Calef Brown
February 2009
A Valentine for Gertrude and Alice
Gertrude is Gertrude Stein. And Alice is Alice B. Toklas. Jonah Winter wrote and I illustrated this picture book which comes out today from Atheneum.Jonah's text was great fun to riff on, and the designer, Debra Sfetsios, did a great job with the type, using variation in size to reenforce the voice of the writing, and beautifully integrating it with my work.I tried to create the feel of a continuous painting - no white space - and incorporate the themes of repetition, automatic writing and playfullness in Gertrude's work , and of course, her love of Modern Art.The book is also about Gertrude and Alice's relationship, and their world and friends in Montparnasse and Bilignin in the French countryside.The closing words of the story are among my favorite of any picture book ending - "Thank you for this cow."
Back cover. From left: Henri Rousseau,Thornton Wilder,Sherwood Anderson,Ezra Pound, and Toulouse Lautrec.
Drummers, and the cutting to thereof.
My contribution to the aforementioned Cut to the Drummer show is a portrait of the late great Jimmy Carl Black, best known for his work as a member of the Mothers of Invention and in Captain Beefheart's Magic Band.I did see Jimmy Carl perform once, although i'm sad to say i don't remember him specifically. When I was 10, my older brother took me to see Zappa and the Mothers at a small club in Philadelphia called the Electric Factory.(which was ressurected in the 90's as a larger venue). Needless to say my mind was blown.
I've been very inspired by all the masterful New Yorker covers that appear on Drawger , so I thought I should grind things to a halt with an attempt of my own. As for a subject, I figured that I would combine my affection for books with my aversion to people, cell phones, and people on cell phones. They passed on it, but doing the drawing was cathartic.
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