Diane Cable


1986 Sketch Book, hard bound, 8.5" x 11"

In terms of "Errors" this book falls, at first, within the "Randy Error;" however, in 1986 I had again the opportunity to go to Cortona with the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program for another summer as an assistant to the art historian. That art historian was Dr. Barry of Virginia Commonwealth University, an expert in Renaissance painting and architecture. Thus, again, in terms of the "Errors," one can see the fading of the former into the latter.

The photographs on the front inside cover of the book are the two lovers, Randy and me—taken from the previous 1985 fall term in Cortona. Such a lovely couple; short lived, however, as are most things.

Drawings of note:

Page 1: Aside from continuing on at UNC-Asheville as adjunct faculty, I took on the job of illustrating a book for Bright Mountain Publications entitled Two on the Square, written by Bill Moore. Mr. Moore, a writer for the Asheville Citizen-Times, the local newspaper, had featured a running humorous story for some years about two homeless derelicts that lived freely without the tethers of conservational dictates. These two colorful characters were named "The Pundit" and Lonzo; they were never welcomed for any length of time, wherever they went. It was Mr. Moore's way of writing an editorial from a humorous point of view—through the eyes of these two wayward characters that were something of local color.

Bright Mountain Publications wanted to print a book featuring most of the stories of Lonzo and The Pundit; they asked me to illustrate the book. After showing Bill Moore how I thought the characters should be portrayed, he was perfectly satisfied. I was hired to illustrate the book. This particular drawing on page one of this book is the drawing I presented to Mr. Moore.

Bright Mountain Publications, Bill Moore, and I, all three, were somewhat startled by the feedback and review of the book. Although Mr. Moore had many fans of Lonzo and The Pundit, it seemed that everyone had their own idea of what they actually looked like. I simply illustrated how I had imagined them to be in line with Mr. Moore's verbal description. Letters to the editor, printed after the book was published, expressed disappointment in their actual physical appearance. But I think it has often been true; take Tolkein's characters, for instance. One could imagine a "hobbit," or "orchs" by Tolkein's keen and apt description. However, when Peter Jackson's series of films, based on Tolkein's trilogy appeared, it became impossible to see Frodo as anyone other than Elijah Woods. Such is the risk taken by those who visualize the verbal. "The book is so much better than the film," is the common complaint made of movies based on famous novels. My small plight with Lonzo and the Pundit was hardly different; for the most part, everyone already had their mind fixed on their own figures of these two colorful characters. I hadn't realized the risk I was taking in presenting them in the manner of my own mind's eye.

Pages 4 through 15: I am again in Italy and cannot resist the monumentality of everything around me. The Piazza Novona again holds me with its grandeur. On page 15,1 have had the opportunity to spend a little time sketching Bernini's figure of the Nile River. What a mysterious figure, with the covering over its head. Looking back through these books, I see how many times I have stopped by Bernini's fountain in the Piazza Navona—how many sketches I had "begun." But my schedule never allowed for real, in depth study of these wonderful giants. I hope I will again have the opportunity to return to Rome and spend several days in the Piazza Navona, working on only the drawings of Bernini's Rivers with the kind of attention and energy they deserve.

Pages 16 and 17: While in Rome, a visit was arranged for the sculpture students to visit the studio of this artist. Foolishly, I did not write his name after doing two portraits of him.

Pages 19 through 26: With a lithograph crayon, I waded into the view at Paestum. Instead of the Temple of Hera, however, I decided to record the landscape as seen from the temple. The other drawings were from that weekend spent in Capri, Pompeii, and Paestum.

Pages 24 and 25: Back in Cortona, and having lunch in the park, a visitor happened by with his dog—a Schnauzer Gigante. It was indeed a large dog. As it passed, I remembered, in a sculptural manner, it's hind quarters.

Pages 37 and 38: St. Francis was an ever present subject matter in Tuscany; needless to say, this was especially true in Assisi. According to his story, he spent a little time in the Cortona environs, at Lei Cella, a Franciscan monastery just outside of town. I visited the "cell" where he had slept; it was quite small, indeed. Because of his love of animals and compassion for all living things, he became a favorite subject matter in my head. And, of course, Giotto, one of my all time favorite artists, held Francis as his most important subject matter, as well.

Pages 40 and 41: These entries represent experimental ideas of the juxtaposition of the Greek and Roman basic architectural shapes opposed to the fluidity of nature. Ma Lin's Viet Nam Memorial was complete on the mall of Washington, D. C; I had found within my honest self a real admiration for the work of Richard Serra. I never saw how I might carry out these ideas. Sometimes, that I simply captured them in my sketch book was enough.

Page 45: This is a decent portrait sketch of Barry, with whom I spent a lot of time that summer of 1986. He was an excellent professor and teacher; not to mention quite knowledgeable about everything Renaissance.

Page 53: Professor Berry taught a special topics graduate course that summer on Piero della Francesca. The class, of which I considered myself a member, took several independent trips—to Arezzo, to Sansapulcro, to Urbino—we sought out the Piero's wherever we might find them. The Piero course was an adventure unto itself.

Pages 60 and 61: These are quick, abstract notes on the Piero della Francesca altarpiece entitled Madonna and Child with Saints, commissioned by the Duke of Urbino, after 1472. We saw it in the Brera Gallery in Milan.

Page 67: This is yet another quirky idea that came to me: popsicle stick forms floating against the more natural form of a sphere.

Page 67: This sketch is representative of a "translated" memory from some years prior. When visiting my brother, Grover, in Salt Lake City, we went on an overnight trip to Capital Reef State Park. At this pristine and remote place, I had never seen the night sky so clearly. One sight of which I had specific memory was how a barren tree, silhouetted against the night sky seemed to hold stars within its branches. I wanted to see that again: the sketch book was there.