...and they have been, for the publishing industry, for some time. Just got word that Sierra Club is going out of the publishing business to focus on their other missions. Publishing has changed, a LOT, in the past 10-15 years, and they're not the only book publisher to disappear...
They had a great run, and a LONG one, with many, many wonderful books by some elegant, eloquent writers over the years. I was very glad to be in that august company, and happy with the books I did with them--it was a wonderful experience.
The internet has impacted a lot of publishers, both of
books and of magazines; it's a tough business these days; several of the publishers of my natural history books are no more. (I'm more than grateful
North Light/F & W is still around and going strong.)
Sketching in Nature's been out of print for some time, though it had a great run--hardcover and softcover, with revisions and multiple reprints. I loved doing it...
Painting in Nature came out in 2000 and did very well too...3 print runs are not at all bad!
The latter book was very meaningful to me; I was working on it when my first husband Harris fell ill, and when he died. It came out a year or so after, and there are many sweet, poignant memories held within those pages. We sat together in the woods and I painted while he read or napped...we picnicked by the lake while I drew...he was always supportive, and always proud of what I did.
My dear friend Judy Gehrlein, a wonderful artist and sketching buddy, went with me on many of the field trips--those memories are held between the pages as well.
In 2005, I was invited to speak to Sierra Club's first International Gathering in San Francisco on field sketching; it was the first time my beloved Joseph and I were alone together as well. What a trip THAT was! Between my stage fright and the snafus with technical issues like laptops and slide projectors and the Powerpoint presentation that J. put together for me, running late, miscommunications, and...stage fright, did I mention stage fright?? (More like terror...)
For a while there it looked as if I'd be speaking to an auditorium of a couple of hundred people with nothing but my sketchbook and a microphone. (Thank goodness we had a couple of days to wind down after that and explore that beautiful city!)
Jim Cohee was the best editor anyone could ever have...I loved working with him, and loved finally meeting him in 2005. Gentle, funny, talented, inspiring...the best, yep. He's writing books of his own, now! Just saw The Swan, on Amazon...
Lots of warm memories...
Still, it's a sad day when one of the Old Lions goes away. You'll be missed, Sierra Club. Thanks for the wild, wonderful ride.