Where Are You, Agnes?
Tessa McWatt, illustrated by Zuzanna Celej
Agnes Martin was born on the Canadian prairies in the early twentieth century. In this imagining of her childhood from acclaimed author Tessa McWatt, Agnes spends her days surrounded by wheat fields, where her grandfather encourages her to draw what she sees and feels around her: the straight horizon, the feeling of the sun, the movement of birds' wings and the shapes she sees in the wheat.
One day, Agnes's family moves to a house in a big city. The straight horizon and wheat fields are gone, but Agnes continues to draw what she sees and feels around her. No one except her grandfather understands what she is trying to capture — not her mother, who asks, "Where are you, Agnes?" when she sees her daughter engrossed in her drawing; nor her siblings, who think her art is ugly. Still, Agnes keeps trying to capture what she sees inside her mind.
Agnes Martin grew up to become a famous abstract expressionist artist. Tessa McWatt has written a beautiful story of Agnes's childhood and how it might have shaped her adult work. Zuzanna Celej's watercolours adeptly capture Agnes's world, including hints of the grid paintings that she was later known for, against the backdrop of prairie and city landscapes. (From Groundwood Books)
Tessa McWatt is the author of novels for adults and young people. Where Are You, Agnes? is her first picture book.
Zuzanna Celej is a Barcelona-based artist and painter who has illustrated more than 50 children's books, including The Map of Good Memories by Fran Nuno and Inside My Imagination by Marta Arteaga.