About the Book
This book is a collection of personal reminiscences collected over 60 years and originally intended as part of a larger work to cover all our journeys on the Iberian peninsula, but it was soon clear that it would be too expensive as a self-published work. A dictionary definition cites a Sketch as something rough or unfinished, though one cannot think that of the Miles Davis-Gil Evans successful jazz arrangements Sketches of Spain. Evans based this work on the hugely popular Adagio from Joaquín Rodrigo’s guitar Concierto de Aranjuez.
Our sketches are reminiscences about the places, things and people we met with during a dozen intensive journeys deep into the Spanish heartland. We travelled by motorcycle, train, bus or auto going from east to west and north to south, preferring the parts least affected by modern times — to places where old world manners and propriety still prevailed. The accessible southern coast from the French border to Cadiz was rarely on our itinerary because much of that region had already been ravaged by tasteless tourism, reckless building projects and fields of strawberry beds covered in plastic.
Born in 1925 in Grimsby, England I soon showed artistic aptitude and won a scholarship to study graphic design – studies disrupted by the war, and service in Royal Air Force. After the war I worked on missiles and the Skylark research rocket. In 1972 I was offered a job in the German Aerospace Research Organization, the NASA of Germany. The change of life-style in Bavaria triggered me to take photography seriously, making close-ups of Alpine flowers for my wife. This developed into a fascination for detail and still life, as well as landscapes, making images featured in my exhibitions and several books. We made many journeys around the Greek islands, France, Italy, Spain & Portugal, shooting literally acres of film. I have often said that if a motif presents itself suddenly ‘out of the blue’, I see it intuitively as a graphic image or some abstract design – a reaction difficult to describe and almost impossible to teach others. I photograph anything that stands or moves, or moves me.