This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
THIS PAGE, “Fish Diary,”


watercolor, oil, collage. Conrad’s use of three techniques renders a tromp l’oeil effect.


OPPOSITE TOP LEFT, pastel portrait by Conrad of his daughter Kendall at 16.


OPPOSITE TOP RIGHT, Conrad’s “Self Portrait” done in charcoal.


OPPOSITE BOTTOM “Breakfast for Mary,” jelutong/oil, inspired by summer trips to Montana.


in the MorninG, he WriteS. in the Afternoon, he hitS hiS ViViD troMp l’oeil WorkS AMonG other StyleS, cArVinG, or


ting the finishing touches on his latest commissioned portrait. Evidence of near-constant creativity fills Conrad’s beach house from floor to ceiling. “He’s like a little kid,” explains one of Conrad’s two daughters, Tani Conrad. “He’s interested in every- thing, always in a good mood, and constantly inquisi- tive.” Tani is also a local artist, benefiting from dad’s influence. A glance at his biographical notes, which amount to


70 years worth of hard-to-believe name dropping and achievement, invites skepticism. If not wholly fiction- al, these exploits—best-selling author, portraitist for the stars, film producer, nightclub owner and opera- tor, bullfighter, boxer, elephant polo player—must be embellishments wrought from the creative mind of a fiction writer. A walk across the sunlit threshold of his beach


house washes away that layer of disbelief. Pointing to a poster advertising a bullfight in Spain hanging in the rustic entryway, Conrad, with endearing excite- ment, says the memento came from the greatest day of his life. Bold print on the aged poster lists El Niño


de California (Conrad’s nickname in Spanish arenas) on the same program as Juan Belmonte Garcia, argu- ably the greatest matador in Spanish history. “He was my mentor,” says Conrad.


Bullfighting has appeared and reappeared as a sub-


ject in Conrad’s work. His fascination with La Fiesta Brava began in Mexico City in the 1930s. Then 17, Conrad became enamored with the sport while study- ing art at University of Mexico and reading Heming- way’s “Death in the Afternoon.” An exuberant teen, Conrad cavalierly leapt into the ring. “I hopped out about just ask quickly as I hopped in,”


he says of the humbling first encounter. “Having half a ton of bull coming at you is the scariest thing that will ever happen to you.” A decade of traveling in Spain—as vice consulate


during World War II—and in Peru and Mexico as a student and wandering young man gave Conrad a wealth of material to pour into his effort as a startup novelist. He had yet to develop his skills as a writer. Enter Nobel laureate Sinclair Lewis, the first American author to win the Nobel Prize in literature.


44 CARPINTERIAMAGAZINE


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92