Sunday April 21, 2013

LENOX -- Illustrator and artist Sol Schwartz, has published his fourth book -- a 168-page hardcover, titled: "Drawing Music II: The La Musica International Chamber Music Festival Sketchbook."

The book encompasses more than 300 of the artist’s drawings over 35 years which include many of the La Musica Festival musicians, collaborators, audience members and venues. La Musica is based in Sarasota, Fla.

For over three decades, Schwartz has been drawing musicians, conductors, actors and dancers at many cultural venues, including those in the Berkshires.

"It happened by accident," the artist said. "I used to make little sketches in the corners of my programs when I attended concerts."

Eventually, he began bringing a sketchbook along to work in, and over the years, has completed thousands of studies, including likenesses of such musical, dance, and theater superstars as Andre Previn, Itzak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Seiji Ozawa, Katherine Dunham, Savion Glover, Mark Morris, Tina Packer, as well as La Musica’s Bruno Giuranna, Derek Han, and Federico Agostini.

"The novelty of my work is that I do it while a performance is underway, sometimes in the pitch dark," Schwartz notes.

He prefers not to adjust or complete an artwork after the fact. Working in pencil, ball point pen, and Japanese sumi brush, he said tries to convey "the spirit of the production, that ineffable nature of a great performance."

Schwartz’ sketches and drawings can be viewed and purchased at galleries and museums as well as online at solschwartz.com.

Schwartz lives in Lenox and in Sarasota. The book was designed and produced by Studio Two of Lenox and Miami.