Apple Cake

I have a new book out this week – Apple Cake!  

A few winters ago I was fooling around in my studio and painted this man in a treetop.

I wanted to write a story for the character in the tree, but the only words that came to mind were recipes. So I decided to illustrate a recipe.

My great-grandmother Lily Jane Powell made a simple apple pudding cake. Her daughter made it for my mother. My mother made it for our family. My sisters, my brother and I all make it now. It is the only cake recipe that I know by heart. I love the cake, and the cake carries love through time.

I thought it would be funny to have the text stick as closely as possible to the straightforward text of a recipe while the art veered away wildly. This is the first picture I painted for the book.

Alfonso takes an egg and adds it to the bowl.

He adds a little salt.

The first ingredient for this book was a painting which I did alone in the studio. The second was a family recipe.  Painting is solitary but books are collaborative; this book would not have been possible without the work and critical input of Reka Simonsen, Linda Pratt, Christine Kettner, Margaret, Laura and Julie.They all made it a better story.  Everybody stirred the batter, even though just one person shows.

Many thanks.

The book also led me back to the studio. My husband, Joe Max Emminger, and I are having a show together called Feast. It opened last night. You can read more about it and see pictures at our show blog.

It’s feast or famine in this world: this week has been a feast.

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11 responses to “Apple Cake

  1. It is a five star brunch to glimpse this wonderful book! Thanks!

  2. I love the artwork – simple, unique, wonderful!

  3. Stacey Dressen McQueen

    oh my goodness I love your work! the “getting the salt” picture alone made my day……thank you!

  4. Absolutely fabulous and delicious! Congratulations, Julie, I love this!

  5. If you had had books last night at your FEAST opening they would have flown out of the gallery–at least 3 in my hands alone! So grateful you had a copy there for us to enjoy as well as the stunning paintings, paper cuts, and bread sculptures (not to mention the chocolate chip cookies!). :-)
    Next I’m eager to make the apple cake–but I think I’ll pass on obtaining the ingredients like your adventurous man does. Here’s to many more feasts, for all of us to share!

  6. Wow, wonderful post! I love the new book AND the show. The collaborative drawings are stunning. I feasted.

  7. i loved the show and was delighted to find the copy of Apple Cake to flip through. Such a nice book. I am amazed at all of the design and details in your work!

  8. I am breathless. This is extraordinarily beautiful, Julie.

  9. This is beautiful — my daughter’s third birthday, and third apple cake, will be this weekend. I think she just might LOVE this! (We met once, dinner at the C-I’s home, and I’m a big fan of your artwork.)

  10. Am looking forward to seeing your show when I’m in town next week–but for now am devouring your APPLE CAKE! Love it!! I think my favorite spread is of the cake being baked over dragon fire. I’m giving it tomorrow to a Princeton Ida who says she loves apple cake!

  11. Pingback: Demel | Books Around The Table

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