A Gordon Kit Thorne discovery

kit-sketch-web

Inside one of my mother’s sketchbooks, I found 3 delightful little sketches by her friend and mentor Gordon “Kit” Thorne. All of them were of the same subject, composed differently. The paper looks like ordinary typing paper and the rendering was probably done with a refillable artist’s marker pen. He and Helen were both using such pens in those days.

This sketch is characteristically loose and sure, but it pleases me particularly because he recorded a monumental torso that I sculpted and stood in our back yard in Vancouver’s University area.

The sculpture was made of cheap, but fairly durable black cement over a wire armature. I never finished it and it’s long gone now, no doubt. Thanks to Kit, it survives in a modest way.

The yard was covered with snow, some of which is piled up on my sculpture. I am amused by the footprints (Smokey the cat?) that Kit dotted across the snow.

You know, Kit had been in the trenches of World War One and had seen terrible, terrible things. I was touched but his memory of the fate of horses in that conflict… innocent creatures that had done nothing to cause the brutal horrors they suffered.

After the war, he remained a sensitive observer of animals. When he sketched trees, they often had birds in the branches. It’s not at all surprising that he made note of the paw tracks across our yard.

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