‘Minerva protects Pax from Mars (‘Peace and War’)’ after Rubens

  At the moment the RA is showing the blockbuster exhibition of Rubens and his influence. In light of this I thought a bit of drawing from Rubens was in order. Once again, while the RA is full to bursting the National Gallery’s collection of (free) Rubens paintings is rather quiet. Minerva Protects Pax From Mars is a stunning painting. Rubens is famous for the sensuality of his paintings. He captures flesh in such a powerful,believable way. When I was drawing this I was conscious of the weight of each of the figures. The arrangement is really complicated and working in monochrome…

"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.

Wren in the Treemen’s Wood With Three Goldfish

The Wren started off as an idea in my sketchbook, as so many drawings do. It was an image that I liked but was unsure what to do with. Later, as I began the series exploring the imaginary woods of the Tree People, a people who are based on mythological tree spirits. For more myths about trees see http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Tr-Wa/Trees-in-Mythology.html Working in paintmarker and ink for the colours I wanted to fully integrate the pencil drawing into the work. Each branch of the trees and the shadows of the fish are creating using HB pencil. The leafless branches become a pattern…