This sketch book is one of the first sketch
books I kept after graduating from UNC-Asheville.
Being spiral bound, the heavier paper that once served as the cover has been
lost over the years, through moving many times. In moving, the sketch books were
stacked and restacked in various ways. The older ones, such as this one, spent a
lot of time in boxes or on dusty shelves. There is some wear and tear along the
way, but the book, is for the most part, intact.
Regardless that the first drawing is of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. it was
not done in the Louvre. It was drawn from a photograph from Gardner's art
history text, popular for university level art history courses at the time (as
is true rtow with the multi-revised edition).
The drawings in this journal still hold the heavy influence of Tucker Cooke's
work, but, at the same time, I find that I was experimenting with images,
looking deeper into my own identity and making an effort at trying to be honest
with what I found there. I think that some of the images cry to become pieces of
sculpture. But, as a post graduate, I could only afford the sketch journal and
the pencil. Sculpture requires so much more that is physical and material.
I had no studio at the time but lived with my husband of three years, Phil
Hargus, in a small apartment on Cumberland Avenue in Ashevilte. i worked as a
layout "artist" at Daniel's Printers for three months until I was asked to
leave. I simply was too sloppy and slow for the work required. For summer work.
Phil and I were art instructors at Blue Star Camp in Hendersonville. We lived at
the camp for the
My love for art history stems from the years at UNCA when I worked in the art
department as a student assistant to Professor Tucker Cooke. At the time, the
art department was so small that it had only two professors, Mr. Cooke, and
Professor Eugene Bunker. These two represented 2-D studio work (Cooke), and 3-D
studio work (Bunker). For a humanities program to be legitimate, though, art
history had to be taught, as well. Thus, these two studio artists divided the
required courses between them, although neither of them had any special
expertise in the field. My job as a student assistant was to work as the slide
librarian. I had to pull slides for Cooke's and Bunker's art history lecture,
sit through the lectures and assist with the projector, then file the slides
back in the art history library/catalog when the course was finished.
This I did for the entire time I was an art student at UNCA. Thus, by attending
so many lectures, repeated over the years I was there, I had many artists and
However, Mr. Bunker, who taught Oriental art history and Medieval and Romanesque
art history, was not my favored professor. After all, I was studying painting
and drawing with Tucker Cooke. It was, then, for Tucker's class I held more
enthusiasm and interest. Greek and Roman art, Renaissance and
Post-Renaissance—these I had taken to heart.
When I entered graduate school at University of Georgia, I think I astounded
Professor John Sedgewick in his Post-Renaissance class. His practice was to
project a slide and then ask the class the identity of the artist. As I sat at
the front of the class, I answered every projection with ease. It wasn't until
after some number of classes that I realized I was the ONLY one who was
answering. It was nothing for me to recognize artists of paintings I'd never
seen before, because I was so thoroughly acquainted with the styles of every
artist since the High Renaissance.
Of course, this was true of many artists but not all. As I continued in graduate
school, and as I visited Europe for the first time in 1976, it came to be to me
the most wonderful of all studies. As I saw more and more artists and their
work, I was very happy I had spent all that time as a student assistant at the
UNCA art slide library. It provided a wonderful foundation for future study and
a deeper understanding/appreciation of art, overall.
A note, further, about the structure of studio and art history at UNC-A at that
time: as the two studio professors had to teach art history, the student s in
the art department, as they were working at studio studies, would be given
constant references to art history while they were drawing or painting or
sculpting. Too, both Bunker and Cooke reflected their art history instructions
in their own work. Professor Bunker's ceramic wear tended toward the Oriental—in
form and d£cor. Cooke admired tremendously Jean Domink|ue Ingres's draftsmanship
and the jewel-like quality of this particular artist's painting—not to mention
the exquisite detail and refinement. Eventually, Cooke incorporated almost all
of Ingres portraits of women in his own post-modern pieces.
With such a combination and concentration of both fields of academia as an
undergraduate base, I was greatly disappointed to see how separate these studies
were at the University of Georgia and at other universities, overall. The art
history department at UGA and many other places had little regard or respect for
the studio studies and vice-versa. The studio students saw art history as an
evil necessity in obtaining their degrees. The art history student could hardly
relate at all to the contemporary studio work and they only dabbled at the
"real" application of drawing and painting, having the professor understand that
they were art history majors and were only willing to just get by with minimum
Unfortunately, this still stands true, to a great degree, today.
For me, I couldn't see abandoning either studio for art history or art history
for studio. I attended graduate school for only two semesters and then dropped
out. The large departments at UGA were to me, not only narrow in their approach,
but petty and political. What a disappointment.