The box I found last week contained drawings related to the house I grew up in, 293 Kingswood Rd. in Toronto. My family moved there in 1964 and my parents sold the house in 1983, when they both took early retirement and returned to Ireland. I pre-empted a trauma by getting "settled" in my own apartment in the spring of 1982. (For the record, I was hardly settled as I moved house very frequently in the 1980s!)
One of my homework assignments in my first year of art school (Central Technical School's Post-Secondary Art Programme) was to produce 4 pencil drawings with an architectural theme. The family home provided the subject; these drawings are in a folder dated April/May 1979. Judging by the angle on this drawing, I was sitting on the roof of the shed looking at the back of my house and the back porch (built by my Dad).
This is the view from my bedroom window of the house and lane directly opposite ours.
This is the view of our wobbly fence leading to the lane, from the back porch.
Still a view from the back porch, this is looking at the shed in our yard, our neighbour's garage and the backs of the houses on the next street (Bingham Ave).
Another assignment from that class was to use pen & ink and ink washes to draw an architectural interior. This is the view from my bedroom down the hall to the bathroom.
The assignment here was to do a watercolour architectural drawing and once again the family home was my model. I remember sitting on the curb across the road from the house in order to do this watercolour, probably in May/June 1979.
In my second year Design class I was learning about architectural drawings from a more technical point of view but again I used my own house to get dimensions, etc., when producing isometric drawings. This is the bottom floor of the house.
This is the house cut in half!
After art school finished in 1981, I took a year off to do studio work and make some money in a job before going to York University for my Fine Arts Degree. One of the classes I took, I think in my third year (1984-85) was Experimental Directions. The professor for that course was the inspiring performance artist, Toby MacLennan. During her class there was a lot of story-telling as a basis for making work and as students we discovered how to tease out our stories. By this time my parents were in Ireland but my memories of the house where I grew up were becoming epic. I am sure this undated drawing done in crayon and soft pencil on the back of a piece of matte board was from that class and was illustrating a point in one of my stories. Looking at this memory drawing now and comparing it to the curbside watercolour of the house which was in front of me, I am impressed by my visual recall! Although I don't remember saving them, I obviously rescued all these drawings from purging oblivion simply because they were depictions of the house where I grew up.