Catherine Downes "The Sketches"

12th April 2016

Last October I received a phone call from a local watercolour artist who had seen "Element Tangents" at 'The Church Stretton Arts Festival' and wondered if I would be interested in producing a book containing images from her sketch books. A truly unique idea as not many artists permit anyone to see their original sketches. Many keep them very private and under lock and key. I was intrigued to say the least. So we arranged a date of mutual convenience and got together to discuss possibilities.

After an initial meeting chatting about what could be achieved, how it would be tricky to totally match the colours as ink and paint react very differently when shot using light. Editing would be paramount we came upon an agreement and I collected the sketch books to start photographing the beautiful art drawings within.

Halfway through the original brief for a perfect bound, soft cover, 55 page booklet, was changed to an 80 page, hardback, stitched book, as there were just too many beautiful images being included to make perfect bound viable and give the art the area it needed and keep its beauty.

By January the design was coming together beautifully and first proofs had been set up for colour accuracy. I love dealing with Gomer Press as they are totally brilliant for colour accuracy. Only a few images needed tweaking to meet the standard I was looking for, of course having a totally calibrated system my end is always a big help. Catherine was obviously kept in the loop at all stages and approved all colour proofing. The joys of working with a professional creative that understands media, colour and the way it all works making this very easy and enjoyable.

Finally press day arrived and Catherine and I had an early start down to Llandysul in Wales to see her very first book printed. It was an amazing day for both of us. I love helping people make their dreams a reality and it was a pure joy to see Catherine watch as her beloved pictures were bought to life in the pages of The Sketches. I can recall the day I saw my first book on press, it is an extremely emotional experience to say the least and I felt no lesser feeling with Catherine and her wonderful book.

We came home via a very exciting roller coaster road called 'The Devil's Staircase' one of the 10 best roads in Britain to drive and I can see why. Not many roads have 1/1% inclines! Many folk would of been incredibly nervous on that run but no not Catherine she was loving every minute of it and looking for places to come back and paint just as I was looking for places to come back and photograph.

A few days later the cover of the book arrived in the post and Catherine and I got together to make the final check over before it was all bound to book format. I travelled down Thursday 7th April to see "The Sketches" all bound together and had another beautiful run home via Devil's Bridge falls and the Elan Valley. Armed with two very tempting Lemon Drizzle Cakes in the car made by the lovely Andrea in the finishing department where else but Gomer would you get excellent customer service and cake? The 3 tiers of boxes, stacked on well wrapped pallet, arrived yesterday and Catherine took delivery of her 48 boxes of 21 books which are now very neatly packed on shelves in a spare room awaiting sales.

My first client published book under TnT-Photoart Publishing put to bed with one very happy customer, I left Catherine beaming, she was going to go back and sit down with a well earned cuppa, start reading the pages of her book "Catherine Downes, The Sketches", her legacy for her children. Thank you Catherine for allowing me to work on something so special now let us get it out into the world!

Catherine signing the very first copies of her Fine Art Coffee Table book The Sketches.

Teaser of this wonderful Coffee Table Fine Art Book below:

C Downes Sketches Lr

Catherine Downes is the featured artist of this years Church Stretton Arts Festival she will be signing copies of "Catherine Downes, The Sketches" during the exhibition. Date to be confirmed.

"Catherine Downes, The Sketches" will be available from:
Catherine Downes Website Catherine Downes Artist

Much Wenlock Books (Signing Wednesday 22nd June from 4.30 till 6 pm)
Books will also be available at the Raven Hotel in Much Wenlock. There should be some paintings on display there at the same time.

Ironbridge Framing where both paintings and books will be available for sale.

Burway Books (Signing Thursday June 23rd 2-4pm) an exhibition of Catherine's Paintings will also be next door at Barbara's Picture Framing running concurrently.

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