Leaping man with antlers
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
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
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
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).
Pencil sketch – balls on stalks
Balls on stalks. 16.6.2022. Pencil on paper.
I frequently draw sketches from my imagination with little or no preconceived idea about what I’m going to draw. This is one of them.
Dandelion clock figure
Dandelion clock figure. This version: July 2022. Pen and ink drawing with digital additions.
The seed of a dandelion, a figure in flight.
Object from the imagination
Pencil on paper. 2021.
A semi-abstract figure drawn from the imagination with no preparation.
Prancing figure: sketch
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.
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..
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.
Dark Cone – pencil sketch with ink additions
Pencil drawing with ink additions on paper. June 2017
A pencil sketch of a dark cone set in a featureless landscape.
The slightly blurred quality of the pencil marks in this image combined with the sharper and darker ink lines create an unsettling atmosphere in the image.
A very small sketch of a very bizarre creature (if it is a 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
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
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
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?