Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Inspiration: Edward Lear. 1812 - 1888

Benares 1873

Lucknow 1873

Poonah 1874

Agra. The Taj. 1874
The red and yellow Macaw (study)

I find the work of Edward Lear really inspiring. At the age of 16 he was earning a living by drawing birds, and then subsequently went on to be a landscape painter and travelled around the world. I have recently come across some of his watercolours that he did while travelling around India in 1873-74, and they are stunning! I will be heading back to India next month for my winter, landing in Delhi first on Jan 7th, then Benares on the 15th, Goa on the 29th and Bangalore on the 5th of February to finish my next children's book, and these watercolours have whet my appetite to paint more on my travels.

I love this quote of his, that is applicable to a lot of us artists who earn our living through our paintings, even in this day and age. He says ' ....tho' I have 400₤ of commissions, yet people don't pay their money till the pictures are done usually - not always then. So I have been obliged to write for an advance on two paintings./ I much wish I could get so far beforehand as to be out of that constant worry of "daily bread" wh. is a bore- but there is no remedy:- & one ought to think how many unknown artists have no bread at all.'

He is also known for his Nonsense verse, and his Book of Nonsense, where he bridges children's literature and humor. One of my favourite poems of his is "The Owl and the Pussycat".

1 comment:

Barry Parker said...

I was given a book of Lear's paintings of India…they really are remarkable.