Cover Artist Walter Bernard Talks Grantland, Long Island Wine

Our cover artist, Walter Bernard, is a talented and well-known graphic artist, not to mention a popular cover contributor (Artists and Writers Game) to Dan’s Papers through the years.

His media are diverse, like paintings, documentaries, posters and prints, and so is his use of oils, pastels and watercolors. His subjects are varied as well, including baseball, Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor, and landscapes. We wonder what accounts for Bernard’s unending interests and curiosity. We think it’s his zest for life, pure and simple. [expand]

Q: How did the cover come about?

A: It’s actually a print celebrating Long Island wine. It will be auctioned for Hampton Photo Arts. I was inspired by some 18th Century French commercial prints I bought in France years ago. They are very beautiful.

Q: So, what made you think of wine, particularly, for prints?

A: There are a lot of wineries on the North and South Forks. Over 60 and growing someone told me. There are three on the South Fork. The area is big wine country. After I had done the print, I didn’t know what to do with it, but Dan [Rattiner] suggested it for the cover.

Q: Are you big on wine yourself?

A: My son-in-law is. I like wine, but I don’t buy $40 or $50 bottles of wine.

Q: What else have you been doing, project-wise?

A: I just designed a website for ESPN; it’s a literary sports website (edited by Bill Simmons) called “Grantland,” named after the first sportscaster, Grantland Rice, who wrote at the turn of the century. He was the one with the famous quote “…it’s not how you won or lost but how you played the game.”

Q: You know that reminds me, there is a lot of sports jargon used by Americans. Anyway, how was designing this website different from other ones you’ve done?

A: Every site has different purposes. So do magazines. I can’t compare Vanity Fair to Time. It depends on what the project needs, its audience, its subject matter.

Q: Doesn’t a website have a different kind of readability?

A: Not really. You do use different type faces, websites are done in two different type faces. Also, your type faces depend on different browsers.

Q: How about the challenges associated with the cover print?

A: I used the French prints as a model, so that helped. As I said, I didn’t know what to do with it when I was finished. It will be a limited edition; there will be two sizes, with 50 copies for each size.

Q: Another project you were working on was a book about your twin granddaughters (Scarlette and Orly) and their paintings. Has that changed?

A: It’s now a story, called “Let’s Go Painting.” It’s about their learning to paint.

Q: What are you looking forward to?

A: Staying in Bridgehampton this summer so the kids can be here.

Q: You’re not looking forward to winning the lottery? Ha. Ha.

A: (He laughs.)

Check Out Some of Walter’s Watercolors Here

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