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Barbara Rae: Sketchbooks [Hardcover]

Richard Cork , Gareth Wardell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 July 2011
Wherever she is working outside, from the remote coastline of her native Scotland to the mountains of Andalucía and the Arizona desert, Barbara Rae responds to what she sees in her sketchbooks. Published here for the first time, these dynamic studies provide themes and motifs for Raes paintings and prints, but they also stand alone as sensuous evocations of the landscapes to which she is so attached. Richard Cork draws on interviews with the artist to examine how she sketches to connect with a subject, and in a spirited response to the books themselves he describes the experience of looking through their vibrant pages. Introducing the sketches according to such themes as Man and Sea and Desert Symbols, Gareth Wardell probes Raes particular obsessions. Following the recent publication of her prints, this rich book confirms Rae as one of the boldest of contemporary artists, moved as much by emotion as her senses to record the visible world.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Royal Academy of Arts, London (4 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907533109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907533105
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 25.1 x 30 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An artist`s working sketches revealed. 5 Aug 2011
Those of you who are familiar with Barbara Rae`s work will not be surprised to discover that her "throw everything you need to at the canvas" paintings derive from "throw everything you need to at the paper" sketches. The preface to the book informs us that Rae uses acrylics for her sketches, but I think its likely that she adds some chalks or oil pastels and a dip or sketching pen to her armoury as well.
This book is likely to come as a shock to those who think sketchbooks are those little ring-bound things that should be filled with neat, detailed pencil doodles; Rae`s sketches are - as you'd expect - direct, quickly established compositions with specific elements picked out, colour ranges and passages of interest explored; they are bold, splashy, trickly, worked-over pieces and although these are just working material for something bigger, most of them could be pleasingly framed as they are - they have a resolved completeness about them, taking on a poetic quality. Almost all are landscape-derived, coming close to abstract in appearance just like her paintings. The closest comparison I could make in describing them would be, perhaps, similar sketches by John Piper - but that's a ball-park comparison at best, Rae has her own visual language and range of mark-making.
This handsome volume contains around 130 full-page, full-colour illustrations; an interesting and inspiring book to look through, there are only a few brief pages of text. The only thing missing is any listing of dimensions, but that's not crucial given that the presence of written notes on most of the sketchbook pages can help determine the likely scale.
I bought this book for myself - its always interesting to see other artist's sketch-work - but I'll be showing it to my painting students - it is an excellent example of how a working artist collects material on the spot without getting tangled-up in detail.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Sketchbook 27 July 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Barbara Rae's sketchbooks are fundamental to her strong, vibrant paintings. An essential part of the whole process, showing structure and colour references. Very interesting and inspiring.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars art history 16 July 2011
what a marvellous book. if you are an admirer of Barbara Rae's work this the book for you! It gives an insight as to how she first approaches the landscape. the reproductive quality is superb.i would love to be able to see the world with such colurful insight!
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