Keyword: sketchbooks

Studies for Phone Booth and Pagan Martyr thumb

Studies for Phone Booth and Pagan Martyr

Robert places a figure inside and outside a simple rectangular box to suggest ideas of entrapment. The Study for Phone Booth uses symmetrical elements: the booth is placed in the centre of the composition with the two sides of the box serving

Study for Mother and Son and Hospital Exterior thumb

Study for Mother and Son and Hospital Exterior

In the top sketch, Robert recreates a moment from his 1986 cancer treatment at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Toronto. His mother Isabel accompanied him on this trip. Below this, Robert returns to the exterior view of the VG hospital in

Study for Agriculture in Transition thumb

Study for Agriculture in Transition

Over six sketchbook pages, Robert developed ideas for a poster for a university conference on “the future of food production.” Here are two of those pages. Robert started with a list of possible ideas, all revolving around the concept of future

Study for Rear View thumb

Study for Rear View

Robert develops a sketchbook idea involving cityscapes, cars and a mirror. The car’s rear-view mirror creates a frame-within-a-frame, with the mirror showing the parallel lines of a city street converging in the distance; outside another set of lines converge. Viewed

Studies for View of Hantsport thumb

Studies for View of Hantsport

Robert moves in a new direction with this sketch, applying the theme of his art college graduating exhibition, “Oppositions,” to his own life and experience. No longer an academic exercise, but a scene from life, recording the region where Robert grew up.

Study for distant view of hospital, notes on Ted Rosenthal thumb

Study for distant view of hospital, notes on Ted Rosenthal

The notes at the top of the page refer to Ted Rosenthal, a poet diagnosed with Leukemia at age 30. The poet is best known for a meditation called “How could I not be among you?” In this work, Rosenthal

Studies for Solarium thumb

Studies for Solarium

This sketchbook page focuses on waiting patients interacting with their friends and families. Robert’s marginal notes describe details of clothing. In his first sketch of a patient and friend, it was ambiguous who was the patient and who was the friend.

Study and Notes for The Lavishness of My Feelings thumb

Study and Notes for The Lavishness of My Feelings

In the sketches on this page, Robert works through two metaphors for his painting, The Lavishness of My Feelings. The first metaphor, a woman poised between love and death, comes by way of artist Edvard Munch. The second metaphor makes reference

Study for The Lavishness of My Feelings thumb

Study for The Lavishness of My Feelings

If one compares this sketch with the finished painting, it’s clear Robert changed models for the woman, though the pose and lighting remain quite similar. He also changes the heavy turtleneck sweater seen here for a more casual and attractive

Two women and a bird thumb

Two women and a bird

Robert’s sketchbooks include, along with studies and ideas for paintings, more relaxed drawings of friends. He is able to draw faces using very few contour lines, suggesting forms through delicate cross-hatching. The women seem to have been caught almost by