A Jerry Garcia sketchbook containing original pen and ink, charcoal and watercolor renderings, 1991
Twenty-one drawings by Garcia in black pen and ink, one image in charcoal, one watercolor drawing, depicting fantasy, cartoonesque, realistic and abstract imagery, with one page of words in Jerry's hand and an inscription from a woman named "Trixi"; one drawing almost completely detached from binding. Bound in a black sketchbook, with board covers, showing some wear.
According to Roberta Weir: "This densely filled sketchbook comprises an outstanding collection of drawings, from quick sketches revealing the Jerry's inventive imagination, to complete concepts. A drawing of Vince Welnick is especially poignant. This completed work was drawn from the angle that Jerry himself would have viewed from his position on the stage. The following page has handwritten lyrics (in two different pens) to 'The Thrill is Gone.' This page would be significant on its own; in this sketchbook it lends a magical connection and a reference as the song was added to the Jerry Garcia Band's list around 1991, becoming a regular part of the repertoire.
A personal note from Jerry's daughter Trixie is included in this book. The figure of a woman on the page following is nicely done and displays Jerry's comfort with depicting the human form. The next page is a color piece that has elements of Jerry's landscape work-strong primary colors are a hallmark of his work over the years. On page 12 a seal is blowing bubbles that exemplify the whimsical spirit we often see in the sketches. A detailed line study is followed by a major highlight of the sketchbook. A remarkable drawing on page 14 depicts Mother Mary followed by a sinister looking goat. Jerry includes two hand studies on the same page, one of which seems to exhibit the mark of a nail. It is very unusual for the artist to present religious imagery; it is found in only a few other works. A strong a dog/man sketch is an example of Jerry's technique of combining multiple subjects in single image. On page 17 a drawing of a finely balanced Victorian house is rendered, followed by a unique robot sketch with a delicately constructed arm as a main element. The final pages in this richly detailed book include lettering experiments and a list of words beginning with the letter 'F.' The book closes with the image of a man with a balloon, odd and sweet at the same time.
The depth and breadth of Jerry's visual statement is just now being realized. His art, like his music, will
be enjoyed for years to come."
8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.