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!  

"Dorothea's Apple Tree", acrylic and ink on paper, 100 x 100 cm, Charlie Kirkham 2015.

Dorothea’s Apple Tree

Following on from the progress post about Saint Dorethea’s Orchard  I’ve finally got this drawing finished! It’s 100 x 100 cm on grey (acrylic) primed paper, drawn with ink and paint markers in black, grey and white. I took this to be photographed a few days ago and am really pleased with the high resolution image as it shows a lot more of the details than my phone pictures.

Saint Dorethea’s Orchard (so far!)

The third in my series of Saintly Trees. This is based on the saint of orchards and gardeners, Dorethea. The story is reproduced here: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=221 There are also some fantastic paintings which helped me with he apples, Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Venus & Cupid is a great example (and free to visit!) http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/lucas-cranach-the-elder-cupid-complaining-to-venus The drawing is 100x100cm. Initially I primed the paper with grey acrylic as my main challenge withy he last two was getting a sense of depth and tone. Obliterating the white was liberating. Here’s the journey so far: I will publish more photos as the drawing progresses.

Portrait with stuffed fox cub and escaping armadillo

This painting explores composition. I wanted to create a diagonal focus and give as much attention to the objects surrounding the sitter as to the portrait itself. Working on a full figure, on such a small scale, presents its own set of challenges. When the face is only the size of a 5 pence coin every stroke becomes important. Capturing the posture of Tara was important in getting a likeness. Initially the set up revolved around the fruit and stuffed fox cub, the elements of the Yew tree and armadillo developed more organically. My first idea for the large space…

"Autumn Leaves", mixed media collage on cardboard, Charlie Kirkham 2013.

Autumn Leaves

This was an exploration of Autumn. What would Autumn be without a little bit of John Keats: SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness! Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 5 And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, 10 For Summer has…

"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…

Red Tree Label

I enjoy working with materials to see their properties. This is a large sketchbook piece based on mock croc skin red paper. Using the paper as the guide I coloured in the tree with paint pens. Exploring pop ups, labels and interactive book qualities I added the label. I love creating pieces you can interact with and change. This study went on to develop into the intricate Papercut collage Red Tree.

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…