I’d like to tell you a little bit about how my upcoming book, An Artist’s Life, came about. Chuck Wechsler, the editor of Sporting Classics magazine, approached me about 15 years ago and asked if I was ready to do a book. I said, “No, I’m too young and I have too many paintings I want to do yet.”
In 2019, he asked me again—and I was ready. We agreed to publish a book together through Sporting Classics in about a year. They publish a widely respected and high-quality magazine, but they also publish a lot of books on artists, hunting and fishing, history, and related subjects. We figured the book would be about 125 to 135 pages, and it would follow the general format that Sporting Classics had successfully used for many art books in the past. I could pick a writer from a list, many of whom I already knew, and we would get started.
And then Covid hit. When that happened, everything was put on hold and the whole project was indefinitely delayed.
For me, that was a blessing. It gave me time to think about the book, what I wanted to say and what it would look like. And it gave me time to get busy on a lot of paintings that had been on my bucket list for years. While I isolated for the next 2 years, I painted away.
Changing the Scope of the Book
I also took that time to talk to Chuck about what I thought might be a better way to do a book—my book anyway. Eventually Chuck agreed, or at least gave up trying to reason with me. But there was one big hitch. The price of publication, printing costs, paper cost and more were skyrocketing. We’ve all seen this in our lives, and it came very close to stopping the book in its tracks. About a year ago, we agreed on a way to keep the book moving forward—but under very different circumstances than when it started. I agreed to pay the lion’s share of the production costs. It was a slightly unusual arrangement, but I looked at it like a legacy project. I was happy to contribute in order to get a book that I could truly be proud of. I believe that’s the book we got—and I think you’ll agree when you see it.
In addition to the economics of the book dramatically changing, the scope of the book changed too. The book would no longer be written by a single author but would now contain 6 separate chapters. Each chapter would focus on a particular aspect of my life and would be written by personal friends or relatives who knew a great deal about those separate parts of my life.
Next week, I will share more about what the changes to the book look like, who the individual chapter authors are, and more. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, read more about the book itself or buy your own copy.