Preparing for my next exhibition

Me in front of a large group of skeleton drawings.
Me in front of a large group of skeleton drawings, close to being finished for my next exhibition.

I’m completing two pieces of work for my forthcoming exhibition. A much larger studio space is allowing me to better organise my work; I can get a good distance from it and see my drawings as objects again.

I’ve been drawing with oil pastel on paper, which gives me a fast way of making a solid mark, it also means I have to be careful not to make any mistakes as the pastel is very difficult to remove from the paper. After speaking with a painter in a neighbouring studio I’m going to try treating the paper to seal it, that’ll likely influence the way I draw a little, I won’t need to worry about errors, which can be wiped away.

This picture of me posing in front of the work should hopefully give you a better idea of its scale. There’s some more organisation of the separate drawings to be done, then it’ll be finished.

As I get a chance to look at the work in a larger space I’m reminded of why I

Collapsible bar stool and skeletons
Collapsible bar stool and skeletons drawings in the studio.

made it; I’m interested in enjoying reality for what it is, rather than attempting to create a fiction. I strongly believe that we are surrounded by the most valuable and amazing objects and situations, which we cast aside or don’t even notice, in a pursuit of a more imaginary world.

Isn’t It Enough to See That a Garden Is Beautiful Without Having to Believe That There Are Fairies at the Bottom of It Too? – Douglas Adams.

Rather than being a sign of character, an interest in the meaning of life or a rich imagination, isn’t an interest in the supernatural and celebrity actually a sign of people wishing to escape? Whilst there can be much that we find uncomfortable in the real world there ‘s  already more surrounding us right now that is beyond our imagination and worthy of our attention.

Never have we had so much and never have we taken so little notice of it.

Work update: Tall chairs & 4 cut-out skeleton drawings

Drawings of a tall folding stool
Drawings of a tall folding stool in black oil pastel.
4 cut-out skeleton drawings.
4 cut-out skeleton drawings.

I’ve been drawing more objects including a flexible skeleton and folding bar stool.
I continue to draw objects in an obsessive way, from many angles and as close to life-size as I can using black oil pastels and oil bars.

I try to draw shapes honestly as they really are rather than consciously trying to abstract them – though abstraction is an inevitable part of visual representation. I want to represent some of the functionality of objects, with the idea that an object’s function informs it’s identity and personality.

By mounting these drawings on card and then cutting them out I hope to emphasise their 3D nature.

Work in progress: Skeleton drawings

Skeleton drawings
Some life-size skeleton drawings I've been working on.
Back view of a skeleton.
Drawing of the review of a skeleton in progress.

I’ve spent the last two weeks drawing two skeletons. One has a flexible spine, the other a rigid back.

The flexible skeleton has produced more interesting and naturalistic drawings, I can put more energy into the work.
The human skeleton is either a collection of objects (bones) or, in the form I am drawing it, a single object in its own right.

Drawing a skeleton like this allows me to approach a figurative subject in a way that should bypass superficial characteristics like skin colour and to some extent gender.
We all have a skeleton and most of us have a complete skeleton, so you can imagine yourself in the various poses I’ve drawn.

Pictures from Object expressionism

Drawings at 242 gallery 'Object expressionism' exhibition.
Drawings at 242 gallery 'Object expressionism' exhibition.
The exhibition at 242 gallery on Cambridge Heath road starts this Friday.
Opening times are 12 – 6pm, Weds – Sun.
The last day will be Sunday 21st Feb.

I will be invigilating at the gallery on Saturdays and Sundays, so please pop along and say “hi”

Closest tube is Bethnal Green. Closest overground is opposite the gallery “Cambridge Heath”.

Pamphlet from the Object Expressionism exhibition @ 242 gallery.
Pamphlet from the Object Expressionism exhibition @ 242 gallery.

Pictures from the exhibition

A large bunch of white roses

A large bunch of white roses - oil pastel, poster paint, mounted on board.

A close up of some individual roses.
A close up of some individual roses.
Do roses look better in a bunch or all spread out like specimens mounted for our observation? Perhaps just like other objects roses deserve a chance to be considered on an individual basis.
Like other objects flowers have personality and should be considered valuable in their own right, even without being arranged.

Boxing gloves

Dissection of a boxing gloves - Black oil pastel on paper, mounted on board.

I took apart a pair of old-style boxing gloves, drawing them in stages of decomposition.

I’m interested in how a physical world produces things that we don’t think of as physical like freewill, consciousness and imagination. Explanations like chaos theory can show how incredibly complex things can come from something simple.
I think we use ideas like freewill and consciousness as a convenient label for what is too difficult for us to understand.