Foundation to help “children and families around the nation to rediscover the importance of healthy oceans and waterways through public art programs, classroom science education, and live events.”

wyland-foundation-logoThe foundation has worked with more than a million children, giving them tools to “become more creative, positive, and solution-oriented.” The Annual Wyland National Art Challenge encourages children to create murals, artwork and photographs that highlight environmental awareness.



Now Wyland is celebrating his 20th anniversary of collaborating with a partner that’s also larger than life and known for boundless imagination – Disney.



The Little Mermaid Ariel, Clownfish Nemo, Mickey Mouse, and other Disney characters have all been immortalized in Wyland’s signature style.

In the song Under the Sea Sebastian, the Jamaican crab, sings to Ariel:



Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin’ for?


This is a song that’s clearly music to Wyland’s ears.


Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

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