Galápagos Sketchbook – a new book inspired by a trip with Think Galapagos

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Oxfordshire based Artist David Pollack travelled to the Galapagos Islands with Think Galapagos the year he retired from his day job. Although that trip was over a decade  ago, the remote volcanic archipelago 1,000km off the coast of Ecuador had a deep and lasting effect on him.

David Pollack at work in his studio

A place of creative inspiration

David is of course not the first and certainly won’t be the last to be creatively inspired by this magical place. It has been the cause of inspiration for centuries, most notably Charles Darwin, who based his theory of evolution on his observations of the unique species he took the time to observe here.

When David visited the Galápagos Islands with us, he took his sketchbook, observed the creatures in a similar way and filled its pages with vivid and mesmerising sketches and paintings of the creatures there; Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Marine Iguanas, Giant Tortoises, Sea Lions and much more.

The Galápagos Sketchbook

The result is a beautiful new hardback book, the Galápagos Sketchbook, published this autumn by Pallas Athene. The A5 book, which is printed on textured paper and filled with watercolour illustrations and sketches, is a replica of the sketchbooks he has carried with him in travels across several continents for the past three decades.


With an afterword from Mick Rooney from the Royal Academy, the Galápagos Sketchbook lays testament to David Pollock’s talent and the profound impact the islands had on his life. With all profits going to the Galápagos Conservation Trust this is both a collector’s item and a charitable purchase to help fund conservation projects in the Galapagos Islands.

As David says, “The Galapagos Islands are a seductive destination indeed for an artist and amateur naturalist like me. The reasons are scientific (the link with Darwin), scenic (some of the most exciting lava landscapes on earth), and most importantly, of course, zoological.

Visiting the Islands and drawing there were, for me, deeply affecting experiences. The sense of isolation from the rest of the world is remarkable. At times, I felt as if I’d slipped through a wormhole to prehistoric times, with limitless potential for creating pictures.

The archipelago is home to arguably the world’s most extraordinary endemic species. They are a joy to draw and because they are unfazed by humans, you can get close enough to observe them properly. In drawing, you are forced to really scrutinise them and that way you learn so much more about their habits and form. You also come to  understand much better the threats to their continued existence .

My favourite creatures are the iguanas, marine and land, and the fabulous birds, from the boobies and frigates to the penguins and the flamingos.They come to stand for all threatened species around the world and their welfare becomes a concrete concern rather than an abstract idea. To visit the Galapagos with my paintbox was a life-changing experience, made possible by the careful selection of boat and guide by Think Galapagos.

Get a copy of the book

You can buy a copy of Galapagos Sketchbook online from £19.99 from most leading retailers including Waterstones and Amazon, or direct from the publisher. If you’re planning a trip to the Galapagos or want to remember your time there, it’s a wonderful book to inspire you and transport you there.

We feel honoured to have facilitated such a life changing trip for David (and many others like him!)

More from our blog

The best books to read about Galapagos while you’re there

Waking up (unexpectedly) in Ecuador



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