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Responses > Graphics

Richard Brautigan's legacy is his continued inspiration for creative efforts by others who interpret his work, or create their own in response. This node provides an overview of selected graphics inspired by Brautigan, and links to further information and resources. Use the information below to learn more about creative responses to Brautigan's works.
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace > Selected Creative Responses

"Machine of Loving Grace"
Kelly Newcomer
Acrylic on paper
14" x 11"

Feedback from Kelly Newcomer
Kelly Newcomer. Email to John F. Barber, 28 February 2004.
Online Resource
Kelly Newcomer website
Sherman portrait
"Cybernetic Brautigan"
Eric Sherman

Feedback from Eric Sherman
Eric Sherman. Email to John F. Barber, 24 May 2004.
Online Resource
Sherman's Automatic Drawings webpage

In Watermelon Sugar > Selected Creative Responses

Davis, Noah
"In Watermelon Sugar"
Oil on canvas
48" x 48"

"The Forgotten Works" 16 January - 20 February 2010
Roberts & Tilton
5801 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California

The press release for this show, entitled "The Forgotten Works," notes that Los Angeles, California, based Davis,
Sourcing imagery from found photographs, art history and imagination, both references and constructs his own personal history through psychologically driven paintings. Davis creates contemporary, pertinent imagery that combines the invented and the factual. This simultaneous tension exists throughout Davis’ work: nostalgic and saccharine, unsettling and grotesque. Davis’ painted subjects are deeply psychologically focused, but they also act as a discreet punch line. The paintings stand in as narrator for forgotten or suppressed moments in American history as told through a modern lens. They quietly remark on the banality and sadness of daily life; they point to tired stereotypes and strained classifications. All at once, Davis is a historian, a surrealist, a storyteller, a comic and a sentimentalist.
Many of Davis's paintings were inspired by Brautigan's novel, In Watermelon Sugar.

Online Resources
Information and images about Davis's show, "The Forgotten Works" at the Roberts & Tilton website
"Love Poem" > Selected Creative Responses

Anonymous. "Love Poem."
This anonymous response to Brautigan's "Love Poem" features the text of the poem handwritten on a magazine advertisement for Chanel perfume.

See also a mash-up video featuring Brautigan's "Love Poem" and Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy, in different voices and translations
The Hawkline Monster > Selected Creative Responses

Christie, Drew. "The Hawkline Monster Poster"
21 September 2014
A limited edition Hawkline Monster poster.
18" x 24"; silkscreen on 100 pound natural paper

Feedback from Drew Christie
Drew Christie. Email to John F. Barber, 22 September 2015.
Online Resources
Drew's Etsy storefront

Dart, Rebecca. "The Hawkline Monster, page 100"
20 April 2010
Produced in response to a call from artist Jason Turner, who started "The Page 100 Project," to illustrate page 100 of a favorite book in comic narration.

Online Resources
The Page 100 Project website
Revenge of the Lawn > Selected Creative Responses

An image by Natasha Hodgkins ( in response to Brautigan's story "The Wild Birds of Heaven."

Online Resources
Hodgkin's image at her Things I Made Earlier blog
Beetson, Sarah
"Richard Brautigan: American Novelist and Poet"

Painting with mixed media on board
60 cm x 60 cm

Beetson is a graduate of Falmouth College of Arts, United Kingdom

Online Resources
Beetson's "Richard Brautigan" webpage
Buchanan, Lilias
"The Sky Was Blue"

Watercolor painting

A total of eight paintings illustrating Brautigan's Sombrero Fallout are planned. This one, the cover image, is entitled "The Sky Was Blue," inspired by Brautigan's writing: "The sky was blue. It was the blue of human eyes waiting for something to happen."

Online Resources
Lilias Buchanan's blog. See more paintings here.
"Richard Brautigan"

Silkscreen print

An image by "Cragga" of Brautigan screen printed on a T shirt. The shirt is part of a series depicting writers including James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, William Blake, William Butler Yeats, William Shakespeare, and Brautigan.
Cunningham, Louise
"Richard Brautigan"

Ink, painted paper collage, and digital processes

Online Resources
Louise Cunningham's website
Davidson, Daniel
"Brautigan Wearing His Words"

Pen and ink

Online Resources
Daniel Davidson's website. Mouse over the illustration to read Brautigan's words.
Davis portrait
Davis, Kenn
"Portrait of Brautigan"

Fall 1958
Oil on linen portrait
32" X 20"

A San Francisco artist, noted for his surrealistic style, Kenn Davis painted this original portrait of Brautigan in Fall 1958.

The portrait, exhibited in several San Francisco Art Galleries during the 1960s, shows a young, clean-shaven Brautigan.

Brautigan kept the portrait in his North Beach apartment and later in his Geary Street apartment. After achieving fame and notoriety with his first novels, however, he returned the portrait to Davis, saying that it was not the way he looked anymore (having grown a mustache and longer hair) and that it was not as he wanted fans and admirers to remember him, so young. Plans were in place to paint a new portrait, but it never happened.

Davis illustrated, at Brautigan's request, the front covers of The Galilee Hitch-Hiker and Lay the Marble Tea and helped Brautigan design the layout for the latter.
Felver, Christopher. The Importance of Being. Santa Fe, NM: Arena Editions, 2001. 68.
A collection of photographic portraits of writers, poets, filmmakers, actors, visual artists, protesters, and others whose work pushes the limits of expression during the late 20th century. Brautigan is noted as "Novelist, poet."

Reprints Felver's 1982 photograph of Brautigan wearing a sheepskin hat first published in The Poet Exposed (see below).

—. Angels, Anarchists & Gods. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1996. 169.
Photographic portraits of Beat and counterculture writers including Felver's photograph of Brautigan wearing a sheepskin hat that first appeared in The Poet Exposed. Caption reads: "Richard Brautigan, San Francisco, 1982." Reprints Felver's 1982 photograph of Brautigan wearing a sheepskin hat first published in The Poet Exposed (see below).

Front Cover
. The Poet Exposed. New York: Alfred Van Der Marck Editions, 1986. 68-69.
A collection of photographic portraits of San Francisco, Boulder, Colorado, and New York poets by Felver and brief statements by the poets in their own hand. Reprints Felver's 1982 photograph of Brautigan wearing a sheepskin hat first published in The Poet Exposed (see below).

Brautigan's portrait, taken by Felver in San Francisco, in 1982, features him wearing a sheepskin hat. (The same photograph was used in Felver's later books, The Importance of Being and Angels, Anarchists & Gods; see above.) On the opposite page is a brief statement by Brautigan.
This photograph was taken in May.
I gave the hat away in November,
so you'll never see me wearing it again.
        Richard Brautigan
Geary, Caroling Lind
"Which Poet?"

Oil painting
The blond-haired figure standing in the center background is Brautigan.

During the late 1950s, Brautigan introduced Caroling to Beat poets and she bought their books at City Lights Books and listened to Brautigan and others reading their poetry at The Place, a popular gathering spot for artists and poets. Such readings were the inspiration for this painting of Brautigan and other poets at The Place.

Feedback from Caroling Lind Geary
Caroling Lind Geary. Email to John F. Barber, 27 January 2003.
The painting was part of the poetry that seemed to surround Brautigan and his life. As Caroling says in the text accompanying her website, "To Richard Brautigan, an iPoem altar,"
Brautigan exuded poetry like a time warp; everything that happened around him seemed like poetry. All my memories of him are poetic. Like, we said like all the time. Like he liked the painting, so he picked it up and carried it to The Place. He hung it on the wall so it was in back of him when he read poems at The Place.
Brautigan, says Geary, had a constant energy about him.

Online Resources
Geary's painting, "Which Poet?" at her University of Minnesota—NOT webpage

Geary's To Richard Brautigan, an iPoem altar webpage

Feedback from Caroling Lind Geary
Caroling Lind Geary. Email to John F. Barber, 27 January 2004.
Brautigan poster
Hatch, Jim
"Richard Brautigan"

Published in 1994
13" x 15" poster

The text reads:
Richard Brautigan
San Francisco Poet 1965
A Confederate General from Big Sur

The orginal photograph for this poster was taken by Jim Hatch in 1965.
It shows a young Brautigan with short hair and a moustache, but no beard.

Online Resource
The Beat Museum website
Jones, S. C.
"Richard Brautigan"

Oil on unprimed canvas
12" x 12" (approximate)

Part of a series entitled "Album Sized Authors," this painting and others in the series were painted by Jones as a personal project. Other portraits include Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Stephen King, and William S. Burroughs. Each portrait is painted on a record-album sized piece of unprimed canvas. Jones, an artist based in Las Vegas, Nevada, hopes to display these portraits, along with passages from each author, in local libraries.

Online Resources
Album Sized Authors web page

Art of S. C. Jones website
Brautigan Portrait
Kempton, Justin
"Richard Brautigan"

Handcarved lineolum block print
4" x 6"
Limited editon of 20 prints, plus original
Printed on Chinese rice paper
Each print signed, numbered, and named by the artist

McGraw, DeLoss. "Innocence: In Response to the Works of Joseph Cornell, Lewis Carroll, and Richard Brautigan." 8 September - 13 October 2007. ACA Galleries. New York, New York.
In the essay for catalog accompaning this exhibition ("Sophisticated Innocence: DeLoss McGraw Reveals Essential Affinities between Joseph Cornell, Lewis Carroll, Richard Brautigan and Himself") Robert L. Pincus (art critic for The San Diego Union-Tribune) notes that McGraw's art "evokes a kind of enchanted world permeated with signs of innocence, even as it also pictures the forces that threaten the fragility of such a state of being." Says the works in this exhibition
form a kind of extended meditation of this subject. [Brautigan] fits the theme precisely . . . since his writing is abundant with stories of childhood; improbable sights; and a vision of life and art that insists on retaining some of the wonder that children exhibit. [Brautigan,] whose own childhood was plagued by poverty as well as parental neglect and whose life ended in suicide . . . seems like an improbable champion of innocence, as McGraw clearly implies. But these paintings about him honor that improbability, through their ingenious and inspired dramatic prism. (1, 7)
Pincus also wrote "Hooked on Brautigan: 'Trout Fishing in America' Author Ripe for Rediscovery."

Online Resource
McGraw's exhibition at the ACA Galleries website
Mallory, Norman
"Richard Brautigan"

Brush, pen and ink, graphite crayon, rag typing paper

A rendition of a photograph, possibly taken by Vernon Merritt III for, but not used in the 14 August 1970 LIFE magazine article "Gentle Poet of the Young: A Cult Grows around Richard Brautigan" by John Stickney.

See the original photograph HERE

Online Resource
Mallory's Flickr website which includes this image
McKean, Dave
"Richard Brautigan"
Meth, Dan
"Richard Brautigan"

Online Resource
Meth's tumblr website which includes this image
Snyder portrait
Snyder, Marc
"Relief Print of Brautigan."

Signed in pencil: "Brautigan 1/20 Snyder 2003"
Limited edition of 20 copies
Image area 2" x 2.5"
Paper size is 6" x 7.5"

Printed BFK Rives, a bright white archival printmaking paper. This image was first cut in a relatively soft piece of linoleum. It was then inked and printed, with the black areas of the print being the uncut portions of the linoleum.

Front cover Snyder, a professional artist living in Connecticut, created this print of Brautigan in 2003 as part of his book Portraits, a collection of linocut images of writers and artists.
Front cover
Weber, Erik.
Richard Brautigan 1962-1978
San Francisco: Erik Weber Graphics, 1992.

37 pages; Unpublished
A "catalog" of photographs by Weber of Brautigan with commentary by Abbott
Photographs by Erik Weber
Text by Keith Abbott

Weber met Richard Brautigan in 1962 and took many photographs of him, including the one used on the front cover of Trout Fishing in America.

Online Resource
Erik Weber Photography website
Wright, F. N.
"An American Poet"

Watercolor and colored markers.

Wright's writing and paintings have been published in several print and online journals and anthologies like Mudville Diaries, X-Ray, Mystery Island Press, Bottle of Smoke, and Feel Free Press. His novels include The Whorehouse (1977), Flight to Freedom (1986), and The Music Sluts (2005). His paintings are colorful and whimsical, exploring issues of the human heart and culture. Of his artwork, Wright claims, "I am more primitive than the primitives."

Wright, F. N.
"Brautigan Autumn"

Watercolor and colored markers.

Wright, F. N.
"Brautigan Fishing #1"

Watercolor and colored markers.

Wright, F. N.
"Brautigan Fishing #2"

Watercolor and colored markers.

Wright, F. N.
"Talking to Richard Brautigan"

Watercolor and colored markers.

Online Resource
Artwork by F.N. Wright website