Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Old Books


Prismacolor colored pencil on Strathmore Charcoal paper. "Pottery Green"

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, 
never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” 

— C.S. Lewis

I love old books, so when I saw this week's topic on Illustration Friday, "worn", I had to look no further than the bookshelf next to my desk. I've always liked how these four looked together, in their green and blue covers. I might have gone overboard using the grey-green paper, but I like how their faded covers sort of fade into the paper.

I've drawn books before (here) and I always have a grand time doing them. I've thought about doing a series, but I'm a big fan of artist Jane Mount's book series, and worry that I'm not being original—not that my work is all that similar to hers. I guess it's time to re-read this wonderful little book that I have,  Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. It's enlightening, inspiring, and great fun to read.

Speaking of books, I mentioned in a recent post that I'm going to visit the home of Beatrix Potter on my upcoming trip to England. Well, in my travel planning, I somehow neglected to see that her house isn't open on Fridays...the day I'll be there. Grrr. I tried to console myself with the fact that there will be a smaller crowd and I can still see the outside and the gardens. But what really cheered me up was the fact that, a few minutes later, I got the last online reservation for one of the infrequent tours of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the tour includes going into the not-usually open-to-the public Radcliffe Camera.  (I'm such a library geek.) And when I read the description of the exhibition that's on while I'm there, I forgot all about Beatrix and her not-open-on Fridays abode. Check out the amazing exhibition here.

I'll be back home on July 13, so I hope to give you a full report!

18 comments:

  1. Very beautiful drawing! I love everything about it. The idea, the technique and the books you choose. Super! Very 'worn'.

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  2. That's a really amazing piece of artwork! I like it how the colours all fit together.

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  3. Lovely, lovely drawing. A subject close to my heart, too.

    As to Beatrix Potter's house, I rather think that most of that lady's inspiration were out of doors, so perhaps it's not such a dreadful thing. And, as an aside: my children were convinced that Beatrix might be related to a certain Harry Potter...

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  4. Now this I love! I am normally drawn to artwork depicting nature in a folksy sort of way but this is just too fabulous not to love it even if it is nothing like my usual favourites! Really really excellent work! London! Aren't you lucky?! I would love nothing better than to spend the rest of my life in a cottage in the English countryside. :)

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  5. Hi Sarah--I just love your pastels. So lovely. Your trip to England sounds great--sorry about not getting to tour Beatrix Potter's home, but her gardens should be wonderful (and were her art studio, more or less!). Happy trails!

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  6. Such a great interpretation of worn! Beautiful drawing.

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  7. I love your drawing, including the background color. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

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  8. I love these books...you have so beautifully captured that loved, worn book-look. Can't wait to hear all about your trip.

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  9. This is amazing! You have captured these precious old books in such amazing likeness. I want to just pick them off the page and do it so carefully because of their fragile condition - brittle and torn papers that you have depicted. Fabulous!!

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  10. This is such a beautiful drawing.

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  11. Oh my, how can it be that I just found you? I adore your drawings. Thanks for sharing! N.G.

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  12. I work in a library...these worn books look so familiar. This is beautiful. I'm definitely checking back to see your report on Beatrix Potter's home... she's one of my biggest influences.

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  13. I adore this painting, the style, the topic, the colours everything!

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  14. Beautiful work. It's like I can reach out and feel the paper of the covers.

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  15. Gorgeous illustration, Sarah! This may be one of my all time favorites of yours!! I hope you had an amazing time in England and at the library..it does look amazing! I hope you also had a fabulous time at Beatrix Potter's home...and I hope you sketched some there. I'd love to see! :)

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  16. Sarah...the books are just divine. I love the colours and the the worn covers. Absolutely adore this illustration.

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  17. Everything about this is stunning! I love old books too. The worn colors are so beautiful.

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