Fifty years ago during the 1967 “Summer of Love”, while Hippies were gathering across the world, I began another life-long love affair and started attending Life Drawing Classes at my local Art School in Margate. I remember being somewhat nervous and overawed by the experience but determined to conquer this ultimate drawing challenge.
It was to prove to be the start of a life changing long journey that would lead me eventually towards my current Dance work and now this year my journey will culminate with a show of new Dance pieces, to round the year off, in November.
It has been the most extraordinary adventure. My first teacher was very clear that “if you could draw the figure, you could draw anything” and I think that is still true but much as I wanted to “draw everything” I found myself more and more drawn back to the original discipline of Life Drawing.
Eventually after many hours and years of working, a confidence of line and expression took hold and I was then able to discover the inner life of the living form and the expressive power of the body’s natural line.
This led to my current obsession with describing movement and dance in 2 dimensions and so the Dance Paintings and Drawings were born and began to take on a life of their own.
There is always a debt to pay for an artistic journey, often to the old masters like Degas but also to the newer masters like Picasso and Matisse, and of course to the tireless art teachers, from whom I learned so much. Mostly though the debt is to all the wonderful models who offer their time and their muse so selflessly to the classes and the studios. Without them the classical tradition of figure drawing would be lost.
It has been a privilege to be part of this great tradition and to create a new body of work that hopefully adds something to the visual language of figurative art.
I will update you nearer the time with details of the show, which will be in Mayfair, London at the end of November 2017.
Looking back over those 50 years I see a long trajectory, like a line of infinite love for the human form and the beauty that it brings to our lives.
Thank you to all those Masters and their Muses and lets hope history repeats itself with another Summer of Love this year.