Liverpool Art School 1968 – Sketchbooks 1, 2 and 3


My previous post has awoken my Liverpudlian nostalgia.  I have long wanted to archive my visual diary of life at art school in Liverpool 8, in 1968.   So here are my sketchbooks.    And I wonder if any other grey-haired students from that Year might hit on this post, and recognise themselves !   Steve, Angela, Charles, Will … Jackie, Tony, Mimi … are you out there ?

The initial impact on my creative imagination, of the city, the Cathedral and our First-Year Graphics tutor, Ray Fields, was colossal.  Ray taught us – with great verve and excitement – to explore interior and exterior SPACE.

ray fields - blackboard

Caricatures of him in action pop up here and there in my Liverpool sketch books later on. He was an ardent laid-back red-head.  His punchy Cheshire vowels, flamboyant gestures and fatherly sincerity, enthralled the green first-year “stoodants”, as he pushed us out like ducklings into the wild windy street to collect leaves, cut-outs and concepts;  to tear up black and white tissue paper, to move in space and expand our view.   The bombed out acres of Liverpool 8, the Cathedral, and Ray Fields between them, made me a goner.

My digs were at a convent – St Mary Mount in Mossley Hill, a few districts away to the south – a gentle community with a garden and cats and cubicles to sleep in.  “Nuns or not, we’re human!”   I rode to and fro on my mother’s old bike, Black Colin, racing over the wet cobbles of Smithdown Hill.  Always the Cathedral tower shone in the distance, or overwhelmed me, close up.

My sweetheart was in London, a left-wing student from Torino, called Rega Domenico.  At weekends I went to a depot at Spofforth Road, and hitched a lorry down the motorway at night, to join him in London, arriving back at St Mary Mount in the yawning early hours of Monday morning.  The Irish nuns were charming about my comings and goings, and prayed we might one day get married.



I found just these two images of Ray online:  the painting by him, reminds me how it felt, to be inspired by his free visual language and way of seeing things and handling his media.   “Fair enuff?”  he used to say … and “Creative thinkers MUST have a range of skills.”  He was a born pedagogue.


My sketch books are not of the course work we did, but of my companions, impressions and moods;  including some of the ideas they fed us with, and a taste of the politics.

I discover here, many source-points of my future Kabbalist path;  and raw material for the Cube of Space.





I enjoy an artist’s sketchbook process – the intimacy more than the result.


TO BE CONTINUED – there are 4 further sketchbooks, then it tails off.  I dropped out of Liverpool after just one academic year in the Graphics school, and moved towards free-lance portraiture.





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

4 thoughts on “Liverpool Art School 1968 – Sketchbooks 1, 2 and 3

  1. Pingback: Liverpool Art School 1969 – Sketchbook 5 & Lifedrawings | janeadamsart

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