It was really very chilly on this cold February Sunday morning when I did this small plein air study of bare trees under a grey sky. The rain was drizzling on and off. Each year in February I have enough of the winter season and can’t wait to see the fresh colors of spring. The meadows are so wet that the feet of my chair sank into the clay ground as it was pudding.
Meantime I got a copy of the Kurt Jackson book, which has become my favorite evening read. I regret that the images of the sketchbooks are often cropped and technically refined a bit too much for my taste. But that means nothing compared to the inspiration and motivating energy that the book still can convey to the reader. I love the inventive pencil work and appreciate of course the chapter on trees. Jackson has put some effort in his text which is trying to let the reader take part in the experience of sketching in nature and on his travels. I think that is a major merit of this book and a particular generosity.
I am glad that Jackson’s writing, which accounts for most of the text, is everything else but artsy, which is not natural considered his status in the art world. That helps to get over the introduction essay by art critic Livingston. It has interesting technical information, but also the well-known intellectual praise formulas and art history name dropping that one can usually stand only for 20 minutes on a vernissage.