Nancy Calef Gallery           


Peoplescapes My Story

This transformational journey in words and 149 full color paintings and drawings, chronicles Nancy Calef's evolution from child model, suffering anorexia and bulimia, through recovery and maturation into a multi-disciplined artist renowned 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 razor sharp narrative on issues facing society.

For More Info and to Purchase:
Please see
Babu Books

Peoplescapes -- My Story from
Purging to Painting

By Nancy Calef with Jody Weiner
Publisher: Babu Books,
Publication date: May 27, 2014 Categories: Nonfiction  |  Memoir  |  Art  |  Health
156 pages  |  ISBN: 978-0-9898171-0-3  |  
Price: $22.95/ $24. 90 CAN    paperback

includes 149 original drawings and
paintings in full color copyright 2014
No longer available on Amazon
Book design by Nancy Calef
Original art by Nancy Calef
Photographs of art by Jody Weiner

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“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

"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."
Sue Barton - Book Review Gal

Praise For Peoplescapes

"When I first saw Nancy Calef's paintings I thought, 'Now here's an original idea.' As a traditional, old workhorse, I don't have much use for
and don't believe in classifying contemporary art. I do think a picture should say something and Nancy's subject matter and palette express
a view of the world beyond her years."
Jack Levine -- former President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York

“Brueghel meets the underground stylings of artists like Spain and S. Clay Wilson in the
oil and mixed-media paintings of Nancy Calef, whose "peoplescapes"
are on display at a cutting-edge North Beach gallery
San Francisco Chronicle

"Think Hieronymus Bosch meets George Grosz meets Zap Comix." Edward Guthmann -- San Francisco Chronicle

“Her Peoplescapes are a must-see!" Nicole Meoli -- Where Magazine

“This is art with an attitude!”  Willie Brown,  former SF Mayor

"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

"Your story is a remarkable journey, indeed.  The paintings are exquisite, and what a terrific
story for women and girls in our culture.  And, reading about Nancy's travels
and experiences is fascinating."

Linda Chapman
, MA, ATR-BC - Art Therapy Institute of the Redwoods

"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

"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


"Stories like Nancy Calef's are central to Narrative Therapy and research methods in clinical psychology.
Nancy has shared a personal story but done it so astutely and brilliantly by using artwork to manifest the
narrative of her development. Anyone suffering wh is fortunate to read this book will benefit from
the universality of this profoundly compelling and magical journey."

Dr. Janis Phelps, PhD, MFT, Director of Clinical Psychology, Professor


Publications and Interviews:

Reed Magazine, Feature art - 2021
Clayton: Godfather of Lower East Side Documentary
 graphic novel by Julian Voloj -contributor - 2020
Not Normal: Art in the Age of Trump
 curated by Karen Gutfreund - art contributor 2020
Art Saved My Life - Artzine - November 2019

Art Habens - Nancy Calef Feature- Special 10th Anniversary Biennial Ed.
Keeping The Beat In North Beach - Bay News Now - June 2018
Wake Up Screaming Magazine - Alchemy - June 2018
Good Art Guide - Feature - January 2018
Healing Power of Art - Feature - January 2018
The North American Review - November 2017
Repurposed Magazine - Feature - October 2017
San Francisco Magazine - Power Edition Dec 2016
        - TOC Artwork "Hashtag Dummy POTUS" oil on canvas
Sparkle & Blink 81 - Quiet Lightening cover art
Peoplescapes -- My Story From Purging To Painting
          (author & artist) - Babu Books
Interview with Michalis Limnios - Ambassador of Blues/Greece
Art Reveal Magazine - June 2016 Feature

Lunch Ticket Magazine - Peoplescape Spotlight
Professional Art Magazine - Artist Spotlight Feature
Keith Breitbach Podcast

Artful Vagabond
- A Message For Our World Leaders, "State Of the World"
Expressive Art - Power of Healing
Barbary Coast -Peoplescapes,
Art News, Gallery Guides, Where SF,
San Francisco Chronicle including feature
Marin Independent Journal
The Battered Suitcase (cover - digital and print)
Beatitude 41 1/2 (cover),
Prisoners of Truth
by Jody Weiner (cover) (Council Oaks Books)
Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God Vol. 1 & 2
         (art contributor) (A Band Of Women)
San Francisco Chronicle Datebook Feature by Edward Guthmann
Tikkun Magazine - feature
Salon Foxy, Goodie Magazine
Madhatter Review
Foliate Oak Magazine
Oregon Literary Review
Hesa Inprint

Contributing Artist:      

Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God
Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God -  51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection

Band of Women

Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God - 73 Women on Life's Transitions
Prisoners of Truth by Jody Weiner
Prisoners of Truth

by Jody Weiner
Council Oak Books
Nancy Calef cover art
Battered Suitcase - Nancy Calef cover art
Battered Suitcase
Vagabond Press
Nancy Calef - cover art
Nancy Calef - Art Saved My Life - Artzine
Art Zine - Art Saved My Life

Nancy Calef Gallery
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