Image taken from page 595 of ‘Le Monde pittoresque et monumental. L’Angleterre, l’Écosse et l’Irlande … Cartes en couleur et … gravures’, a photo by The British Library on Flickr.
I have been browsing the new Flickr resources from the British Library, some wonderful things on there, including this great image of Trongate in Glasgow’s Merchant City.
Art based and architectural based books line my bookshelves and have given me many happy hours of inspiration. I thought I would write a review of a recent book which I acquired to share how much I enjoyed it and also invite some suggestions from others as to books which inspire and delight.
My current book of choice is “An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration from the Private Arts Journals of Travelling Artists, Illustrators and Designers” by Danny Gregory.
I’m hoping no-one minds me taking a photo of the book cover, happy to take it down if someone does! I just wanted to share the lovely detail so people who had not seen it could see what it looked like.
The book contains sketches and illustrations from a huge number of artists from around the world, each has descriptions from the artists of their creative practice and a selection of images from sketchbooks. It is a delight to read (either cover to cover or dipping in every now and then) as you can travel the world from the comfort of your own home… Italy to Uddingston, Dallas to Paris. I find it fascinating to see how little everyday details which are superbly familiar to some are utterly unusual to others; food packaging, street signs, architectural styles, words and lettering. What is “the norm” in one country becomes so interesting to the visitor; sketching makes us notice new things (and revisit our own visual landscape with fresh eyes). Each artist describes their journalling technique and their chosen “tools”, some even have photographs of their kit so that you can see how they work on location. The differences in technique are fascinating as everyone has slightly different approaches (some working in pen, others including collected ephemera from their travels, some preferring to include descriptions alongside drawings and others divulging inner thoughts) and some prefer not to set “rules” for working and just see what happens. The compilation is presented by alphabetical order of artist, and carefully chosen images line each page. This is a wonderful book for anyone who enjoys travelling and wishes to explore ways of capturing the world around them, and also for those of us who love art and architecture and seldom leave the house without a sketchbook!
I would love to hear some more book recommendations for art and architecture. How do you like to remember your travels? If you could go anywhere in the world and draw, where would that be?