Dianne Cable

January 1984

1984 Sketch book, hard bound, 5.5" x 8.5"

By 1984,1 had spent three years as an adjunct faculty member in the art department at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I had taught both studio and art history courses with Tucker Cooke as head of the department. Nonetheless, the return to Cortona was never far from my mind.

In 1984,I applied to Jack Kehoe, the chairman of the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program for a position on the program for that summer. I cannot say how happy I was to receive an acceptance to a position. It was not a teaching position, but Jack wanted me as an assistant to the program: to be a proctor in one of the hostels the Program used for the students, to be a slide librarian and an assistant to the two art history professors for that summer, Dr. Robert Russell (working on his doctorate at Princeton in Renaissance architecture) and Dr. Michael Jacobsen, a graduate professor in Renaissance art at the University of Georgia.

And, I persuaded several students from UNC-Asheville to apply to the program, as well. Saralyn, Kirsten, Leslie, Sally, and Brenda—all who had taken courses with me in the previous three years, applied to the program and were accepted. By the end of the summer, we were called the "Asheville Mafia."

This sketch book, however, precedes the summer trip by some few months. The later drawings in the book show observations made from the beginning of the summer trip—in Amsterdam.

Drawings of note:

Pages 8-11: With my friend Eric (this sketch book represents part of the "Eric Error") I attended a concert given by Jesse Winchester in Black Mountain. The musician played in a bar that featured good names in music. I was, thus, able to sit within good viewing distance and get several sketches of him.

President Carter had granted pardon for all Vietnam conscientious objectors who had fled the country to avoid the draft. Jesse Winchester had been one of these objectors and made his way to Canada rather than be drafted. The years had taken their toll on him; but he was back to begin again in the US as the very good folk music singer he had always been. It is an honor to have these few sketches of him in my journals; I was fortunate enough to see him perform again.

Page 16: Often, I would attempt a drawing in the form of a redefinition of the crucifixion. Later, especially after so many trips to Italy and studying so many scenes of the crucifixion of early to late Renaissance painters, it was a motif that often appears in my sketch books. I would try to redefine the forms. There was a drawing I did, finally, in graduate school at VCU, of Mickey Mouse as the Virgin Mary, and Goofey as St. John, both lamenting the figure of the Crucified. I think that was the last of my Crucifixion series, in sketchbooks or as formal drawings.

Page 21 and 22: These are re-occurring compositions in the sketch books and in formal work, as well (by this I mean both drawings and paintings): the juxtaposition of atmosphere and solid matter; a suggested landscape. This would also provide "marking" practice for me.

Page 24: These two little quick, primitive, yet expressive sketches represent the emotional turbulence and pain in my life at the time. The "Eric Error" would slowly phase out over the coming year.

Pages 49 - 64: In May, at the end of the Spring Semester, the art department arranged a trip to Washington, D. C. to visit museums there and to attend an opening -a part of which would feature Tucker Cooke's paintings. These pages are small sketches done from pieces of art I saw and especially liked in the Hirshorn, the National, and the Chinese museums there. Page 64 is a drawing of Tucker, driving one of the vans on the return home—listening to music via ear phones; it's a good likeness of him. He looks very much the same now, fifteen years later, at this writing.

Pages 66-97: The remainder of the book represents the environs and works of art I saw in Amsterdam, Ghent, Brughes, and Delft. From street musicians, to the Rijksmuseum, to the modern work of the Krohler-Mueller museum, to cats and specific portraits, all represented the beginning of another stimulating summer in Europe; but I especially looked forward to getting "back home," to Cortona.

Dianne Cable, July 18, 2011