My current book project is new fiction by Grant Spradling, former arts commissioner for Key West, who is now retired and is imagining life as it never happened in the 1970s and ’80s.
I haven’t read the manuscript. It’s still with the copyeditors. But Grant had a great idea for the cover, which I’m designing. He found an old oil portrait of himself, and he thought it would serve as a good illustration of David, the book’s protagonist.
Between you and me, Grant was a little sheepish about suggesting his own portrait be used as cover art. As someone getting a little weary of returning to the Getty well, I was relieved when its potential proved immediate.
Grant, who is now in his mid-80s, says this 50-year-old canvas was completed by a former lover who flattered his features. I think he’s being modest. I’d wondered what Grant looked like “back in the day,” and I’m guessing this oil captures him better than any photo.
There’s not much clean space for text, but I’ll work it out.