"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…

After Tintoretto, “Christ Washing the Diciples’ Feet”

However many times I sit and look at the Tintoretto it never looses it’s appeal. Perhaps it’s the way patches have faded or been restored. It might be the mysterious cat, the wonky tiles or the ghostly figures. Tintoretto had a flare for drama and draws you into his pictures. Having sketched this picture a few times it still grips me. Each experience of working from it is different. Starting the collage I wanted to keep the dark, earthy feel so chose papers that were less garish.  For detailing I used the red and white striped tape to create small…

"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

After Titian “Bacchus and Ariadne”

Another painting to fall in love with. Titian was such a master of colour that I couldn’t face trying to do a coloured drawing from this piece. I only had a limited amount of time in the gallery when I decided to sketch it. My initial sketch was a simple black pen line drawing. After my adventure with rhinestones working on the large Esther Collage it seemed like a good experiment to see if I could create a collage entirely in the rhinestones. I wanted to be able to see my initial drawing, so used clear plastic as a base. This…

"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

Red rose (demo wet on wet) 

The artificial roses are a very strong red Fifteen minute A3 painting demo showing how to work wet into wet in watercolour. The paper was stretched as you can see from the brown tape, the picture on the right was taken when it was still wet on the board. Here’s the dry version:  Great fun to do something quick and experimental every now and again.