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David Grove: An Illustrated Life

DECEMBER 20, 2011
For the last five years I have been anxiously awaiting the publication of the new book, “David Grove: an Illustrated Life”. It was worth the wait. This is a really special and unique book.
Never Cry Wolf - Movie Poster 1983

David Grove has been a friend as well guide and inspiration to me for many years. His meticulous attention to storytelling accuracy and detail is chronicled in many stories, as are many harrowing tales of gathering reference and information in unlikely circumstances. (David’s story of being accosted by the San Francisco SWAT team while painting a wooden prop machine gun on his roof is but one example. )
VisionQuest - movie poster 1983

In the introduction, Mike Shenon understatedly writes:  “in most of his work he is concerned with the expression of mood to a greater extent than are most contemporary illustrators”.
Barre Bleu - 1982

This book is unique for a number of reasons, but the most obvious one is that  while including a comprehensive catalog of David’s work, his development and adventures as an illustrator, it begins with an 60 page illustrated journal from his life in Paris from 1964-1968. It’s a fascinating look into the formation of an aesthetic, a sense of taste that has followed him in art and life for the rest of his life.
The Eye of Heaven - Book Cover 2005

Black Pearl - Book cover 1977 This also became the cover of CA Magazine in 1981

Something Wicked This Way Comes - movie poster 1985

Pale Rider - Movie Poster 1985

Illustrators follow their muse down a road with many forks. David’s ideas about art and life were formed in the crucible of Paris in the 60‘s, and the have since informed his decisions at every fork in the road. The book includes hundreds of beautiful color reproductions, drawings, and photographs that take the reader down the path.
Pirate Freedom - Book illustration 2007

Captain Blood - Book Cover 1978

There is also a comprehensive chapter on technique.

This 300 page book  is a look into the mind and process of one of the greatest illustrators living today, and a very honest reflection on the ups and downs, choices and accidents, happy and otherwise, that create the life of a real artist.
Society of Illustrators annual show poster - 1988. David Grove was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2007.

I am proud and honored  to have been asked to provide a short review for the flap of this book, wherein I wrote, in part:

"Anyone interested in illustration will find this book quite rewarding...and anyone interested in doing any kind of creative work at the highest level will find it remarkable. "

David Grove: An Illustrated Life is available for $35 from Norfolk Press
Other reviews:
Muddy Colors
Remembrance- Los Angeles Times, 1995