For nearly four years I have been painting Readers Digest book covers.

Here’s my process. I custom cut the books into the shape of a letter of the alphabet. Then I hand paint the cover – usually with 14 or 18 karat gold – sign it and sell it at the gallery. No two are the same, and I really enjoy playing with the colors. Sometimes I even glue one of my paintbrushes on the book (for which I have to charge an extra $10).

A few years ago, a dad came into the gallery and wanted to buy enough letters to spell the names of his three sons as a Mother’s Day gift. But when we put all the names together, it was way too expensive for this young father to afford. I asked him if he’d ever heard of the television series starring Fred McMurray called My Three Sons. To my surprise, he was familiar with the show (which ran on ABC from 1960 to 1965, before moving to CBS until its last episode aired on April 13, 1972). So I suggested we spell out “my three sons” instead of each boy’s name, and on the back of each letter/book, I actually wrote their name.

Because I experiment a little, I sometimes spend more time painting the book covers than planned, but they are always fun to create. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to get these Readers Digest books. In fact, this may be the last season for me to have them.

With Mother’s Day behind us, they make great graduation and Father’s Day gifts. The cost is just $38 ($48 for the ones with the paintbrushes), while supplies last.

If you’re interested getting one of these for yourself or for a gif, please call Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens. The number is 239-938-5655.