Sunday, 16 September 2012


This concludes my week of unpublished drawings from the sketchbooks of William A. Smith.  Such drawings provide a very different perspective on an artist than what we might learn from finished paintings in museums or books.

The sketchbooks themselves are an impressive body of work-- large stacks of binders, lovingly worn from all of the effort lavished upon them over the decades, battered from being transported on military planes, horse carts, trains and buses around the world.

Sleeping passengers became a favorite subject for Smith.

Sandwiched between the working drawings, the sketchbooks contained addresses, bus schedules, translations of key phrases Smith used for getting around in foreign languages, and notes of all kinds.

A small poster tucked into one of the sketchbooks from a military post overseas.

Storage depot in Mandalay

No corporate sponsor would ever commission drawings of the thousands of anonymous subjects that Smith met along the road.  Smith immortalized them out of love-- occasionally out of love for the subject, but mostly out of love for drawing.