Monday, 27 April 2015

Book Review - Be Invigorated!

A while ago I mentioned this latest book from Charles Reid - a collection of his sketches from over the years produced in a limited edition `collectors' book. I gave my reasons why I wouldn't be buying it so don't feel it necessary to elaborate  further. One of my ` followers'; Ms `Mike' Gantt, having bought it, offered to submit a review so here it is. 

Book Review - Be Invigorated

If you want to be invigorated, order a copy of Charles Reids newest book" Sketchbook"! based largely on recommendations of his family and students who yearned to see a glimpse of the inside of his sketchbooks over 30 years, he has carefully selected some of his treasures to share with us! While it is not a "how to" book, it is a beautiful work of art.

He shares some valuable tips about why all of us need to keep a sketchbook... "it is portable and private","can be used as a diary of a trip", and can be used for future paintings or simply for studies. Because he includes sketches of his many travels, including handwritten notes. it is almost like taking a little trip with Charles and Judy Reid! His vibrant use of color is breathtaking and the book is so uplifting in the few words of wisdom he shares. I found it encouraging because he speaks openly about how he learned to draw and offers supportive tips for drawing. He stresses how watercolour artists with passion are anxious to paint, but states..."drawing and painting should be thought of as one and the same".

One of my favourite sketches is the one he did of Everglades City in Florida. Having just visited there last year, it immediately took me back to the little harbour we visited you can feel the heat of the day, the beautiful weather and the inviting coolness of the shade of the palm tree that welcomes you. In another sketch done in a studio with Gene Wilder, one can sense the calmness of the models and the intensity of concentration of the artists. It seems to me a sketchbook is often better than a camera since you have created it using all of your senses of seeing, touching and feeling.

It is my understanding that this is a limited edition book and Charles Reid signs each copy. If you simply love Charles Reids paintings, this book reflects his passion for watercolor and is one you will want to have in your collection. If you are an artist and are interested in learning more about the subtleties of Charles Reids techniques, this is a book you will want to have in your library for it will motivate you no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced artists, it is simply beautiful and powerful.

The sketchbook can be ordered from Charles Reids website (

Ms `Mike'Gantt is a retired biologist from the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service and took up watercolor just 4 years ago. She is a member of the North Carolina Watercolor Society and the Colored Pencil Society of America.

My thanks to `Mike' for this interesting contribution.

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