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Painting at the Edge of the World: The Watercolours of Tony Foster

Painting at the Edge of the World: The Watercolours of Tony Foster


In the Grand Canyon and on the icy flanks of Mount Everest, deep in rainforests and deserts, under water and at the mouths of live volcanoes – Tony Foster paints his expansive watercolours at the edges of the world. Presented here with personal accounts of his journeys, they are an exultant testament to the power of art and the richness and fragility of our planet. His meticulously executed watercolours demonstrate his complete mastery of the centuries-old tradition of English landscape painting.


For Foster each work is a page in a visual diary, a richly pictorial chronicle of events and encounters along the way which constitutes both journey and destination. In his composite images, maps and diagrams, together with details of flora and fauna, contextualize the principal subjects. The packets of seeds, like the pouches of volcanic dust, combine similarly the narrative of particular journeys with different time scales and forces of nature. Tony Foster has succeeded in seeing, and conveying by means of the most subtle of visual metaphors, “eternity in a grain of sand”.


Tony Foster has exhibited in many major museums and galleries, including the Smithsonian Institution, Yale Centre for British Art, the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Geographical Society.

  • By Duncan Robinson

    324 pages, hardback

    345 x 305 mm, 240 colour illustrations
    ISBN: 978 0 295988 17 7

  • Exhibition

    Accompanying the exhibition Searching for a Bigger Subject – Paintings from Mt. Everest and the Grand Canyon touring from February 2008 until September 2009 to The Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, The Royal Watercolour Society, London, galleries in Santa Fe, New York and Dallas and to the Phoenix Art Museum.

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