While I was recently sorting through several large correspondence boxes (organising/ culling/ amalgamating) I came across an envelope full of pages from small (only about 5 inches x 3 inches) notebooks I kept in 1981, after I finished art school. I had obviously already culled them at some previous date, only keeping pages that I thought were interesting. I know that these pages came from several different notebooks as there were two back pages in the envelope. One of the back pages, along with doodles, has an advert for a storefront for rent. I never lived in or rented a shop but I must have been thinking of it as an option in my early Toronto days. One of the doodles represents an image of an egg and its shadows that I had previously created as a large silkscreen print in my 2nd year of art school, so obviously the image stayed with me.
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
old notebook pages
I would have had the notebooks in my handbag or pocket with me at all times, and used them constantly, especially if my normal sketchbook was too big to carry around. These are some idea sketches for paintings; my work with flowers was very abstracted at the time.
I actually remember being fascinated by the red ash berries in front of the white brick walls at one section of Ontario Hydro where I was working at the time. I know I did some larger works on paper, based on this image, but they probably were binned at the time of my first great purge in 1988.
I was often doodling this insecure selfie image, which first made an appearance in a sketch I made in NYC on my second visit there, on an art school trip in the spring of 1981.
I also did sketches where ever I was. This is whatever was on the table while waiting to be served in a greasy spoon restaurant.
I imagine I was waiting for someone to get out of the loo, so I just doodled a selfie in a restaurant.
Again the abstract flower motif and a little bit of writing that didn't get obliterated in the initial cull of this notebook.
Thinking of the brick wall and ash motif. The rest of that writing starts on the previous page and refers to a series of nightmares the night before, most especially that there was something wrong with my hands and I was afraid I'd never paint again.
Again, here are some idea sketches for future abstract flower paintings. I remember doing one similar to the top sketch but in a vertical format. Two red "tulips" on a primarily turquoise background, with a pale blue underpainting.
This is a series of doodles on top of "requirements" for something -- of what I have no idea! The phrase "2 or 3 essays" is identifiable. I did start York University the following year, but essays were not part of the admittance requirement for the BFA course...