The best online bio I found for William Lester Stevens is both fantastic and disappointing. It fantastically opens in a provocative way — telling the reader they need popcorn before continuing and setting them up to expect something akin to “the sight of a man driving through a backyard with laundry draped across his bumper” from this “madcap” artist. And then it goes on, disappointingly, to describe nothing that is to me anything like a “madcap” existence. Maybe someone considers an artist who uproots his family because he can’t stand living in a place that is popular with artists “madcap,” but I don’t see it. Perhaps it Stevens’s zany habit of sketching in the trenches during World War One that earned him the “madcap” designation. Again, I don’t see it.
Oh, well. It doesn’t really matter — except that I was expecting some really good stuff. You can’t just go throwing around words like “madcap” and then not back them up.