small, red, hardbound; 6.5"
x 9 .5" June 1, 2011
This small, red sketch book
represents the last two months I spent in Europe of 1985. "Joe
Falchetto" (Charles Schultz's
"Snoopy") and the Italian
flag adorn the cover—"Joe Fachetto" translated roughly at the
time as "Joe Cool." Too, this is the first of the two "Randall
Chase" years. For the translation of that,
one should check the introduction page
to all of the volumes.
I was with the Fall program of the UGA-Studies Abroad
Program; I stayed on after the summer
program—so overall, this was
the longest amount of time I
had spend in Italy and Europe.
When I first look at this little book, I feel a sort of
shiver. That's because it was "drawn" during the month of
November—a month I discovered to be a very cold one in Italy.
Randall and I traveled on to Munich;
then to Paris; to
to Brughes. The snow was
beautiful to see along the train route but
the hot baths
of the days, in whatever
small hotel or hostel wherein we stayed, was a welcomed luxury
compared to the cold of the day.
I returned to London and to the US (Atlanta) by myself. I
rode back to Asheville with Randall and his parents. His mother
and father had generously offered to meet us at the airport and
drive us all the way back home.
of note about this sketch
book. After I return to the states, I find that the quality
somewhat. There isn't the
energy and inspiration I had when traveling. The last pages,
except for notes and a small portrait from a lecture attended at
UNC-Asheville given by a Mr. Mark
Bundy on nuclear
weapon policy, seem to be "filler." The line drawings lack
The last end pages provide a verbal explanation of the trip
to Munich. The drawings
are of note are the
Page 8: The mayor of Cortona. Prior to leaving the city at
the end of the UGA Art Department's Fall program, there was a
meeting in the town hall to discuss some local and political
issues. The students were invited along with faculty and staff.
The entire meeting was conducted in Italian; neither I nor the
majority of those participants
in our program understood
very much of what was said. However, I found the opportunity to
do this small portrait of the mayor of Cortona—a man whom I had
always thought quite handsome.
Pages 9 and 11: The painting professor for the program that
Fall was Mike Nicholson, a wonderful teacher
person, overall. One evening,
late in the session, he "delivered" a long poem he had written
about Tintoretto. I took advantage of his presentation by doing
these portraits. This most beloved of people lived only two
years more; he died in 1987. While in Cortona that Fall, he
contracted a strange illness that was quite mysterious and, to
great dismay, fatal, overall. I treasure these two drawings I
made of him even more upon remembering his early demise.
People in bars and
along the way were always
nice. They would see me
making sketches and be fully
do not know the name of this particular
individual but I
remember him being aware of me drawing
him and somewhat complemented by the sketch when it was
Page 28: Madonna and Child; Munich I found to be full of
images, sculpture, and architecture
gracefully beautifully Catholic. I was struck
by the beauty and elegance of this portal
sculpture when I
church in Munich.
Page 30: This is a design I had for presenting the
"heaviness" of Christianity (blood, death, sacrifice,
sin, hell) as something that
was of ponderous weight but,
by its reward of mysterious
eternal life, a belief that transcends the
gravity" of this world. The
cross, the altar, the pulpit are all supposedly
floating. Notice that the idea is easy to
draw. The practical mechanisms of creating such a scene go
Page 31: The Annunciation. Having studied art history and
seen so many altarpieces firsthand in Italy and in museums, the
most common format for Gabriel's appearance to Mary is of two
figures—Mary to the
right and Gabriel on the left.
Regardless of how elegant or
or image is
shown, there is a distinct separation.
decided I would try to show a Gabriel that would embrace Mary
and be of comfort. Instead of appearing at a distance from the
Virgin, Gabriel, in
this case, would
illuminate around Mary, a comforting light
and a soft, assuring voice. After
had visualized this
drawing, I saw the problem. Mary was a
virgin; untouched. The image of Gabriel surrounding her in this
manner relates somewhat to a pagan image of say, perhaps, Cupid
and Psyche. The touch is intimate. Such would not work when the
emphasis in this particular story, especially, is on the purity
of the Virgin.
How could the claim be that she was untouched
even if it had been the angel Gabriel that had made
innocent, comforting gesture?
Page 33: Young Man Onboard the Ferry from Brughes to London.
This is not a cartoon or fanciful figure.
is as close to a portrait of this young man
as I could come, considering he moved around
somewhat. I saw so many young
people in northern Europe who reminded
me of the "living
dead." I don't know why. But
could not let this young man's image "get
away from me." I
recorded it as part of my passage on
the ferry from Brughes to London. I saw the white cliffs of
Dover; my sketchbook was too small to record anything so
Pages 29 and 37: My departure from Brughes and the few days
spent in London before returning
the states were the first I had had to myself since September.
When traveling alone I
find my creative mind goes into
overdrive. Ideas flood through my brain. These images are self
portraits of me in a
professor's gown, telling the world
what's what, and preaching back at my father—pointing out how
wrong and naive he and my mother had always been. While drawing
these, as one can tell, by the forceful marks
took myself seriously, preaching in my mind all the
was drawing. After the drawings were
finished, it came to me how small my thinking had been. But
keep these drawings and I keep them in
sketchbooks as journal entries to remind myself of where
how I was thinking at the time. How
privileged I have been to travel as much as
have—to have had this
river of creativity drown me from time
to time. What lessons!