Watercolour pencil art – Organic Matrix

contemporary art works on paper Organic Matrix

Watercolour pencil art – Organic Matrix

Watercolour pencil on paper. 20 x 29cm January 2024

A painting, created with watercolour pencils, depicting a network or matrix of organic forms linked by tube-like structures.

The work is from the imagination (as you can see), and although it wasn’t created with any particular meaning in mind it probably alludes to the connectedness of life, with the blobby entities being connected to each other by the tube-like structures. I’m not sure whether the blobs are meant to look like slightly unsettling organisms or wonky potatoes. Probably both. The work may allude in some way to the nature of consciousness or intelligence, with the entities possibly communicating with each other like cells in a brain.

A work on paper created using Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle watercolour pencils, which have a very high pigment content.

Lunging Figure – gouache on paper

contemporary art works on paper lunging figure

Lunging figure

Gouache on paper. 350 x 250mm November 2018

A gouache work on paper featuring a lunging figure.

The work is from the imagination and was created as part of a series of relatively spontaneous, unmediated artworks.

Environmental art – black flower sketch

contemporary environmental art – acrylic and watercolour black flower

Environmental art. Black flower sketch.

Acrylic and watercolour on paper. 2023.

An acrylic and watercolour painting of a black flower.
This painting is an example of my work relating to environmental issues, a subject with which I’ve been involved since the late 1960s. In this painting the flower’s petals are black, the flower’s stem is black, and the grass is black. The flower’s petals are shrivelled and misshapen and the stem is crooked. It’s an image of foreboding.
In contrast to all this blackness the centre of the flower is reflective gold. But it’s a dull gold, which may act to reinforce the bleakness of the black rather than creating a glimmer of brightness. It’s ambiguous.
The gold centre to the flower and the spiky petals give a hint of a dying sun or star, with the accompanying implications for life on earth (such as the flower). It’s a dying sunflower.

Conic construction in a landscape

contemporary art watercolour painting

Conic construction in a landscape.

Watercolour and gouache with digital additions. 2023.

A watercolour and gouache painting of a cone in a landscape, with additional features added digitally.
The original watercolour painting was scanned to create a digital file to which additional features were then added in Adobe Photoshop. The digital additions were created as spontaneously as possible, without too much conscious consideration. The results are similar to other works that I have produced using the same process, but I suppose that’s only to be expected. Next time I’ll consciously try to do something different.
The image partly resembles a creature of some sort, maybe with a beak and what may be an eye. If the white blob that may be an eye had a dot inside it, it would obviously be an eye, but it would lose some of its slightly sinister mystery.
Maybe it’s not an eye at all. Maybe it’s a hole in the top of a wigwam. Those straight lines protruding from the top of the cone look a bit wigwamy now I come to look at them.

Environmental art: watercolour tree

contemporary watercolour tree

Watercolour: Tree

Watercolour on paper. 2023

A watercolour painting from the imagination, depicting a tree in a sinister landscape. The dark foreboding atmosphere of the painting is partly to reflect the atmosphere of the ongoing environmental crisis and partly to reflect the atmosphere of thinking about it.

The tree looks as though it has uprooted itself and is trying to get away from its environment by using its roots as limbs. Alternatively, maybe the ground around the tree’s roots has been washed way as part of environmental degradation (perhaps by floods caused by climate change or by people’s exploitation of the land), literally sweeping away or undermining the foundations of a sustainable environment. And what are those objects next to the tree?

Contemporary art watercolour painting with digital additions

Contemporary art watercolour painting

Watecolour painting with digital additions.

Watecolour painting using collage (April 2021) with digital additions (Oct 2023).

A spontaneous semi-abstract watercolour painting with additions in Adobe Photoshop (added several years later, so it’s not that spontaneous).

The watercolour rock-like object is collaged onto the sky, with the line work added later digitally.

The painting is meant to have a sinister edge to it, with the rock-like form being some sort of creature. I’m very interested in the way that people see some creatures as being cure (baby mammals, especially furry ones being a prime example) and other creatures as being repellant (even at the baby stage).

Pen and ink sketch – sweet chestnut tree

dip pen and ink sketch sweet chestnut tree

Dip pen and ink sketch of a sweet chestnut tree. Drawn from life.

Dip pen and ink. 13cm x 18cm. 4th September 1991.

This is a dip pen and ink sketch of a sweet chestnut tree in the Dordogne region of France that I drew from life on quite a cold day.

There are numerous sweet chestnut trees in this part of France, as they were cultivated for their nuts, which I believe were a major part of the local diet.

The tree was very old with lots of dead branches. There were also lots of leaves, which I think may have been growing on relatively new branches that may have sprouted lower down the tree when the tree recovered from a trauma of some description (and which nearly killed it off). Behind the tree is a ramshackle hut which appeared to have almost become part of the tree.