Buddhas at the Royal Ontario Museum, Sketchbook Toronto 1985

I started taking my sketchbook to museums, and drawing what I saw. I noticed that this helped me to focus on the exhibits better than just walking around and reading the plaques.


Seated figure, reading. Sketchbook Toronto 1985

I started my first regular sketchbook in 1985, inspired by one kept by my art teacher at the University of Toronto. His was full of elaborate anatomy drawings and gouache that ran over the sides. Mine was much more modest, furtive drawings of people around me, all in pencil.

Sketchbook Toronto 1982 – Self portrait with Pre-Raphaelite hair

Sketchbook_Toronto_1982_003, originally uploaded by Brin d’Acier.

As a child, all my drawings were done on loose-leaf paper or rolls of butcher paper. I don’t know why I started using sketchbooks, but I do know that the first one I bought in 1981/82 had perforated pages so I could rip them out as I finished them.
I had drawn self-portraits since my childhood, but his is probably the first one I did with a mirror.
Note the luxuriant curls of hair – did I have a premonition of future baldness?