Mark Bibby Jackson reviews The Artist’s Journey, The Travels That Inspired the Artistic Greats, a book by Travis Elborough published by White Lion Publishing.
I must admit to being partial to a bit of Elborough. Ever since I read his Atlas of Forgotten Places, I have been taken with his mix of excellent research and intriguing choice of subject matter for travel writing. His latest work The Artist’s Journey, continues in that vein.
The Artist’s Journey
The book follows 30 journeys, which according to Elborough have deeply influenced the work of prominent artists. From Turner’s tour of Switzerland, to Salvador Dali’s surrealist stay in New York, the author take us on a potted history of how travelling can serve as an artistic muse. We even join Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera on their honeymoon in Cuernavaca.
The book follows the artist’s alphabetically rather than taking a chronological or geographical approach, but this if anything makes the book less predictable. It also enables you to dip into Picasso’s sojourn in the south of France, before discovering how Hockney went La-La over LA.
The travel book is enlivened by Hannah Naughton’s excellent maps as well as illustrations by the artists.
As Elborough says in his introduction, Paul Klee, whose journey to Tunisia is included in The Artist’s Journey, once said that drawing is simply taking a line for a walk. “A walk, however, can only take you so far,” states Elborough. In many respects his excellent book disproves his words.
The Artist’s Journey shows how far a walk, ride or flight can take you on the path towards artistic inspiration and self-discovery. Whether you are a traveller, artist, or just enjoy reading a good tale, this book might inspire you to greater creativity or perhaps go on a long journey.
About Travis Elborough
The Artist’s Journey: The Travels That Inspired the Artistic Greats
By Travis Elborough. Published by White Lion Publishing on 5 October, 2023.
Available for £20 Hardback & E-book. Images from the book.