Homage to Klimt, or to Eve at least

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Sketch of Klimt’s Eve in the Belvdere, Vienna

I love Gustav Klint’s paintings and even more so his drawings. His last painting of Eve is one of my most loved, and I have seen it several times in Vienna, where I lived for many years as a child. I can never have her hanging on my own wall, but I have this sketch I made of her in 2004. It isn’t great, but it shows how big she is.

Acrylic copy of Eve, Hanging in Daisy Grace
Acrylic copy of Eve, Hanging in Daisy Grace

If I can’t have the original, I can make my own copy, which is shown next . It is in acrylic, not oil, and only about 18″ high, so no one can accuse me of faking it. I also made some effort to complete her, as sadly she was found, unfinished on an easle in Klimt’s studio after he died. It is nealy the only painting in acrylic I have done to date, and I am very fond of her. She hangs in my boat, to keep me company on dark nights.

Eve at home on Daisy Grace with my other girls
Eve at home on Daisy Grace with my other girls

Theyam dancers, Kerala, 2006

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These two sketchbook entries were at an extraordinary Theyam festival near Tellicherry in North Kerala in December 2006. A group of dancers perform at a local temple (which are generally open air in balmy Kerala) They dance for up to three days… The one in the very top left sketch is sitting on a huge bed of roasting wood embers. His skirt is fresh bamboo strips which must give enough protection to survive. He had to be pulled off the fire by helpers as he is nearly unconscious. Some costumes are nearly 20ft high, carried on a dancers shoulders. Crashing drums, blaring shaums and bomb like fireworks going off all the time. Makes Christmas carol services seem a bit tame.

The pictures were scribbled in my sketchbook and then coloured crouching behind a wall. Atmosphere very friendly and party like..

Heading for home, Arunachal Pradesh 2014

Heading for home, in the Adi tribal area, Arunchal Pradesh
Heading for home, in the Adi tribal area, Arunchal Pradesh

This is one of my favourite recent travel photos, taken on a beautiful day in Arunachal Pradesh in North East India in April 2014. We were walking through a long, extended Adi village, a most beautiful place. I just spotted these piglets scuttling after their mother on their way home. Five seconds later and the picture would be gone. The houses are beautiful.

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Looking over the valley from one side of the village to the other. The piglets were just behind me.

Unfolding the model

Folded body
Folded body

I don’t draw in pencil all that much. For sketches I like the determinism of ink, and for large drawings i like rough mediums like charcoal and soluble coloured pencils. But when I get bogged down in repetitive dead work, I go back to pencil. Just drawing with a continuous line to build up surface and edge. I unclogs me until I get bored with pencil, again.

This is one such “return to pencil” drawing. The model was curled up in a network of ropes suspended from the ceiling. It allows outlandish poses, but Ihate the ropes, so never draw them. Here the tutor said “That works. You can unfold him and he would be right”. I like scrunched up poses, and this idea of “unfolding the model” is an important one. Thinking of the model unfolding and standing up straight really focuses the mind.