Same idea, different artists

contemporary text-based art

Two manifestations of the same concept by different artists.

Drawing. 2019. Photo: Harrison & Wood, Frieze, London. 2022

An example of different artists thinking of the same idea independently.
The cartoon drawing is a joke about text-based art from a series of cartoons that I drew on the subject of contemporary art in 2019.
The photograph is of a sculptural text-based work by Harrison & Wood at Frieze London, 2022.

Leaping man with antlers

contemporary art leaping man with antlers sketch from the imagination - balls with wings

Leaping Stagman. This version: August.2022. Ink, digital.

A sketch of a leaping figure with antlers.
I’ve drawn several images featuring men who have antlers growing from their heads (They’re not stuck on). They are something to do with alpha males, or males who posture as alpha males.

Pencil sketch – imaginary winged creatures

contemporary art pencil sketch from the imagination - balls with wings

Balls with wings. 21.3.2022. Pencil on paper.

Imaginary creatures consisting of spheres with anatomical features such as wings or legs recur in my work. I like the way that a sphere can be both a head and a body at the same time.
This is a sketch from the imagination (obviously), drawn during a spare moment over a coffee in a cafe.

Spider heads – imaginary pencil sketch

contemporary art spider heads - pencil sketch from the imagination

Spider heads. 20.6.2022. Pencil on paper.

I frequently draw heads in unusual situations. On two of these ‘spider heads’ I’ve turned the hair on the heads into long spider legs, with the heads forming the anatomically incorrect spiders’ bodies.
I think the spider legs in these sketches owe something to the spiders of Louise Bourgeois.
Like many of my sketches these were drawn over a cup of coffee in a cafe.

Pencil sketch from the imagination

contemporary art pencil sketch from the imagination

Ball with multiple arms and legs. 10.8.2022. Pencil on paper.

I often carry a sketch book with me in case I have a free moment when inspiration strikes. I drew this in a cafe over a cup of coffee.
It incorporates several motifs that recur in my work (spheres and arms and legs).

Prancing figure: sketch

Prancing figure - sketch

Prancing figure
Charcoal on paper, digital colouring. 2022.

A semi-abstract figure in a landscape. The figure is of a type that I’ve drawn on and off for the past thirty years, so it obviously has some sort of significance.

Stone eye

surrealism in contemporary art - giant stone eye

Stone eye
Ink, gouache, digital. July 2018

A sketch of a gigantic stone eye resting on the ground. A mysterious pipe-like cylinder extends upwards from the eye. A similar eye in the distance shows the pipe-like structure extending unfeasibly high into the air.
The eye and pipe bring to mind some designs of stove.
Perhaps the image is influenced by Celebes by Max Ernst, in which the rotund form was derived from a Sudanese corn bin..

Dancing teapots

I like to sit down with a sketchbook every so often and draw whatever comes into my head. Objects with bird-like features are a recurring theme. These slightly surreal dancing teapots are a good example.
This is a pen, ink and watercolour sketch drawn in Cornwall, April, 2018.

A very small sketch of a very bizarre creature (if it is a creature)

drawing from the subconscious - weird creature

Bizarre creature
Ink sketch 9cm x 7cm. Digital colouring. April 2017

A small sketch from one of my sketchbooks.
I sometimes sit down with a sketchbook when I have a few minutes to spare and just draw whatever comes into my head, uncurated. A sort of automatic drawing. I used to think that it would be a good way to encourage the development of new concepts and motifs without too much conscious thought channelling my work down well trodden pathways. However, I soon found that it was actually a way of revealing to oneself one’s inner obsessive visions as variations on the same themes inevitably lay themselves out on the page time after time. This particular sketch, I see from the notes beside it, was drawn in the gardens of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, while sitting next to the very fine wisteria that’s growing there.
The colour in the image was added later, after scanning the sketch into my laptop.

Spontaneous watercolour sketch

Contemporary art watercolour sketch - spontaneous painting from the unconscious

This watercolour sketch was an exercise in creating something without any preconceived idea about what I was about to create.
It turns our to be a slightly sinister landscape, in the centre of which there is something that may or may not be a living entity. Originally this object looked more like a strangely shaped rock, but the addition of colour to it removed it from the rest of the landscape and turned it into something separate from the landscape. The blue dot in the image, which is just a circle of coloured paper placed on the image, gives the possibly living entity an air of sentience, as it seems to be contemplating a strange sun in the sky.

Umbrellas in contemporary art

contemporary art drawing - umbrella sculpture sketch
A sketch of an idea for a sculpture, showing an umbrella mounted at the top of a conical structure that has short filaments protruding from it.
I have a fascination with umbrellas for some reason. I think it’s possibly due to a mixture of their slightly Heath Robinsonesque mechanical structure – the hinged flexible rods that are levered outwards to support a stretched fabric cover – and their pleasing form when in the open position. Not to mention their practicality. And the fact that they are, despite their mechanical intricacy, very much taken for granted and dismissed as objects of great mundanity.
My first ever published image was an absurdist redesign of the umbrella, published in the Sunday Times in about 1974.

Dandelion seeds and anthropomorphism

contemporary art drawing - anthropomorphism in dandelion seed

Anthropomorphic dandelion seeds: Pen and ink sketch: September 2015

A dandelion seed head in which the seeds have human form.
The image is disturbingly ambiguous. Is the fact that one of the seeds is drifting away from the seed head a sign of freedom or simply a sign of fate? It also looks as though it may be a suicide attempt (although the ‘parachute’ would prevent It being successful). And what can be read into the fact that the humans in the anthropomorphic seeds have no heads?