April 23, 2009

Eduardo Salavisa and Diarios Gráficos

One of the many pleasures of my trip to Portugal was to end up with a copy of the book "Diários de Viagem, desenhos do quotidiano".
In english it would read " Travelling Diaries, everyday drawings" by Portuguese sketcher Eduardo Salavisa. In this book we discover the work of 35 contemporary sketchers. Not only you get amazing double pages of sketches to look at but the book is rich in text about the use of sketchbooks by artists in the past, their history and tradition and how with the internet those diaries have left the private sphere, where they were only seen by people close to the author and have entered the public one through the use of blogs where those sketches are posted.

by Eduardo Salavisa
Eduardo wants everybody to start drawing (my words) and the book has a chapter at the end on how to start drawing and information for teachers on how to encourage and review a sketchbook.
The word the Portuguese use for their sketch books is "Diário Grafico" that would translate into english as a Graphic Diary. For Eduardo and most of the portuguese sketchers I met, the "diário grafico" is normally of small format so that they can easily carry on their pockets and is "a space of freedom, to experiment materials, techniques, ways of sketching (...) a way of storing memory of spaces, people, feelings and moments".
Its not arriving at a beautifully worked page that's their objective but to capture the moments as they're happenning. Instead of looking at each page it is the result of the open book with its double page that is important to them. If you look at their sketches in urbansketchers, you'll notice that they always post a double page with the edges of the book shown.
The relation of one page to the other and the whole book as an object with bad drawing days and good drawing days is also important. ( bad drawing days just make sense in each author's heads for the one that is looking, every single page or double page looks great.)
So if any of you haven't met this portuguese sketcher you can find everything about him, his work at his site even a list of sketchers from the past and present and with english version.


  1. Excellent choice for the Worldwide Day of the Book and of the Author's Right

  2. A tua viagem a Portugal foi também a minha oportunidade para te conhecer, para além dos sempre óptimos desenhos do blog.
    Valeu muito a pena e espero ter mais oportunidades de desenhar em conjunto e de ver os teus maravilhosos cadernos.

  3. Bom comentário sobre o livro. Se te tivesse conhecido mais cedo, eras com certeza um dos autores contemporâneos que o integra.

  4. What a fantastic resource to inspire sketchers and journal-keepers, and to encourage those who haven't tried, to do so - I'd love to see the book - is it also published in English?

  5. A very lively sketch. I can imagine the book is full of the anecdotal and the small things we usually overlook.

  6. Yeah, there's nothing like keeping a graphic journal to record what's going on in your life- in my opinion this can be better than a photo album. I always like your journal pages- watercolor records of your life.

  7. Wow, what a great treasure! I know that in England they used to have a national Drawing day. Also, when the American portrait painter, John Singer Sargent would travel, he would take a group with him. Everyone was expected to go out and spend the better part of the day doing watercolor paintings of their surroundings.