This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while, and is an apology to Mr. GraydonParrish from a snot-nosed Brit who has been less than complimentary about his excellent book.
A fewweeks ago, I got a very nice email from Graydon, who collaborated withGerald Ackerman on the publication of theBargue Drawing Course book. Iwrote a review of the book not long after I first got hold of it, and was pretty critical of it in someaspects. Read the review linked above to see for yourself.
At the time, I was getting frustrated with the problems I was having getting decent, full size reproductionsof the plates done. A lot of that frustration came out in the review. I couldn’t see why the plates, or at leastsome of them, couldn’t have been included loose leaf and full size with the book. It would certainly makethe book much more useful for aspiring autodidacts like me.
However, I did let my frustration get the better of me in the review, and that, coupled with the fact thatI was somewhat outraged at the poor quality of the binding, resulted in a slightly unbalanced review.
In his email (at least I have no reason to doubt that it actually was Graydon Parrish,) Graydon pointedout that getting the book into print was no easy task, that he and Gerald hadn’t profited from it, and thattheir motive for publishing the book was simply to help people like me along their way. I believe him, again, becauseI can see no good reason not to.
Undoubtedly, the publishing firm will have put restrictions on the format of the book to meet commercialconsiderations. I know very well the kind of world we live in, and I should really have considered thatwhen I wrote the review.
In the interests of balance, I should point out here that the Bargue book has been an invaluable aidin my ongoing efforts to teach myself to draw. I would recommend it to anyone in a similar position to me.Because the plates are not full size and need to be copied, it doesn’t give you it on a plate, but nonetheless,the book has been the single biggest influence on my work since I returned to drawing ten months ago. When Iwrote the review, I thought the book was expensive at £60. I now realise that it’s actually priceless, and£60 is a barg(ue)ain.
In addition, the poor quality of the binding has turned out to be a good thing, since I’ve nowpulled the book apart anyway in order to facilitate better scans of the plates. And now that I’ve discovered aprint shop that, using their dye sublimation printer, can get me extremely good copies, I’m much less botheredabout having to enlarge the plates before I work on them.
I’m putting this post here because Graydon, your return email address bounced, and attempts to trackyou down online have proved fruitless. Maybe this page will rank on a search engine somewhere for your name,and you’ll find it. If you do, take this as the apology I couldn’t send you in person.
Like everyone,I sometimes shoot from the hip. My criticisms of the book still stand, but we all have to live in the real world,and I should have been more circumspect in my comments and more balanced in my review.
In fact I owe you no smalldebt of thanks for getting the plates published at all.
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