In my studio, I've hung book cover paintings all around the room. I have one more wall in my studio where I intend to hang more of some of the covers I've done recently.

I've also hung others in a sitting room, the bedrooms, dining room, breakfast room and upstairs hall! As you may have guessed by now, I just like to look at them. Some of my favorites were done in the late seventies and early eighties. They may not be as sexy as later ones, but are very romantic. Three for instance, are Spring of the Tiger by Victoria Holt which hangs over my bed, Wings of the Falcon by Barbara Michaels in a guest bedroom, and Love's Frantic Flight by Joan Joseph in my breakfast room. If you're interested in knowing the titles and authors of the paintings for book covers and collector plates, which I've hung in my house, see Paintings and Plates in My House
I'd like to give you an update to the following biographies excerpted from the book LoveLines and TAXI Magazine. I decided to move from New York to Georgia in 1986 so I could have a house, impossible in Manhattan, where I'd have far more space and light (not to mention bird song instead of traffic noise). I've been able to continue doing covers (over 350 at last count) for many of the same publishers and some new ones, thanks to Robert Osonitsch who has done the photographing of the models for all of my covers. The only difference is that now, I write my requests all around the sketch, such as model choices, costumes, color backdrop, lighting, mood, idea of the story to share with the models, and he does a great job as always. I also owe thanks to good old Federal Express - totally reliable and fast. I've also been doing advertising illustrations for clients such as Readers' Digest Music, Guide Post Song Books, Paramount Pictures, Delta Airlines, Dewar's, and others, paintings for editorial use by T.V. Guide, The Washington Post Weekly Magazine, and paintings for Collector plates for The Bradford Exchange and The Danbury Mint.
I consider myself to be very lucky to have been able to have a career doing the thing I've always loved. I became fascinated with drawing before I was three years old and I have never tired of it.
One important clarification I do want to make is in the biography by Rosemary Guiley, who quoted me exactly in her book LoveLines except for one thing, so I'm sure I didn't make it clear at the time of the interview...In only a very few cases, I received just a manuscript synopsis and I was quite frustrated each time.
I have read every manuscript I was ever sent, thoroughly enjoyed them, and marvelled at the talent and inventiveness of the authors. After reading, I go back over each one to pick the scenes I think would make the most appealing cover. I make notes of all descriptions of the hero and heroine, what they're wearing in that scene, the details of the decor of the room and the architecture of the house. I also make notes of the landscape, the year, the season and the time of day, and the descriptions of secondary characters. The secondary characters are especially fun to do. Because the same gorgeous models pose for them too, it's a challenge to transform them into totally different looking characters.
Speaking of gorgeous models, you should have seen the three and four year olds who came to the photography studio, with their mommies, to pose for the Children of the Week paintings I did for collector plates. They were adorable, cooperative, and did a marvelous job of posing. The last plate in the series was a group picture. I have given permission to Wedgewood, the English producer of fine china, to create figurines of the Children of the Week. They are now commissioning sculptors to work from my original paintings.

For the eight paintings I did for the Collector plate series, Little Women, I chose to use young models who fit the ages and descriptions of the characters in the famous book. I had never read the book and thought it was wonderful. The girls were just right for their roles and posed beautifully. You can find both Collector Plate Series on this website.
By the way, if you're interested in how I create a book cover, start to finish, this process can be found on this website. Once, when I was starting a Victoria Holt book, The Shivering Sands, my art director, Dale Phillips at CBS Fawcett, thought it would make an interesting presentation at a large conference he was going to attend, so he sent a photographer over to shoot every stage of preparation and painting. ABC also came to the shooting for Panama Flame by Mirna Pierce for a segment on their show 20/20. They were a fun bunch.

Thank you for your interest
and best wishes,
Elaine Gignilliat

P.S. To solve the mystery of the spelling of my name, it's pronounced


Front Door
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