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Dear Diary: A portrait of the artist as a young model

Courtesy of Christie Brinkley | Walter Iooss Jr. Courtesy of Christie Brinkley | Walter Iooss Jr.

Christie Brinkley is an artist. Did you know that? It was while studying painting in Paris in 1973 that the California girl was discovered by American photographer Errol Sawyer in a post office. Thanks to him she would never have to toil as a starving artist, but that doesn't mean Christie didn't make art a regular part of her life once her star began its rise. It was Christie, in fact, who painted the surrealist cover art for then-husband Billy Joel's hit record River of Dream. Anyone who follows her on Instagram today knows a @ChristieBrinkley post well before seeing the username: lots of sunsets and flowers, silhouettes and cityscapes, all composed with an artist's eye.

You'll see this same side of Christie in these gorgeous diary entries which she maintained over the course of three separate Swimsuit shooots in 1977, 1978 and 1980. The model gave us an exclusive look inside the books which we are proud to reproduce here as a glimpse back into Swimsuit history.

(Click on the image for more detail)

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Courtesy of Christie Brinkley Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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November 1977  ::  Courtesy of Christie Brinkley November 7, 1977 :: Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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Courtesy of Christie Brinkley October 21-22, 1978  ::  Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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Courtesy of Christie Brinkley October  23-24, 1978  ::  Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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October 25, 1978  ::  Courtesy of Christie Brinkley October 25, 1978 :: Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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Courtesy of Christie Brinkley January 13, 1980  ::  Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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January 14-15, 1980  ::  Courtesy of Christie Brinkley January 14-15, 1980 :: Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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Courtesy of Christie Brinkley Courtesy of Christie Brinkley

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GALLERY: Christie in Brazil, the Seychelles and the British Virgin Islands

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