Jun 24 at 12:00 PM - Sale 2574 -

Sale 2574 - Lot 42

Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
C.F. PAYNE (1956- )
Micawber - Imitating Norman Rockwell's "Triple self-portrait." Illustration published in Micawber by John Lithgow (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002). Acrylic, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper. 380x275 mm; 15x10 3/4 inches. Signed "C.F. Payne" in lower left. Float mounted and archivally framed. Printing indications in margins visible.

Provenance: Acquired by current owner from Storyopolis, April 2006.

In his third children's book, award-winning actor and best-selling author John Lithgow tells the tale of Micawber, a creative squirrel who lives in the Central Park Carousel and is a frequent visitor to the neighboring Metropolitan Museum of Art. One day as he peers through the window, he observes an artist in the gallery copying the old masters. Inspired and eager to try it himself, Micawber leaps into the artist's paint box as she leaves the Museum and hides in the apartment until she falls asleep. Borrowing the paints and using the tip of his bushy tail as a brush, Micawber surreptitiously discovers the joy of painting his own masterpieces.

Night after night, he returns to the artist's apartment to paint. At dawn, he rolls up his canvas, ties it with a shoelace, and heads home to the park. Eventually, he has enough of his own paintings to open "Micawber's Museum of Art" in his living room at the top of the carousel, where he invites his fellow creatures of Central Park to admire his creations. In this illustration, Micawber imitates Norman Rockwell's iconic Triple self-portrait.

C. F. Payne illustrated Lithgow's The Remarkable Farkle McBride in addition to other books for children. His illustrations have regularly appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and Time.