I savour the vivid imagery of Michael Ondaatje’s novels. His prose is beautifully lyrical but the non-linear narratives are sometimes challenging. As Charles Matthews says, “[Ondaatje] is more fascinated by the texture of life at given moments, and the way those moments can be captured in words, than he is at tracing lives from beginning through middle through end.” Even when I find myself adrift in one of Ondaatje’s stories, the visual always anchors me.
For my Sketchbook Project Red, Black, Blue I’ve created works inspired by Michael Ondaatje’s novel Divisadero. I have not tried to illustrate the novel nor do I elaborate on any literary metaphors or critical theories. My approach is figurative rather than literal or literary. I needed inspiration and Divisadero was it. I have chosen just a few specific images, align them with the relevant text as well as personal notes, and then created a graphic piece representing that person, place, and/or thing.
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