"There are billions of precious things in the universe that we have no time to study"

- Karlheinz Stockhausen


You're not much of an artist if you don't keep a sketchbook. I have had several over the years. The present one succeeded my much traveled, self-fabricated aluminum-covered flip-style book, a mere 4x6 inches. The present leather-bound book, a gift from my mother from Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, has been to the desert of Arizona, the sun-bleached monuments of Sicily, the streets of Charleston, and around the coastal islands of Georgia. It is my constant companion and holds many of my primordial instrument designs, songs, nature observations and is in effect my 'chap book', containing in longhand my most cherished prose and quotes.

Following are a few select entries. Organizing this page is an ongoing exercise, so bear with the not-yet-rotated images. Just getting them scanned and up here was enough of a task. Most of the excerpts are presented 'in situ' in a book spread, but I have started to pull out and isolate some of my favorites, presented here at the top. Enjoy.

I'll never forget sitting cross-legged on the edge of this huge panorama of Canyon de Chelly. This view was especially meaningful at the end of a day tromping around the basin.

The most interesting sketches are not always the best looking. These two moments in time from 2002 caught a family poker game and a visit to my cousin Jeremy's house in Raleigh. Had to work quickly to capture the action.

From a Charleston trip with my cousin Steve. (left) I was interested in how a small stone house adjacent to the graveyard we were in had several of its openings closed in over the years. (right) On "Rainbow Row" I was wanting primarily to remember the colors.

In an Irish pub in Charleston. I was using a fountain pen with brown ink, and when it started to run out I reloaded it from my cider glass.

A detail from a Greek amphora, probably at teh NCMA, Raleigh, and a detail from "The Last Judgement" by Crispijn van der Broek, 1573

a detail from "Emperor Caracalla in the Guise of Helios"

(left) The portrait of one of my forebearers, Louisa Moncreiffe. I had to work quickly because we were being ushered along on the tour of Blair Castle. [following from] . . .was born on 11 June 1844.2 She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Moncreiffe of that Ilk, 7th Bt. and Lady Louisa Hay-Drummond.1 She married Sir John James Hugh Henry Stewart-Murray, 7th Duke of Atholl, son of Sir George Augustus Frederick John Murray, 6th Duke of Atholl and Anne Home-Drummond, on 29 October 1863 at Moncreiffe House. She died on 8 July 1902 at age 58 at Italy, while on a journey from Salso Maggiore to Axenfels. She was buried on 17 July 1902 at Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland.
From 29 October 1863, her married name became Murray. As a result of her marriage, Louisa Moncreiffe was styled as Duchess of Atholl on 16 January 1864. From 1 December 1865, her married name became Stewart-Murray. (right) the ballroom of Blair Castle with a detail of one of the many clan tunic and spear arrangements mounted around the room. On the same day we went to Sterling Castle (top).

(left) Plants found in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh and (right) visiting Queen Victoria in Buckingham Palace, where security guards were really interested in what I was sketching.

Pick your pen well. Here we have some serious bleedthrough on objects from an exhibit of Nubian art at the Carlos museum

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(right) A wooden sculpture in the High Museum and a Japanese planing beam, with an interesting quote from whatever source I was seeing: 'Whenever the Japanese workman can leave a bit of Nature in this way he is delighted to so. He is sure to avail himself of all curious features in wood", referring to the 'wane' edge left on the piece. (left) I'll never forget my up-close meetig with Ramses before he was shipped from Emory back to Egypt in 2003.

Sketches from my favorite place on earth: Portmeirion, Wales. Lessons to be learned on architecture, lessons to be learned on life.

I will turn the book whichever direction is most supporting for my hand.

A favorite spread I did while at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. They have it all.

Sometimes inspiration comes when I do not have my sketchbook with me and whatever scrap that is on hand will get pasted into the book. Here is a napkin on which I sketched some scheitholt designs. And a chipmunk.

A native American flute, flora of the northern Arizona desert, horsemen at Monument Valley



Some notes on songs for the Scheitholt and Banjo.


Journal entry from the Italy trip. Also a quote from the journal of the pioneering Minoan archeologist Richard Berry Seager.


I am keeping a running list of philosophical arguments I encounter which fit the Idea/Substance model. 'Know thyself!' I defiantly fall on the 'a posteriori' side. Also a casual documentation of a koto with full-size tracings of the bridges.

From a trip to Charleston with my cousin Steve. I sketched while he photographed. I was reading 'The Tale of Genji' for the biwa commission at the time.

From the 2005 trip to scotland marching with the Atholl Highlanders of Stone Mountain. The sketch in the pub of our traveling companions, Pam and Evan Kohler-Camp and Angie and Ron (sitting out of frame). We were lunching before seeing Roslyn Chapel, pictured with scaffolding below left.


This little self-fabricated metal sketchbook suited my needs for a good 10 years and was made to be easily disassembled so new pages could be added. I revisited it recently and scanned some of the choice pages which were contained in its retired condition.

A sketch of the stage set for the recreated Globe Theater at Emory University

An unfinished inking of the member's dining room at the Smithsonian

The exterior of the book.

My visit to the Shaker exhibit at the High Museum. And some miscellaneous art seen while there. The sillouete, if I remember correctly, is from an American Express ad of some woman looking at art.

A woodblock i made to print postcards on cardboard boxes for mailing, various furniture I'd seen and liked, a demonstration I went to at the High Museum of a traditional African mask maker. A sketch of a coastal scene with knotted trees blown back by the wind, possibly on St. Simon's island.

Notes from the Pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the High. Study sketches of the reception desk at the Atlanta History Center.