Peoplescapes -- My Story From Purging To Painting
an illustrated memoir
by Nancy Calef with Jody Weiner

This transformational journey in words and pictures chronicles Nancy Calef's evolution from child model, suffering anorexia and bulimia, through recovery and maturation into a multi-disciplined artist re- nowned for her innovative "Peoplescapes:" vibrant plein-air colors applied to exaggerated snapshots of the human condition. Characters are often rendered in 3D, sculpted on the canvas, found objects, symbolism and commentary added, together producing a remarkable narrative on issues facing society.

Driven by honest self-examination and daily commitment to convert her self-destructive energy into creative expression and physical exercise, Calef provides in these pages a path for other young people to help themselves transcend their deepest emotional and physical obstructions. More than a cocktail table art book, Peoplescapes -- My Story From Purging To Painting is an around-the-world tale of self-discovery, courage, and love, at turns hilarious and heart-breaking, while Calef's luminous talent shines through.

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Peoplescapes My Story

BABU BOOKS San Francisco, California 94133
Copyright 2014 Nancy Calef with Jody Weiner

Printed in the United States of America First Edition, 2014
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013947904
Calef, Nancy with Weiner, Jody Peoplescapes - My Story From Purging To Painting/ Nancy Calef with Jody Weiner. 1st ed.

ISBN: 978-0-9898171-0-3 (ALK. paper)
$22.95 US / $24. 90 CAN

Book design by Nancy Calef
Original art by Nancy Calef
Photographs of art by Jody Weiner



Praise For Peoplescapes

"Nancy Calef's landscapes of
people are a real challenge
to any figurative painter,
by portraying humanity en masse
with all its sad happy faces."

Lawrence Ferlinghetti - Award winning poet and painter;
co-founder - City Lights Bookstore


"I've never quite read a book like Nancy Calef's "Peoplescapes" before. The paintings alone tell how deeply she observes the world of humans. . . . But the text tells her life story; full of adventure, far flung travels, a career as a child model and the dysfunctional wrangling with an overbearing mother hellbent on fame and fortune for her. . . . What is different though about Nancy's story, is her relationship with painting. . . . Give this book to anyone
you know who is struggling with self-esteem."

Terre Roche - Musician/Author


"This book is basically an autobiography, but unlike many, it’s not smug,
self-absorbed or self-aggrandizing. It’s frank, funny and fascinating."

Geri Koeppel
- Editor, Barbary Coast News


"Your excellent book is quite a tour de force! Your description of maternal abuse is moving and disquieting, while your introspection, honesty, and successful efforts to rid yourself of your eating disorders will inspire others to follow your lead. I really `couldn't put the book down,' and your art is amazingly creative and unique. All in all, I stand back and applaud. Congratulations on a beautifully written and illustrated work of art."

Merla Zellerbach (dec'd 2015) Author, civic leader, philanthropist, TV personality,
Chronicle columnist and Nob Hill Gazette Editor

"I enjoyed Peoplescapes. I absolutely love Nancy’s artwork. She’s clearly a talented contemporary artist. . . . Nancy Calef is proof that we can all overcome life’s difficulties and turn negative experiences into positive creativity. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about triumph over adversity, and finding one’s own creative path and purpose."

Susan Barton, eBook Review Gal -- 5 of 5 Stars

"Nancy has taken a unique view on sharing her story through her gift of artwork and sharing how the arts can be extremely helpful and therapeutic with recovering from an eating disorder."

Lynn S. Grefe, President and CEO National Eating Disorders Association

"Nancy Calef has distinguished herself as a role model for this generation. In a world where girls and young women are confronted with idealized images, Nancy, sharing her inner life, demonstrates that a mind in creative process can prevail in the face of childhood pain"

Debra Gill, LCSW - Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst, 
Contemporary Freudian Society, New York, NY


“One of the most people-possessed painters in contemporary art, Nancy Calef fills her canvases with humanity, rich or poor, stylish or shaggy, manifesting them in equal size because it’s equality, that is love, which rules her brush. This memoir tells the story of how Calef ingeniously transformed her mother’s ravenous ambition for Nancy to be a “star” -- through much childhood and young adulthood suffering -- into a world stage where the audience becomes sensitively and beautifully executed human beings, evoked with irony, humor and pathos in a painting style uniquely her own.”

 Jack Hirschman - Award-winning author and poet, painter and
former Poet Laureate of San Francisco, CA


“With a nod to Richard Lindner, a glance toward Red Grooms and a wink at Jack Levine, Calef respects traditional artistic roots when she breaks the plane of the canvas with sculpture and found objects. Her satiric eye views the planet from a unique perspective. The journey that began in the Bronx, was nurtured in the Far East and flourishes in North Beach, has influenced her style, exposing society’s foibles with humor - a thread of tolerance in this complicated world.”

George Krevsky
- Owner, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco. CA