Alice was David's eleventh book and his ninth children's book. All except Alice are out of print, but may usually be found at bookfinder.com (see our links page). Though David died in September 2016, his work continues. He had completed illustrations for a number of book projects which his widow, Wendy Ice will write and publish in the coming years. These will include a fairy book, a mermaid book, a retrospective and more. These are David’s completed books:
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (2016)
Animerotics: A Forbidden Cabaret in 26 Acts (2001)
Mermaids and Magic Shows: the Paintings of David Delamare (1997)
Midnight Farm by Carly Simon (1997)
The Man in the Moon and the Hot Air Balloon (1996)
The Christmas Secret (1991)
The Nutcracker (1991)
The Steadfast Tin Solder (1990)
The Hawk's Tale (1988)
The Christmas Secret and Man in the Moon and the Hot Air Balloon were written by David. Cinderella was his own adaptation.
Early in his career, David painted in gouache (an opaque water-based medium) but he switched to acrylics when he discovered they offered more luminosity, resulting in higher quality reproductions. In later years, he gradually transitioned into oil painting, which provides more texture and depth. Oils also slowed him down, keeping him more aware of the painting process.
The only time David ever used digital methods for art was when he and Wendy used Adobe Photoshop to tint his original pencil drawings for the Alice book. In fact, this was the first time David had used a desktop computer. In his entire life he sent only one or two emails and never sent a text message, though he did use an iPad to surf the web and compose music.
Models were essential to David's work as he preferred artificial light for its dramatic theatrical properties, and often required unusual poses. He and Wendy scouted for models when walking in their neighborhood. The model for his Cinderella book was a waitress from the local Cup and Saucer Cafe. His Alice model, Cameron, responded to a Craig's List ad.
This was always a difficult question to answer. His best ideas usually came from sources unknown. But certainly his milieu and interests played a part. David was an avid film and theater-goer. (His favorite contemporary playwrights were Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter.) He also loved Shakespeare and attended the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every year.
He listened to music while he painted (from Mozart to Gershwin to Randy Newman) and he was an avid reader (favorite authors included Samuel Beckett, John Cheever, Edith Wharton, and Alan Bennett.)
These influences often found their way into his paintings. Occasionally, he heard a phrase in a play or a passage of music and felt compelled to translate the idea into a visual form. But, his creative process was very organic and often his finished paintings were quite different from his original conceptions. At the time of his death, David had just completed music for his first (not yet produced) record album. You may find a few of his songs on CD Baby, the iTunes store, or Amazon.
David admired some artists for technique and others for imagery. He liked the technique of Parrish and Sargeant, for example, and the imagery of De Chirico and Seurat. (He liked Edward Hopper for both reasons.) He was particularly fond of the Medieval school of painting for its tableaus and stylization.
This is the most common question David was asked at signings. The answer depends upon when one decides a painting begins. Is it when the idea begins to take shape or when the brush first meets the canvas? Some ideas arrived suddenly while others percolated for weeks, months, or even years. When they finally arrived fully formed, the actual painting was achieved remarkably quickly. While a typical 18"x24" painting might have been completed in a week, some of his finest paintings were finished in less than a day. Drawings, incidentally, often took as long to produce as paintings of similar narrative complexity.
David was born in Leicester, UK and moved to Oregon (in the U.S.) at the age of three. He lived in the same vibrant neighborhood (the Hawthorne District) for the remainder of his life and hade a close relationship with his mother who lived just a few blocks away.
For the last twenty years of his life, he was involved with Wendy Ice (his agent and publisher). Wendy and David met when he asked her to model for him. They finally married nineteen and a half years later on New Year's Eve, 2013 (during the Alice Kickstarter campaign.)
David and Wendy shared their 1908 home with two rabbits who lived in David’s art studio (Rupert Quincy and Chloe) and their company mascot (Pip), a giant tortoise. Rupert Quincy and Chloe were true muses for David. You may see photos of them by visiting Facebook and searching by "Rupert Quincy." This is Rupert:
David's newest Alice-themed paintings are in Gallery #4. To see his full range of work, we highly recommend following his Facebook page. Wendy is currently going through all of David’s sketch books and paintings in preparation for a retrospective and will be posting some of what she finds on the Facebook page. (Much of that material has never been seen.) She will also post announcements about upcoming projects.
If you happen to be in Lincoln City, Oregon, drop into Bob’s Beach Books to see a large collection of original Delamare paintings. There are also paintings at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas.
Yes, but not many. We're very choosy about the licensing opportunities we accept. We work only with reputable companies and quality materials. You'll find some beautiful porcelain lights in Gallery #6.
Actually, children's book illustrations make up a relatively small portion of David's work. His most common subject was the human figure and he was probably best known for his mermaids and fairies. To see a cross-section of subjects (all converted to sepia for this presentation) view this carnival slideshow. (For best view on a cell phone, turn your device horizontally.)