Paul Madonna is an artist in San Francisco who does amazing drawings of local scenes. With a loose but detailed focus he captures the essence of the city so well it’s downright eerie. Snippets of text are added on top of the drawings, and they’re published in the San Francisco Chronicle once a week as All Over Coffee. Now, a wonderful collection of his “strips” has been published.
The drawings are rendered in pen and (often coffee-colored) ink. Crisply edged washes glow with light, and occasionally a spot of color is added. Some scenes are tightly focused, but others take in vast expanses of cityscape such as North Beach and Coit Tower: the very area where SketchCrawl 14 took place last weekend.
Details express the quirky uniqueness of each place. The scenery is always still, no cars or people, but perhaps because of a heightened attention to light and shadow seems to grab a specific moment in time. The text, quirky and provocative bits of conversation or story fragments, adds to this transitory feel.
The book includes 150 strips spanning several years, and it is fascinating to see how Madonna’s style has evolved over time. There is also an extensive essay detailing his writing and drawing methods and how All Over Coffee came to be. The book is published by City Lights, the San Francisco Bookstore & Publisher with a fascinating history of its own.
Find out More:
- All Over Coffee Site (check out the cool mouse-over menu!)
- All Over Coffee Archive
- Paul Madonna’s Site
- The Book
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