Francis Lee Jaques – My Wilderness – Yosemite, Half Dome and more

Quite a few years ago I found a little book at a used bookstore. It was entitled My Wilderness – The Pacific West, and Frances Lee Jaques was the illustrator. The images were black and white scratchboard, and gorgeous. The one that compelled me to buy that little book was a stunning rendition of Yosemite’s Half Dome. It is still one of my favorite scratchboard pieces ever. I love the way the snow is done in stark white without boundaries except where it touches the rock. The sweeping vertical lines are so effective in conveying the mass and height of the monument.


I found a nice blog post about the artist.






2 thoughts on “Francis Lee Jaques – My Wilderness – Yosemite, Half Dome and more

  1. I have a 7 x 9 inch print of what I believe is a Jaques scratchboard drawing. The print is on fairly heavy wove paper (no watermark), and has a very strong plate mark.

    I know Francis Jaques produced scratchboards for book illustrations, but did he ever produce them as stand-alone fine art prints? This one is unsigned. Does scratchboard printing leave a plate mark?

  2. Oh, THANK YOU, for finding this artist. Long ago, my grandmother gave me a book that had been one of her favorites, called “Canoe Country”. She was, of course, a Minnesotan, and we kids grew up spending our summers at her lake cottage. She had an old wood-and-canvas canoe (made in the 20’s) in which she and some friends had paddled part-way down the Mississippi, sleeping under bridges – which “proper young ladies” didn’t do in those days. Every year we caulked and painted that canoe and spent many years with it until it was at last worn out and leaked too much. I have such fond memories of the book, but it disappeared years ago. It was the first I time I encountered scratchboard and it inspired me to work with the medium myself. I have been trying to find another copy, although I think it is out of print. But NOW I KNOW the name of this artist, and hopefully can hunt down some of his books! Thank you so much!

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