Brick by brick 

Creating the set up for Nick’s portrait had the side effect of leaving me with extra wallpaper. I wanted to use this as background for mini studies. Cutting out the bricks I created an urban landscape in ink and acrylic. Working in different places means I’m frequently commuting.  This is a great opportunity to use a sketchbook, but, sometimes it’s nice to have set pieces to work on during a train journey. Mounting the bricks individually on mount board means they are very easy to transport. Add in a few paint markers and a delayed train is far less stressful….

"Study in Silhouette", black paper collaged onto coloured paper, 14x9", Charlie Kirkham 2015.

Paper Cut Silhouette

I started thinking about turning the Dice and Adicia ink on paper studies into papercuts. This was my first attempt at making a figure in black paper on coloured paper. There is a certain charm to the crude cutting here. It convinced me that more work is needed to get a series of them off the ground and that perhaps the printing direction is going to have more longevity to it. So, with that in mind I’ve begun cutting out the collograph plates for the series, which I will get up once they’re  done.

"The Swineherd's Yellow Fox: Detail", 170x23cm, Acrylic & Ink on paper, Charlie Kirkham 2013.

The Swineherd’s Yellow Fox (detail)

Based entirely on the poem “The Swineherd” by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (also used as inspiration here). The detail above shows part of the 170cm long work on paper. I wanted to incorporate a lot of repeating motifs and I liked the idea of the yellow fox literally hiding and reappearing.

"Froggy and the Tadpoles", mixed media on paper, 43x30cm, Charlie Kirkham 2013.

Froggy and the Tadpoles

I was trying to merge 2D and 3D in this piece. It started when I saw some googly eyes and thought they looked like frog spawn. This work also linked into the mural I was creating about healthy eating and the life cycle at Rhymes Nursery, Birmingham. Using found buttons, sequins, eyes and leaf skeletons I merged the collage and drawing elements.

"Treeman Holding the Fox", 297x420mm, paint marker, ink and pencil on paper, Charlie Kirkham 2013.

Treeman Holding the Fox

This image was based around the Treemen’s woods idea. Following on from the sketchbook images and pieces that were inspired by the combination of “Who Killed Cock Robin?” and “The Swineherd“. When all this is over, said the swineherd, I mean to retire, where Nobody will have heard about my special skills And conversation is mainly about the weather. I intend to learn how to make coffee, as least as well As the Portuguese lay-sister in the kitchen And polish the brass fenders every day. I want to lie awake at night Listening to cream crawling to the top of…

"Treemen and A Rev. Rook", 297x420mm, paint marker, ink and pencil on paper, Charlie Kirkham 2013.

Treemen And A Rev. Rook

Using studies of Using models Gary, Paul and Tim as a basis for the figures I was also inspired by the Old Oak Tree. The Old Oak Tree on my grandmother’s drive really looked as if it had faces in it, as a child I remember it looming over me, a massive structure in wood. The tree was fairly covered with twisted ivy. There was another old pear tree in my parent’s garden which was so covered in ivy the tree inside had died. I watched it fall down in a storm, watching through the window with my brother. It…

"The Red Tree" 420x594mm, collage on card, Charlie Kirkham 2013.

The Red Tree

Based on the Treemen studies in my sketchbook I started to explore the seasons via Papercut collage. Each part is hand cut. It’s a very time consuming process, especially when working on this larger A2 scale. This collage has an element of line drawing (the black lines on the central tree) which was added using paint marker. Using the different papers means it’s really possible to explore different textures. The main trunk of the tree is created with craft tapes in various patterns mixed with a semi-transparent art paper. I used a lot of polka-dotted double-sided origami papers for the…