Painting At The Edge Of The World: The Watercolours Of Tony Foster

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Twenty-five years ago, British artist Tony Foster — armed with pencils, brushes and a basic paint box — began a trek that would forever change his life. He was determined to capture nature in its most pure element, and he knew that in order to do so, he’d have to travel and endure challenges that were almost unimaginable.

One of his first trips was to Thoreau Country in Massachusetts, followed by the High Sierra in California and several visits to the Grand Canyon. Other notable sites included the Costa Rican rainforest, the Sea of Cortez, the Cascades of Washington, the Bolivian Andes, the Colorado River, the icebergs of Greenland, Yosemite, Nepal and Tibet.

Foster faced such obstacles as altitude sickness, freezing winds and scorching heat. His watercolors froze while he was painting images of the three faces of Mount Everest. Through it all, he accomplished exactly what he set out to do — capture nature in its purest element.

Foster’s new book is, much like the sites he visited — breathtaking. The 324-page book contains 240 illustrations, including color plates of 180 artworks. In addition, his diaries and personal comments offer an intimate glimpse into the creative process.

It is one thing to visit a special place, and quite another to capture it on canvas or paper. When Foster first saw the Grand Canyon in 1987, he was stunned by its sheer size and grandeur. As he stood at the edge of the rim and watched the changing light patterns, he understood why the canyon is so attractive to artists from throughout the world. As he put it, the canyon brings together all the necessary elements in superabundance. His watercolors of the canyon are among the most thrilling in the book.

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