VRTACEK/O’MEARA, CHARLES: Do Not Write on the Walls (book)
Chuck was one of those unstoppable forces; he just had to make things all the time; music, furniture, stories, drawings, a novel - as well as holding down his day job as a psychiatric nurse. Highly creative and born talented, hed studied art with Saul Steinberg before switching his attention to music. But later in life he went back to drawing and produced studies, cartoons and sketches every day - not to any end purpose, but just to amuse himself and the handful of friends to whom he occasionally sent copies. This book is of course a memorial to his great talent (and his special brand of darkly weary humour), but beyond that its also a beautiful thing - not least because Chuck wasnt working to any special purpose; just getting down whatever popped into his head. And his head was a strange and wonderful place. There are cartoons, architectural fantasies, art musings and scenes from life here, all beautifully executed. Chuck was a modest master of line and balance and caught complex currents in few simple strokes. And occasionally not so simple. Let me strongly recommend this book: its hard not to like, it makes a perfect gift - and it helps to weave a thread of immortality into the life of someone who had something to say and knew how to say it.