Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Review: Seattle Sketcher

Cover of Gabi's new book, which shows one of my most favorite
Seattle Sketcher sketches -- the Smith Tower.
Visitors to Gabi’s exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry earlier this year will feel like they are at the exhibit all over again when they view his new book, Seattle Sketcher: An Illustrated Journal by Seattle Times artist Gabriel Campanario. Most of the same sketches and accompanying text are included in the beautiful hardcover book published by the Times and organized in a similar way. And as in the sketch reproductions we saw in the exhibit, we can see the scribbled marginal notes and paint swipes that usually get cropped out when the sketches appear in the newspaper.

But while the exhibit had a literally larger-than-life quality – many sketches were reproduced to fill entire walls – the book gives you the opposite feeling: something you can curl up with on the couch with a cup of coffee, paged through slowly – like a sketchbook.

I’ve seen all of these sketches many times – first in the newspaper; then at the exhibit; and now in the book. But I never tire of Gabi’s fresh view of Seattle. Leonard Garfield, MOHAI Executive Director, said it best, as quoted on the back cover: “The work of Gabriel Campanario is both beautifully drawn and brilliantly observed, revealing Seattle in ways that allow us to see the city as if for the first time.”

Indeed, those who missed the exhibit and don’t have access to his column will be able to see Seattle for the first time in this delightful collection. The book publisher keeps saying it’s available in a “limited quantity.” I don’t know what that really means, but if you haven’t already, you might want to get a copy soon!


  1. After your review I will have to check out Gabi's book.

  2. Sadly, this is a book I will never see. The publisher is doing Gabi a great disservice by wanting to charge me $25 to ship me a book and $60 is just too much for any picture book, even Gabi's book, which I'm sure is great.

    Cheers --- Larry


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