Carlotta Oak: Big drawing of a big tree in London.

"Carlotta Oak", ink, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 188x158cm, Charlie Kirkham 2014.
“Carlotta Oak”, ink, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 188x158cm, Charlie Kirkham 2014.

This Big Tree Drawing was a labour of love. The paper is nearly 2m high and wide. Working on a drawing of this scale using a 0.005 nib at points was amazing! I enjoyed being able to indulge in lots of quirky details.
The initial idea followed on from the Urban Forest theme I was working on. When I was walking down the Grand Union canal, I saw a canal boat named “Carlotta”, in terms of etymology this is basically the feminine Italian version of Charles, historically Carlotta is the patron saint of leafless branches. Her feast day is December 10.

I wanted to follow through the two themes, that of creating a saint themed (leafless oak) tree and the sense of an urban location.

The images I chose came from my bizarre collection of images. I like to mix together things I like. I’ve always loved landrovers and drawing machinery. The combination of mechanical and natural also made it more relaxing as I felt I could employ a precise style of drawing mixed with a more relaxed organic approach. As the end of the drawing loomed I really wished I’d used a tinted paper as I spent so much time knocking away the white. This hasn’t stopped me from creating the next tree (Sebastian) on white paper though.