Gregory Manchess

The book I’ve been waiting to hold in my hand for so many years is finally available.

One of the most admired, respected, and imitated illustrators–though with very few notable results–who’s career has spanned contemporary classic American illustration, up to and competing with the current digital wave, David Grove has written about his quite unique and rather exciting life as an artist, filled to it’s beautifully designed brim with his finest pieces.

In his own words, David describes his early ambitious drive, from penniless apartments in Paris, to the top of the field in the States. This is a fascinating insightful plunge, not only into his particular thoughts about painting, but a viscous visual travel log along the inner workings of a successful illustrator’s life.

Like a character dreamt up by an author working as both travel-writer and espionage agent, David refuses to abide by the image of the typical struggling artist. Along the way we learn about his close friends and associates, his observations, his undying love of music, and an unconventional streak that runs counter to accepting any lifestyle that wasn’t completely unique.

I’ve known David’s work since I was a student, most fortunate to stumble into a five-week illustration course taught by him and offered at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Bright, humorous, and helpful, I’d never met a teacher so willing to share information that actually worked, that I could actually use to improve and understand my own paintings. The way he laid down paint, the way he thought about subjects that interested him, the way he designed the most subtle object in a composition, were the guiding idiosyncrasies that pushed my own efforts to succeed.

This book is a broad spectrum of David’s career, but it’s the killer artwork that pushes you along from page after full-color, exquisite page of near perfect reproductions of his work. (I know–I’ve studied the originals over the years.)

We get to watch him grow, evolve, succeed, and finally describe, in example after example, an eccentric desire to narrate a world in pictures.

The book is available online from Norfolk Press: David Grove, An Illustrated Life.