The show opens on 21st May at the Rabley Drawing Centre.
This year's Show will offer sketch books by many diverse artists working with a vast range of philosophies and media, whose interpretation of the sketchbook, and of drawing itself, is as contrasting as it is varied and includes an intriguing Italian travel sketch book by Anne Desmet RA.
As a passionate young artist, very keen on sketch book drawing in the field, I longed to see Turner's Colour Beginnings and Pencil Studies. Eventually - in 1987 soon after the opening of the Study Room in the Clore Gallery at Tate Britain - I was granted permission to view and research Turner's sketch books.
This study room was then a well kept secret, an empty place, occupied only by the occasional academic and the faithful army of Turner archivists. At the time, visiting this room was considered a very old fashioned and eccentric thing for a contemporary artist to do in the age of Conceptualism.
And now, as drawing has at last taken centre stage and Turner is everywhere recognised as a timeless national treasure, the Study Room at the Clore Gallery has become the Prints and Drawings Room for the whole of Tate Britain, housing not only Turner's sketches but also contemporary works on paper by international artists.
It's been a while since I have entered a work for an open exhibition. I was selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition in 1995, and have always worked privately and quietly on the drawing work since then.
Thus we are celebrating this infinitely renewable medium of the sketch book.
A travel sketch book in particular is a very distinct statement. One needs verve and a powerful intent to walk out of the studio alone and to draw and paint in an isolated place, or the streets of a crowded city.
This very act is itself worthy of acknowledgement, as are the many varied working methods of all the Sketch exhibitors who have invited the outer world to view their inner world via their working process.
Here is a glimpse of my selected sketchbook entitled Iceland - Light into Dark.
coralguestdrawings.com and more to come when the show opens.
Beneath the waterfall - Seljalandsfoss SE Iceland
32 x 42 cms
watercolour, chalk, and graphite on paper
SKETCH 17 PRIVATE VIEW
I arrived at the Private View of the SKETCH 17 show to find the gallery crowded, and yet the space was filled with a silence and an atmosphere of heightened concentration. It was really the strangest and most exciting private view that I had encountered for many a year.
The Rabley Drawing Centre has an air of isolation that is totally conducive to the work they exhibit - an extraordinary place in the midst of beautiful Wiltshire countryside which has been deservedly very successful.
Each book on show holds a unique and diverse approach to drawing that is inspiring and thought provoking. Here are some pictures from the show:
Rapt in concentration - a view of some of the attendees of the SKETCH 17 private view
A glimpse of some of the books on show
All books exhibited are numbered on the cover
Those who the visit in person can find my book with the number 29
The above double page show a study of basalt rock (left) from the waterfalls at Hjalpafoss in the Hekla lava plane in SE Iceland.