‘Adam & Eve’ after Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Courtauld Institute houses the fantastic ‘Adam and Eve’ by Lucas Cranach the Elder. I drew from it some years ago, a quick pencil study which has been at the bottom of my sketchbook gathering dust. It was when I drew from Cranach’s National Gallery Venus and Cupid painting that I remembered my previous love of this one. What draws me to Cranach the Elder is the bizarre forms of the figures and the composition of the elongated shapes. I looked at my sketch, a detail from the centre of the painting and wanted to continue with my collage series…

"Jasmine", oil on paper, 6.5x9" (framed), Charlie Kirkham 2015. Exhibited in the ING Discerning Eye 2017.

ING Discerning Eye 2016, Mall Galleries, London

I’m thrilled that my “Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet” collage and my mini oil painting “Jasmine” were both selected for this year’s Discerning Eye. It’s the second time I’ve been selected and last time the exhibition was really good fun. I’m looking forward to seeing the work in situ. This exhibition is all about small work, which makes it very intimate. There’s something really comforting about getting up close to a wall of work rather than standing on the opposite side of the gallery trying to take it in. All of the works are under 50cm framed! The exhibition runs…

"Agony in the Garden 1", collage on board, 12x18", Charlie Kirkham 2016.

Agony in the Garden (After El Greco)

A checker-plate angel and purple Jesus…the beauty of El Greco is that however bizarre you make your own interpretation the original remains more strange. I love El Greco and was very excited when the National Gallery hung both their version and the private collection version of “The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane” up next to each other. Collage is a great wat to simplify images and colours. I’m really enjoying the reinterpretation of some of my favourite paintings. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/studio-of-el-greco-the-agony-in-the-garden-of-gethsemane

"Virgin and Child with Saints (Vision of Saint Jerome)", collage on board, 8.5x9" (framed), Charlie Kirkham 2016.

Vision of Saint Jerome

I started this after the Parmigianino in the National Gallery. The shape was a challenge, especially when I decided to use glue dot backed rhinestones. Fortunately, the rhinestones left over from the enormous Esther Collage came in a variety of sizes, so I got a good fit on the semi circle. Although I’m sure the other devotees of Parmigiannino would be horrified at my homage the collage is in no way intended to replicate the original. Like all the other pieces I’m working on inspired by the National Gallery’s collection, it has been a way of exploring composition. It’s also helping me…

Starting another one…After Parmigianino “The Virgin and Child with Saints (The Vision of Saint Jermome)”

Started cutting out the pieces for this collage based on my studies from Parmigianino. The shape of this painting makes it a good challenge….so far it’s cut paper and tape on black mount board. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/parmigianino-the-madonna-and-child-with-saints

After studio of van Dyck, “Drunken Silenus supported by Satyrs”

It’s an odd painting, hung taking up a the wall between corner and door in Room 31 of the National Gallery. This painting appealed to me in part because it is quite disjointed, there seem to be several styles at work. My initial drawing was done over a few sheets of different toned paper, partly as I had run out of grey. I wanted the painting to be about the exploration process, rather than a direct copy of the original. Colours: Paynes Green Cobalt Blue Cobalt Violet Indian Red Permanent Rose Cadmium Orange Lemon Yellow Titanium White The primer is…

After Gerad David: painting in the National Gallery

Drawing in the National Galley, as this blog testifies, is a habit of mine. The ultimate cure for artist block and a great way to discover artists for free. Drawing in a public place comes with its own set of challenges. If you can’t handle criticism don’t draw in a gallery. Every passer by has an opinion and generally they feel obliged to share it with you. Since the National Gallery began allowing photography in 2015, drawing also comes with the peril of being considers part of the exhibition. Bus loads of tourists go home with a blurry photo of a…

After Moroni "Portrait of A Man with Raised Eyebrows"

After Moroni , “Portrait of a Man with Raised Eyebrows”

          Moroni is great because he had an amazing knack for capturing people’s expressions. I love his work and really enjoyed being able to visit it for free at the National Gallery. The RA Show last year was fabulous but nothing beats sitting and looking at the paintings for ages. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/giovanni-battista-moroni-portrait-of-a-man-with-raised-eyebrows

Detail from "Dorethea's Apple Tree", 100 x 100 cm, ink & acrylic on paper, Charlie Kirkham 2015.

St. Dorethea’s Apple Tree makes longlist for Jackson’s Art Prize 2016!

  Really happy that my tree series has got some recognition after the slogging on it. So pleased that St. Dorethea’s tree has made it to the longlist. https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2016/04/15/joap-longlist-announced/ I’m on page 12 of the blog!  

“Drawing on Location” at Southwark Cathedral Refectory

From 16 January until 11 March 2016 I am exhibiting as part of a SGFA group show in the Southwark Cathedral Refectory, “Drawing on Location”. The cathedral is an extraordinary place dating back 1106 It has transitioned through changes in worship, the reformation and the bombing a of World War II. There are some wonderful oddities to be found in the cathedral. I decided to focus on the patterns and imagery. I’ve chosen six main motifs and based the palette on the green, red and gold of the cathedral ceiling and the st George and the dragon relief.

After Gainsborough “The Painter’s Daughters with a Cat”

This portrait shows the artists two daughters and their black cat. It’s an unfinished painting but I love it. The two girls epitomise the relationship between sisters beautifully.  When copying from an unfinished painting it makes it easier to see what the most important elements are. In a way, a lot of the hard work of analysis has been done for you. I used colours pencils and think the scratchy quality works well for unfinished paintings. For more information: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/thomas-gainsborough-the-painters-daughters-with-a-cat  

After Correggio The Madonna of the Basket  

In spite of sitting in so many art history lectures (or perhaps because of spending so much of them sketching the other students), I had no clue about Correggio before I was encouraged to look at this piece in the National Gallery, London. It’s a tiny painting. It also has an impressively complex baby Christ. The relationship between Mother and child in this painting is depicted with tenderness. For more information http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/correggio-the-madonna-of-the-basket  

SGFA Annual Exhibition @ The Menier Gallery, London

Opening on Monday the 5th of October and running until the 17th the Annual Open Exhibition of the SGFA shows drawing in all its forms. I will be showing three pieces, “Golden Boy”, “The Red Tree” and “Autumn Leaves“.