All Over Coffee: the Book

Paul Madonna’s All Over Coffee

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.

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9 Responses to “All Over Coffee: the Book”

  1. Jana Bouc Says:

    I do love his work and I’m delighted to hear he’s got a book out. His work is really exceptional. I also like the way you’re adding the links at the bottom of the post. Very classy and organized (no surprise there!).

  2. ParisBreakfasts Says:

    Thanks for all this on Paul Madonna…
    His work makes me think I’m living in the wrong town..

  3. Nancy Says:

    His work is mind boggling. Such detail, such depth … so beautiful.

  4. nina johansson Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I often check out his work, I love these grayscale drawings! I didn´t know about the book, I´m going to have to order it some time soon!
    And I love your Sketchcrawl drawings, fantastic!

  5. Jane LaFazio Says:

    oooh. thanks so much for sharing this! His work is wonderful, and I love his ‘success’ story! gonna order the book right now.

  6. Terry Banderas Says:

    Paul Madonna is a fantastic artist. His detail is great and shadow work so real but all is loose enough to have true artistic appeal. I have him bookmarked but his work is only posted maybe once a week. He says he is going to start putting people in his art but he hasen’t yet.

  7. Ann-D Says:

    Thanks for sharing! I LOVE his drawings! I’ve ordered my copy right away!

  8. laserone Says:

    Oh cool, thanks for sharing this. I love finding cool artists to check out their work. 🙂

  9. Nancy Says:

    I’m so glad to know this – I love his drawings. Thanks for posting it.

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