The Faraway Car is a true story that will amaze and amuse readers of all ages. Illustrated by the wonderful paintings of author Barbara Bustetter Falk, the book shows just what can happen when a car becomes a canvas. Barbara transformed a dreary gray 2CV into a rolling mural of colorful animals and plants. Unexpectedly, it launched her career as a self-taught painter and inspired the story of The Faraway Car. She elaborates in her bio:
“I am an identical twin with a preference for being one of a kind. In my early twenties, a time when it seemed like everyone wanted to move to my hometown, Los Angeles, I accepted a job in snowy Buffalo, New York. My mother’s farewell words were, “When you get to Buffalo, dear, will you please start acting like everyone else.”
In spite of my mother’s concerns, people in Buffalo liked me and I decided to make it my home, which it was for several years. During that time I quit the job in a research lab that had taken me there and, for half my previous salary, went to work in an art gallery. Every day, surrounded by art, was living a fantasy. Artists fascinated me, but it never occurred to me that I would ever be one.
From Buffalo I moved to Connecticut where I ordered a yellow car, the odd looking little Deux Chevaux, which I had fallen in love with on a trip to France. It turned out that yellow was not available and, without warning, a drab gray car showed up. Very soon after a sign on a store front reading AUTOMOTIVE ENAMELS caught my eye. I carried home a dozen cans of paint and immediately started my very first painting, a peaceable kingdom of bright colored animals and plants all over the body of my new gray car. It changed my life. Children begged to take rides in it and it appeared in newspaper photographs. Reading myself referred to as an artist was hard to believe. And I loved it.
I began building big papier maché sculptures of camels, armadillos, lions and lambs, versions of the animals I painted on my car. Leftover car paint was used to decorate them. Soon they were carried in an art gallery and a Stamford, Connecticut museum invited me to teach the craft to children. An artist, a good friend, urged me to start painting on canvas. I followed her advice and, improbably, was invited to enter my paintings in big competitive art shows. They won awards and my work appeared in magazines and books.”
The Faraway Car is available from Amazon for $17.95 US.