To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Friday, March 26, 2010
Ravilious in Pictures: Sussex and the Downs
I saw this book mentioned in the London Review of Books (my new favorite periodical), and became curious about it. Eric Ravilious was not an artist I had heard of, and there was a magical quality to his work that made me want to learn more. I had to order it from amazon.co.uk, since US distributors didn't seem to have it. And I have to say, it is a gorgeous, elegant book. Each set of facing pages has one of Ravilious's paintings on the right side, while the left provides accompanying text. The author has gone through a great deal of trouble with this simple text. He combines stories from the artist's life with details from his correspondence with historical details with details of how the sites and subjects have changed in present day. It becomes clear that he has not only studied and integrated a great deal of information about Ravilious, but that he has personally visited many, if not all, of the sites in the pictures. Then he combines this into a few brief, pleasing paragraphs that seem the perfect accompaniment to the corresponding picture, in pacing, in tone, and in form. Reading the book was like taking a walk through the English countryside with a friend of the artist. I understand this is the first of a series of books about Ravilious's works, each focusing on a different part of England, and I look forward to the subsequent volumes.
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.