GOATSONG Cover Image: Artist Jessica Boehman
During the time we were working on the cover for Goatsong, friend and poet Leah Shelleda forwarded me a link to a goat drawing by Jessica Boehman. I was mesmerized! There was the image for which I had been searching! As it turned out, though, the image was already licensed for a Portuguese wine label. However, Jessica, in London at the time “gaining inspiration”, promised me she would do another. And so the dancing goat on Goatsong came into being.
I suppose what drew me the most is that quality that Jessica describes in her work: “I am a sucker for fine detail and try to capture as much texture as possible to make my subjects realistic yet magical.” The divine in matter— that is what Goatsong is about.
Although Goatsong is not a children’s book, it is a book to which the child-within will be listening. Jessica is working to build her portfolio for children’s book publishers. Children— and the child-within— are ever so much more able to apprehend this quality of spirit in nature, and I suspect Jessica’s work will be well received.
This is her own statement about her work:
I began drawing around age 5 when I was given a sketchbook as a birthday present. It was the only thing I wanted for my birthday that year and I haven’t stopped drawing since. Art ran in the family; all of my siblings drew in some way or another and several work in creative fields still to this day. I like drawing in many media, but recently have been trying to perfect my pencil drawings. The goat I made for the cover of Goatsong is a simple pencil drawing. However, I use a range of drawing pencils of different types; some are very soft and allow me to get deep blacks (be careful not to smear!) and others are very hard and give a faint grey line. This is good for soft tones and details. Believe it or not, the one pencil I always use on every drawing is a mechanical Bic #2 pencil. They are always sharp.
Her father was in the Army, and, growing up as the third born of six, Jessica lived all over the United States. She currently lives with her husband Mike and dog Ludo in Queens, NY. She also lived for three years in Germany (“but don’t ask me to speak German”) and for a year as a Fulbright scholar in Rome, Italy (“I’d be happy to speak Italian with you”). Her travels have taken her to many countries in Europe and Asia.
Her Bachelor of Arts is in Studio Art and Art History from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD; her M.A. from Penn State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, both in Art History. By day (and sometimes by night), she teaches Art History in colleges throughout NYC, her field of specialization, Italian Renaissance and Baroque sculpture. “I draw in between classes, at night, on weekends, and have been known to draw even on the Staten Island Ferry. Alas, the bumpiness of subways does not allow me to draw there, or I would.”
Order Goatsong at Fisher King Press.
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