Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Sad Sketchpad (circa 1987)

"Good Book"


I recently went through some old artwork from 25 years ago and was somewhat surprised by how "emotionally distressed" some of my sketches were from my freshman year in college. I do remember it as an awkward time, full of more endings than beginnings. At least it felt that way to me at the time... which is obvious from these pieces. But these came as a shocking reminder of all that anguish I was apparently going through. Since I did not keep a written journal at least I have this visual record of that time in my life. (I guess this blog can somewhat serve that purpose now.) Not all of it was dark. But even the more colorful pieces (which I may post another time) illustrated a certain lonely emptiness. An uncomfortable isolation away from family and loved ones in a strange environment. i.e. Solitary figures in landscapes full of foreboding buildings tilting at odd angles (as if closing in) and rendered in garish color schemes. Shivering men in trench coats navigating dark rain-soaked city streets under "No Vacancy" signs. Even going so far as to visually represent the school as the proverbial "haunted castle on the hill". That sort of thing. Immature, certainly. Depressing, yep. Perhaps it was my not-so thinly veiled statement on how I felt about living in a high rise in dreary downtown Richmond, Virginia. (I guess dwelling a stone's throw from the Edgar Allen Poe Museum can have an effect on one's psyche.) The work I produced just a year before was entirely different.

Funny how emotions (happy or otherwise) flow out during open artistic expression, even when you don't try. You can't hide how you feel inside. You can't fool anyone, least of all yourself.

"He Follows Me Everywhere"

"Do We Have To Fall So Far"

"The Old Man in Me"

 "My Own Personal Prison"

 "I Don't Want To Hear It"

 "I've Had Better Days"

"Washed Ashore" (based on a 1953 Bill Brandt photo)

"He Was There, But Wasn't"

"What Was The Question Again"

"Don't Know Her"

"Wash Away The Day"

"Cracks Are Showing"

"The Dwindling Hours"

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