Summer + Fall 1976
In the summer of  I made my first trip abroad - to Europe, to Italy; the first of many trips I would make in the future.
When I made this first trip, I had absolutely no money. My first year of graduate study at the University of Georgia was just finished. But, through the encouragement of fellow students who had made the trip the previous summer, I was convinced I had to try to make the "journey." I asked my parents for the money. Having sent both of my brothers on a European excursion when they were in high school, my parents felt it only fair that they should send me, a graduate student in art, to Europe as well.
The University of Georgia was the sponsor of the Italian trip. Established by Jack Kehoe, a professor in the sculpture department, the program was entitled The University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program. For nine weeks a group of advanced art students and several professors lived and worked as artists in a Tuscan town called Cortona. This small Etrurian city came to be the home of my heart after that first summer abroad.
The cost of travel, room + board, and tuition was $3,000. My parents provided this fee for me along with $200 extra for spending money. The first thing that I purchased after our train from Paris arrived in Florence was this sketch book. When I saw the quality of paper in this sketch book, I knew that I was purchasing something that would be a treasure to me. Yes, it has remained so ever since 1976 - my first trip abroad, my first time to visit New York City, my first time ever to fly. This sketch book is, indeed, special.
Other places that were a first for me, of course, was Paris, Pisa, Rome, Orvietto, then Cortona. From Cortona we took weekend excursions to Arrezzo, Voltera, Urbino. I forgot to mention that after Rome we went to Paestum and Herculaneum; took a days visit to Capri. It wax and exhausting summer since no moment was wasted in non-observation of people, things, and monuments around me.
I would like to make a note that my first semester at the University of Georgia was spent in intense learning from Lamar Dodd. Lamar had long since retired (he was 80) but still maintained an office in the art department. I was truly fortunate to have him as a professor. He had been Tucker Cooke's professor. Now Tucker had sent me to learn from Dodd, as well. Dodd's greatest gift to me was to draw with gestural energy. Looking back on it, I see that Tucker taught me classical outline of Flaxxmann or Fusey. Lamar was Delacroix and Gericault, Daumier, under Dodd's tutelage especially one particular moment in class one morning, I experienced my first epiphany in drawing. I shall never forget it. and in this sketchbook I applied his instruction via the gestural mode along with varied value of line throughout.
This sketchbook features portraits (my favorite subject) throughout. At first there are my fellow students, as always, hard at work. Then there are pieces of sculpture seen at the Bargello in Florence (Donatello's David then Verrochio's David) soon we were in Rome again where I was much moved by the Hellecnistic piece The Dying Niobid. Classical sculpture is great subject matter for a drawing. Not only is it perfectly made but it sits absolutely still for the draughts man who might care to study it from all angles.
I admit to being taken aback somewhat by Donatello's David. I couldn't get past the femininity of the figure. Of course I had seen man photos of it before, but, to stand before it "eye to eye" as it were, well, I admit to being shocked. The helmet? A broad brimmed hat with flowers. The torso? A small feminine belly. The posture? Feminine and inviting. The face? Passive as if it were all for show. And then Goliath's head lay on the ground. His helmet sported a long black feather that lay along the inside right leg right up along the leg to where the tip of the feather just misses carressment of the beautiful David's testicle. Yes, it can't can't be said enough that one must experience art in person. A mere photograph will never reveal such subtitles.
April 17, 2010
|I.D. #||Title - Description||Medium||
July 14, 1976
writes in her journal
in her studio~
July, 14, '76 Cortona"
cup of cappuccino.
On the balcony of Tonino's, July 15, '76,
works on wax model in sculpture studio
July 15, '76, Cortona"
|6||0006||study of an old man||graphite|
in her own world
July 20, '76"
|8||0008||study of a frog||graphite|
|9||0009||"The Dying Niobid
|10||0010||"Dying Niobid, Rome, 1976"||graphite|
|11||0011||"Dying Niobid, 1976"||graphite|
|12||0012||"Dying Niobid, 1976"||graphite|
|13||0013||"Temptation of St. Anthony, my version"||ink|
Bargello, August 7, 1976"
|15||0015||"Donatells' David Bargello, August 8, 1976"
|16||0016||"Study of Donatello's David, Bargello, Aug. 8, 1976"||graphite|
|17||0017||"Study of Donatello's Davind in the Bugello Frienge, Aug. 8, 1976"||graphite|
|18||0018||"Study of Donatello's David, Bugello Frienge, Aug. 8, '76"||ink|
|19||0019||Donatello's David Bugello Frienge, Aug. 8, 1976"||ink|
|20||0020||"Venochio's David Bugello Frieng, Aug. 8, '76"||ink|
|23||0023||"Scene of last judgment from Orvietto Cathedral - Aug. 8, 1976. Many multibous."||ink|
|24||0024||"Goofy Etruscan Birds Etruscan Museum, Orvietto Aug. 9, 1976"||ink|
|25||0025||"Etruscan fusion arranged in dancing fashion. Etruscan museum. Orvietto, Aug. 9, 1976"||ink|
|26||0026||"A figure from facade of Orvetto Cathedral, up high. Last Judgement panel~ Aug. 9, 1976"||ink|
|27||0027||"Concert in Cortona"||ink|
|28||0028||"Concert in Cortona"||ink|
|29||0029||"Concert in Cortona"||ink|
|30||0030||"Concert in Cortona"||ink|
"Concert in Cortona"
|32||0032||"Concert in Cortona"||ink|
|33||0033||"Concert in Cortona"||ink|
|34||0034||"Concert in Cortona"||ink|
|35||0035||"Draw hands more
Youth will not hold still"
|36||0036||"Piazza in Cortona"||graphite|
|37||0037||"Portrait of Jef Watson"||graphite|
|38||0038||"Model at UNC-A"||graphite|
|39||0039||"Gesture DWG. of UNCA model"||graphite|
|40||0040||"Gesture DWG. of model at UNC-A"||graphite|
|41||0041||"Linear study of a plant."||graphite|
|43||0043||"Studies of Tom breaking bread"||ink|
|44||0044||"Study of Tom"||ink|
|45||0045||"Figure Study (T.)"||graphite|
|46||0046||"Figure Study (T.)"||graphite|
|48||0048||"Figure study, crouching figure"||graphite|
|49||0049||"Figure study, T."||graphite|
|50||0050||"Figure study, T."||graphite|
|52||0052||5 figures on a landscape||ink|
|58||0058||"Death takes us all"||graphite|
|59||0059||upside-down living room scene
2 nude figures
"By Tom Pitts against my wishes"
|61||0061||"Memory of Cortona"||graphite|
53 Rue de Gergovie
Burn leaves for airport 24 August 7am"
|63||0063||gesture drawing of a man crouching down, possibly two figures.||graphite|