2001 Sketch Book, Spiral bound, hard
back, 6" x 6"—Amnesty
International ASPCA, moth, and three gold coin
stickers on a black and white
was living in Edison, New Jersey,
with my husband, Barry at 901 Maplecrest Road.
The economy was failing and so
was my trust fund. I was notified by the Dalton's that it
stop altogether. At this point, I
had my studio in an office space in a small industrial
complex in south Metuchen. I
"shared" this studio space with
Joan. I agreed to share this space because I
could not afford full rent. Joan,
who was a wonderful person and a good artist, told me she would
hardly ever be there; this
was true. She just wanted to maintain a studio space somewhere.
So, for the most part, my
studio time was spent alone.
It was during this
time, too, that I was hired as
adjunct faculty at Monmouth University, a small private
college about fifty miles to the
south. I taught two art
appreciation courses there, traveling the fifty miles
distance twice a week. The pay was
This sketch book has several
examples of hatching and a build-up of marks to create
mass. I would work in this manner to
keep my hands busy in the evenings on the weekend when Barry and
I would listen to the radio
up at our cabin in Equinunk.
We had no television there. But we would listen to the
local public radio station, Barry
would read a book and I would also read or draw. These things we
did while sitting in front of
a roaring fire that helped to
fight off the cold of northeastern Pennsylvanian winters.
Drawings of note:
Page 1: An atmosphere of marks; these in circular motion.
Page 3: Sometimes I
would allow some form to emerge from
the free roaming yet rhythmic
Here the suggestion of a face.
Page 5: This drawing is
done after an early Greek figure.
I was surprised to
find the piece in the Louvre.
It fit my "dome shaped" women
figures perfectly. I made several sculpt-y figures after
this form. It became a favorite
motif throughout the remaining sketch books.
Page 7: Calligraphic marks. As
further exercise in "marks," I began a kind of nonsense writing
that was neither here nor there—just marks, organized as one
Page 8: Then emerged a sort of "block" form writing that was
taken from Japanese and Chinese writing.
Those culture's forms are
works of art unto themselves. These exercises
worked in vertical
column s, from left
They are fun to do, good exercise; no two
are the same.
found "exercise", too, with a
"Sharpie" felt tip pen, making
marks to fill a
page. Page 16: some pages
speak for themselves.
Page 19: Around this time I
discovered sculpt-y clay. I experimented with it at first,
reluctantly, in order
to show my mother how it
was used. I
say reluctantly because, at first,
it seemed too much of an
I tended toward being a
purist when it came to mediums. To have an acrylic based
clay that one "baked" in the oven,
275 degrees Fahrenheit, for thirty minutes seemed to me a
child's medium. However, once I
began to knead and mold the clay, I
found myself enjoying it
tremendously. Sculpt-y clay was used, mostly, for making jewelry
and other craft-like projects. I
made only figurines,
and most of these were comical, or
cartoonish in aspect. Ideas would come to me and I would
put them in my sketch book. I had a
small area set up in my home, in the living room, on a desk
behind the couch, where I
would work. It was great fun plus I could create figures that
were quite interesting and with real
heartfelt content. Sculpt-y clay,
however, was new on the market and was expensive. As my trust
fund dwindled and my time at
Monmouth came to an end, I found I could not afford the medium.
After 2003, when I
moved back to North Carolina,
I rarely used the medium again.
Page 26: Another self-portrait of exhaustion without much
accomplished, I thought. In the previous
had been diagnosed with Epstein Barr
syndrome, a kind of chronic fatigue. There were
had so very little energy to carry
on. I enhanced this terrible time with guilt since
was accomplishing nothing. Self
esteem was running low, needless to
Pages 32, 34 and 39: Some days my energy was so low, all I
could manage was a minimal entry, for
instance the sighting of a raven.
This was a rare occurrence where I lived in New Jersey.
That, then, was the
my sketch book as was, on page 34,
the fact that
a good conversation
with a good friend that day.
Page 37: Speaks for itself; this is a kind of self portrait,
I would say.
Page 43: These were a wonderful gift from Mary Ann, my best
friend who lived in Kilkenny,
Ireland. My passion at this time was
birding. To see that a country was proud enough
of its species of
as to put them on stamps was nothing
less than beautiful. And the page
fit perfectly in
this small sketch book.
is a kind of self portrait at the time:
"How it is..."
Page 60: Here is experimentation in
my sketch book with new mediums.
Pearl Art and Craft had
come out with some new "toys;"
various colored pens with minute sparkles in
well as tape, of
all colors, some of these
were mylar and some just masking tape
in my sketch books with these then
continued doing a series of large drawings with new mediums.
Page 64: I
had made a trip to Denver in
May of this year, to visit my brother and his family; wife,
and son, Ian. This image was entered
when it was time to return to New
Page 63: This says a lot about the direction of my marriage
at the time.
Page 65: This is
"Helen," a figure that appears
throughout almost all my sketch books at some time