Monday, 11 March 2013

Books, Arthur and Me!

The laurels have been sat on for long enough and my fingers are itching to start something new. Of course, there is no opportunity to have a browse through my sketchbooks for inspiration as they are still with the SBA for assessment, so I have to look elsewhere. New sketches mean sketchbooks and here's a fun new one to add to my collection, already personalised with a Sketchbook Squirrel label, ha, ha. 

A fabulous freebie!
A gorgeous new sketchbook from Illustration Web
just for 'liking' their Facebook Page
Happy to do so guys!

Inside, there are loads of great interviews with some
of my favourite artists.
Here Rosie Sanders gives us an insight.
Love the ribbon marker thingy. 

Hannah Firmin illustrates the covers for Alexander McCall Smith's
No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series of books
I love these linocut designs and have them all!
Books are a passion of mine and I have hundreds of them. From childhood favourites such as the Grimm fairy tales, through to Alexander McCall Smith and onto the latest Booker Prize darling, I will read just about anything and everything. To be honest, I can thank a book of fairy tales, given to my brother and me when we were little for my great passion for illustration. The book, Fairy Tales from Many Lands had some of the classic stories, but it was the pictures that sparked my interest as they were by one of the greatest book illustrators of them all, Arthur Rackham.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham from the cover of
Fairy Tales from Many Lands

Arthur Rackham is my illustration hero, his work is immediately recognisable for its delicate colours and pin-sharp detail in pen and ink. Illustrating works as diverse as, English fairy tales to Wagner's The Ring and Shakespeare's, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Rackham was a true commercial artist, working continuously until his death in 1939. Of course nowadays his work is highly sought after, and always fetches a high premium at the auction houses. Ah well, at least I have the books.     
Now, back to my own modest musings. Throughout the SBA course, I have accumulated a fine and growing collection of books. From favourite artists to the course textbooks, anything remotely 'botanical', eye catching or interesting has been brought into the fold and there is always plenty of inspiration to be found in them, so I will be poring over their pages along with a cup of tea later. Elsewhere around the garden, there are hellebores galore, the narcissus are coming on strong and the bluebells are already showing early buds. There is plenty to choose from just now but with snow forecast for today, perhaps not for long. Hmm, yellow again! 

Just a handful of the many books from my 'Botanical Bookshelf'

As the snow falls, the daffodils bravely try to keep their heads up.


Laura Ashton said...

I love Arthur Rackham. I remember as a child deciding I liked that style of illustration over the more impressionistic style of other illustrators. Even then I has an eye for detail! I wish I has a book illustrated by him

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Yes, it's all in the detail! Ha,ha.