Artist Afloat -- A Sketch Journal of Britain by Canal


This book is a facsimile of a fictitious artist's sketchbook and travel journal.
It is an extemporaneous narrative of the experiences of the artist at work, verbal and visual descriptions of what can be seen, heard, and felt by the artist.
Starting from the tiny canal town of Braunston, she navigates a narrowboat down a hundred mile stretch to London, passing through 90 locks, 2 tunnels, three aqueducts and under 201 bridges on her way. As she travels slowly (at 3 miles per hour) she recounts in word and picture all that she encounters on this journey. The book conveys the impression of the artist at work on the banks of the canal, sitting in the sun before a portable easel, palette and paintbrush in hand.
It is profusely illustrated with intricate collages composed of vignettes, full page illustrations, sketches, finished drawings, color studies, handwritten notes, and the personal correspondence of the characters in the story.
Side by side are panoramic vistas of canal scenes in the manner of the English watercolors, and vignettes rendered, with careful touches of detail on a closer scale, Each page is delightfully embellished with vintage Victorian engravings and random clippings of quotes, the whole is washed with many layers of textured color. The text, which is handprinted in order to further the illusion of the candid narrative, is integrated with the illustrations, sometimes overlapping the paintings.
One of the unique aspects of this book is the sense of immediacy which the paintings and sketches impart to the reader. The visual feeling of the whole is that of a working artist's sketchbook. The physical format of the book plays up the concept of the horizontal artist's sketchbook, spiral bound between black boards, measuring 7 " tall by 10" wide.
American Artist and Writer Linda Anfuso has long been fascinated by the canals of England. It has been her life-long dream to explore this 200 year old network of Inland Waterways. The feeling of "sitting at the artist's elbow as she paints" which can only be achieved by painting from life arises from the author?s eight years of personally exploring the canal system, living aboard a traditional English narrowboat, writing, drawing and painting, as she traced the navigation of the characters in the story.

56 Forest Road, Wilton, New Hampshire 03086 USA
To order your copy of Artist Afloat, ISBN 1-57433-020-9, email me at
Price: $30. US + $5. shipping and handling.In the UK, the price is 20BPS + 6BPS P+P. Visa/Mastercard accepted, make checks payable to Interset Press.
Allow 5-10 days delivery.
Wholesale orders are also welcome, email us for more infomation on discounts and quantities.
Project Artist Afloat is available as an Enrichment Program for schools, either as a one hour presentation or as a week long artist-in-residency.
I show the students how the book is written and illustrated. Field research, in situ sketching and painting, and journal keeping techniques are explained and demonstrated. I also give a brief history of the canal and its commercial carrying history, using the working boat and residential boat as examples of how the use of the canal has changed from commercial to recreational. As I demonstrate my illustration techniques, students are given hands-on experience to assist me in the production and design of the actual page layouts. Together we generate type from the text of the book using a photo copier, a laptop computer and portable printer, and incorporate this with the illustrations. Each student is given a workbook in which they are able to manipulate image and text to create their own versions of the book. Students are encouraged to use contemporary desktop publishing and photocopy print technology in the creation of their own books.
Email us for scheduling information.

American artist and writer Linda Anfuso has long been fascinated by the canals of England. It has been her life-long dream to explore this 200 year old network of Inland Waterways.
Her work has been exhibited at major galleries and museums through the UK and the USA.
Among her published writings are two books of poetry entitled "Stolen Daughter", and "Red Coat", a treatise on European Medieval Illumination materials entitled "A Palette of Period Pigments", another on historic dyeing techniques entitled ?Woad, its History and Uses?, ?The Picasso Principle,? a handbook on marketing techniques for professional artists and craftspeople, and numerous essays and short stories published in various anthologies and magazines. Her science fiction story "In the Eye of the Beholder" can be found in Marion Zimmer Bradley's anthology "Snows of Darkover".
She lives with her husband, fellow artist and writer Dennis Anfuso, aboard a narrowboat in the UK.
She may be contacted via email at




Linda's Poetry Sites

UK Waterways Network

Welcome to Braunston



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