As we go through all the steps of getting Navajo artist Quincy Tahoma’s biography ready for you, we have been sharing the journey here at Tahoma Blog.
Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist will be available in April, 2011, and you can preorder with the form on the right of this page. (If you are reading this in your e-mail, RSS, or Facebook, you will have to go to blog to sign up. Just click on the title of this post at the top of the page.)
Two weeks ago, we faced the scariest task of all. We had to select two portraits that would show readers the faces of the authors. Picking one photograph that represents you as a person is always a daunting task. Our job was made much more complicated by the fact that we had to choose two pictures of two people who live across the country from each other.
We could not very well use this picture from Kappa Delta Sorority at Ohio State University, where we first met fifty years ago.
We do have a more recent picture of the two of us in Tuba City doing research, but the sun was in our eyes, we’re still not color coordinated, and Vera’s hair style has changed since then.
We couldn’t just run down to the corner photographer and get a picture taken together, which would ensure some kind of unity of appearance. When I told Charnell that I (Vera) was going to have my photograph taken outdoors here in Southern Arizona, she just laughed. It was threatening snow in Virginia where she lives.
So we had to have our pictures taken separately and hope for the best.
Charnell never goes anywhere without her two dogs, so she lined them up with her beneath two of her Tahoma paintings.
But meanwhile, Vera had been posing for the photographer with simpler backgrounds.
Then both authors wised up and realized that in all probability the pictures would be cropped down to simple head shots, and finally two similar portraits were found.
After all of this, I have developed a sympathy for those authors who want readers to know only what is on the written page, totally ignoring anything about the authors behind the words–including what they look like. How about you? Do you want to put a face to a name? How much do you want to know about authors?