Diane Cable


1978 Sketch Book, hard bound, black, 8.25" x 11.25"

This was a turbulent but creative year. When this sketch book was begun, I lived in an old house just outside the city limits of Athens, to the west, with two housemates that I only now remember as Chris and Farley. Farley makes several appearances in this book—some of the better portraiture I've done in my sketch books, overall.

I commuted to the Eldorado, Athens's one and only vegetarian restaurant, where I continued to work the breakfast shift. My mode of transportation was an old borrowed bicycle. Too vivid are the memories of biking down Prince Avenue in the darkness of the early morning winter hours, being almost blown away by tractor trailer rigs passing me by, ringing out their horrid horns.

A small house came available on China Street, on the eastern side of Athens, later on in this sketch book. At last, after many years, I had the opportunity of living by myself.

This small house on China Street was nothing but a shell of a house, destined for destruction as a new development was planned for the area. The house could hardly be called "furnished;" there was a set of mattress springs upon which I slept from time to time, a couch, and two dining table chairs. It was heated by a space gas heater in the living room. But the rent was cheap: $100 a month. And my route home was across the university campus through the Athens cemetery. My little shell of a house never lacked for flower arrangements as I would make my way home, late in the evening, often after dark, and exploit whatever new gravesites upon which lay many dying roses and a vast array of many kinds of beautiful blooms. Was that so terrible? I don't think the dead minded at all; and the flowers were already dead, as well. Their beauty was appreciated very much by me, the living.

Drawings of note:

Page 6: Athens, Georgia has been known for its great musical talent. While I was there, I came to know the members of the B-52's since they were "regulars" at the Eldorado. Michael Stipe, too, as well as the rest of "REM," were living and performing in Athens. Both these famous groups were forming and moving "up" while I was there. But they were just a small number of good musicians compared to the many who claimed the Athens area as home. Athens featured good musicians in every type of music: blues, bluegrass, folk, punk rock, rock and roll; there was no lack of variety. This is a drawing of one of the best although neither he nor his group gained notoriety beyond Athens and/or Savannah, to where he later moved. Here he sings "House of the Rising Sun." I heard him play this piece several times, and each time he reached deep within his soul for the performance. It would bring tears to my eyes. Michael became a good and forever friend.

Page 9,10, & 12: Cotton was something a mixed breed of "good ol' dog" that belonged to one of my housemates. Being of some years in age, he slept a lot; that made for a perfect model.

Page 14: This is one of several drawings I did of Farley, one of my housemates. She rather enjoyed modeling for me. There is a page missing here; it is another one of Farley. This is one of the very few times I removed a drawing from my sketch book. The drawing was a gift to a good friend.

Page 19: In restaurants, such as the Eldorado, or in the public library—anywhere I could find the human form absorbed in some thought or task—these would be my favorite places to draw.

Page 26: From time to time there are in my sketch books studies of dead animals. I might find one brought in by a cat or "winged" by a car. This didn't mean that I would take it home and draw it immediately. Unknown to my housemates of all times, I would wrap the animal in plastic and put it in the freezer to draw later, at my convenience. Such was the case with this dead Blue Jay.

Pages 32-35: These drawings are of a very handsome, distinguished elderly man I saw in the library. They are some of my favorites in the book. I spent some time drawing him; he never looked up at me to see what I was about.

Pages 38-43: Musicians are some of my favorite subject matter; I draw them and get to listen to their music at the same time. Jan Riley and Tommy (?) were two other good musicians who called Athens home.

Pages 58-65: What better place to study the human figure than in a court room? These are the first court room drawings I had ever attempted. Later, in the early 1980's, I would be hired by a television station to cover court room hearings—all of them having to do with accusations of murder. I think this particular procedure in this sketch book was about drug possession with intent to sell—cocaine and lots of it.

Pages 71 and 72: The sketch books were always at hand for any idea or image that might come to my mind.

Page 76: This is a double portrait of Wayne; it started out as simply a portrait of a man, sleeping. But, alas, he moved slightly. I simply continued with the drawing making it a "double."

Page 84: Such a strange image but it reflects the symbolic image I had of my mother at the time. She was the "personal slave" of both my father and my grandfather (her father). She did not have a life of her own. Both of these men were "monstrous" in their demands upon her.