Land Marks & Sea Wings
Land Marks & Sea Wings by John Busby from Wildlife Art Publications http://www.wildlifeartgallery.com 2005, 160 pages 187 Illustrations, £45 ISBN 0952623692
Of all the products I am given to review nothing gives me more pleasure nor more difficulty than artwork. Pleasure because if I can’t actually see birds then looking at photographs or paintings is the next best thing; difficulty because taste and judgement are often inseparable.
As the publisher’s blurb tells me, Landscape and birds have been John Busby’s twin passions since childhood and this work aptly demonstrates these loves. More than half a century’s work is represented with paintings and drawings spanning decades and his world of travels accompanied by some very pleasantly written essays that do more than just enhance the pictures.
Now here’s the rub, whilst I acknowledge the artists skills and talent and even admire his ability to capture movement and character I don’t care for his style. His landscapes are often reduced to pattern and, whilst this is explained by his fascination for landscape light and shape, they are too expressionistic for my taste. I love the broad sweep of things but also crave detail, and his bird portraits whilst brilliant at capturing movement, such as the swoop of a bird of prey as if in slow motion, are yet not pleasing to my eye. Each species is instantly recognisable as if the artists eye puts ‘jizz’ on cartridge paper; admirable but I want more.
I can draw just well enough to never attempt it… I know I can never put on paper what is in my mind’s eye and I am sure John Busby can… I just wish his way of perceiving birds and conceiving pictures was closer to my own.
I imagine that I am in the minority here – the style of sketch and water colour favoured by this artists is one I know is favoured by a great many people who love wildlife and wild places. I am sure that the majority of people who pick up this book would want to own it and would gain huge pleasure form its pages.
Created: 28th May 2006