Clyfford Still Museum
Colorfully Courageous Clyfford Still
The Clyfford Still Museum commissioned Colorfully Courageous Clyfford Still, a book for children ages 8–12 that explores the art and life of abstract expressionist artist Clyfford Still. Written by Jason Gruhl and illustrated by Jonathan Saiz, the book goes beyond biographical information, venturing into the artist’s emotional world: his motivations, challenges, and discoveries.
According to Gruhl, Clyfford Still gives kids the blueprint for fulfilling their dreams, finding their voices, and expressing their lives through creativity. The book offers teachers, parents, homeschool communities, and caregivers a valuable resource to encourage children to express themselves in paint, song, or dance. While biographical, Colorfully Courageous also asks children to engage with Still’s process of discovering who he was through art and shows and the idea that everyone can find courage in their own voice. In the end, the reader can ask, “Who am I in this world, and how will I express it?”
“Many children’s first encounter with art is through picture books,” says Nicole Cromartie, CSM’s director of education and programs. “We are fortunate to have worked with Jason Gruhl and Jonathan Saiz on this incredibly important and beautiful project. We hope Colorfully Courageous will foster children’s bravery in creative expression and inspire curiosity about Clyfford Still, his art, and the creative process. This book is a part of CSM’s ongoing commitment to children and families.”
About the Author
Jason Gruhl believes that all kids are smart, brave, kind, and creative, and he writes books to help them remember that. As an author and psychotherapist for children and adults, Jason is dedicated to helping them uncover their power and potential. Jason is a former Special Educator and the former Executive Director and Founder of The Joshua School (a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities in Boulder and Denver, Colorado). He holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is a professor at Naropa University in the Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling Program. When not writing, Jason is baking scones, playing board games, learning foreign languages, rowing, reading, and watching sci-fi movies! Learn more at www.jasongruhl.com or www.gruhlcounseling.com.
About the Illustrator
Jonathan Saiz is a Colorado native, artist, climate and social activist currently living in Mexico. His 2019 exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Eyes On: Jonathan Saiz #whatisutopia, gave 10,000 artworks away for free, to inspire anti-capitalist and Utopian ideals and he is currently not represented by any commercial art galleries by choice. He studied at Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York and MICA in Baltimore Maryland but holds no degrees. His bestselling illustration work, The Fountain Tarot, is published in English, Japanese, Russian and German. He identifies closely with the ideals of Clyfford Still and the belief that artists of all genres are catalysts for social change and counter-culture revolution.
About Colorfully Courageous Clyfford Still
Written by Jason Gruhl
Illustrated by Jonathan Saiz
In association with the Clyfford Museum, Denver, CO
Softcover | 9.5” x 11.25” | 40 pages + cover | Featuring 18 full-color custom illustrations
Header Images: Illustrations by Jonathan Saiz
All artworks by Clyfford Still © City and County of Denver / ARS, NY
Softcover and cage panorama illustrations by Jonathan Saiz; artwork image PH-15, 1948. Oil on canvas, 80 ⅞ x 38 ¾ in. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 1992. Photo: Cathy Carver