Written by April Spadina
In 1773 explorer and writer Samuel Johnson said “The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are”. This phrase hit a chord for intrepid artist and traveller Bill Sargent and spurs him to see the world as it really is. To truly achieve this, Bill and his trusty travelling companion, his lovely wife Sharon, head off the beaten track as the two happy nomads discover the incredible trueness of the world.
Bill is an avid travel photographer. His stunning images capture the glorious details that he finds in the patchwork of the places he has visited. From outback Australia to Europe, from Spain to Asia, Bill has journeyed, explored, traipsed and meandered, all the while seeing the world through the eyes of an artist. His travel journals consist of sketchbooks and watercolour paints with which he has finessed the art of quickly capturing on paper what he sees before him. The fast sketches capture a moment in time of the mood of his surroundings, and like his photographs, he has an eye for detail and a knack of understanding the soul of a place. He explores for months at a time, traveling to places that aren’t in glossy travel brochures – his own quiet, casual character yearns to observe the true heart and character of a community, it’s terrain and its inhabitants.
With an idea of where they are headed, and a loose plan for their trip, Bill and Sharon are happy to throw caution to the wind and go with the flow. Their free spirit, gypsy souls mean when things don’t go to plan, they embrace the unexpected and consider it an opportunity to add to the adventure! Bill’s travel blog is a beautiful catalogue of images and tales of their adventures, often humorous and unexpected with the twists and turns of the landscape and encounters with the locals.
For Bill, to watch the adventure unfold before him is a beautiful opportunity to capture a scene, a moment in time through the eyes of the explorer and artist alike. His camera, sketch book and paint tin are never far from him and he enjoys urban sketching no matter the location. Bill is an explorer at heart, to the very core. To truly submerge himself in a culture he has mastered the art of watching, deeply observing, acquainting himself with the aesthetics. Like Samuel Johnson said, he has undeniably embraced the reality of travel by seeing things how they really are, and that is an artform in itself.