Thursday, 21 January 2021

Ink Drawings - Nudes

In an earlier post I mentioned how it had recently go into doing ink wash drawings, using a traditional Chinese calligraphy brush and an old dip pen made from bamboo. I chose to do them on quite small (A5-size) sheets of watercolour paper. This meant that, due to the thickness of the brush and the nib of the dip pen, I wasn't able to be overly detailed with the drawings or spend too much time on them. 

Nude, 2020, ink wash drawing, by artist, Wayne Chisnall

One of the curious things that I discovered about working on sets of relatively quickly executed drawings is that I was less precious about them during the creation process - dismissing each one as nothing special, as soon it was finished, and then immediately starting on the next one. 

Nude, 2020, ink wash drawing, by artist, Wayne Chisnall

However, upon returning to them a day or so later, I found that some of them had qualities that I had not initially noticed. There were details here and there that interested me; details or marks that I probably would not have consciously made if I was drawing in a more aware or deliberate manner. I suppose muscle memory plays a large part in painting and drawing.

Nude, 2020, ink wash drawing, by artist, Wayne Chisnall

A lot of the recent ink wash drawings that I've been making are based upon some of the hundreds of photographs that I took of skulls from the Catacombs of Paris, when I visited there a few years ago. I'm sure that I'll post a few photos of them in upcoming blog posts but for now here are some of the drawings that I've done of nudes. As you can see, some of them have more of a cartoonish element to them than others.

Nude, 2020, ink wash drawing, by artist, Wayne Chisnall

As I've been doing a lot of these ink wash drawings lately, rather than inundate this blog with too many images of them, maybe I'll return to posting on my Oodles of Doodles blog - the one I set up (whilst drunk - hence the choice of domain name) some years ago, specifically for displaying my drawings and rough sketches. 

3 Nudes, 2020, ink wash drawings, by artist, Wayne Chisnall

Monday, 18 January 2021

Rediscovered Uni. Screen Print Giveaways

One of the things that I love about the infuriating situation of not being able to find what you're looking for is that you often end up finding something different - something that you'd forgotten all about. So the other day, when I was searching through my art store (formerly the small bedroom), trying in vain to find some original comic book artwork that I'd bought, I was surprised to find this set of small hand-pulled screen prints. 

As you can see in this little video I shot, they are based upon some sketches of working drawings for a sculpture that I was working on, and are something that I made as free giveaways at my end of my degree show, as an art student in 1999. I do remember making a big stack of them - most of which disappeared during the opening night of the show. I also remember chatting to a guy that night (which is pretty amazing considering how long ago that was, and how incredibly drunk I got that night) about how he'd picked up something similar that Tracey Eminn had done for the show at the end of her degree show. Rather than taking just one of these prints I made, he asked if he could take one of each. I wonder if he's still got them. If so, his and mine are probably the only complete sets out there.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

'Magnet' Off To 'The Black Gold Museum', Riyadh

Pretty soon 'Magnet', my toy tower sculpture, will be leaving my studio and heading off to its new home at The Black Gold Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (due to open in 2022), where it will enter the museum's permanent collection.

Interior of the Black Gold Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (due to open in 2022)

It'll be odd not having Magnet around anymore as it's one of the earliest sculptures I made (way back in 1999) and has been a colourful presence around the place for over two decades - especially since most of my later sculptures tend to lean towards the brown end of the colour spectrum. Two compensate for its absence I think that maybe the next piece in my giant face mask wall sculptures series will be made using plastic toys.


Toy tower sculpture, 'Magnet', 1999, by artist Wayne Chisnall

'Magnet' is part of a series of four wheeled tower sculptures (the others being The City, Book Tower and Fetish); each relating to a different aspect of our relationship with material possessions, and how our psychological attachment to large quantities of physical objects limit our freedom and mobility.  

Exterior of the Black Gold Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (due to open in 2022)

Originally titled 'Toy Tower', it was renamed 'Magnet' after its first showing when it became evident that its powers of attraction seemed to work on children and adults in equal measure. On the first day of Magnet’s first exhibition the person invigilating told me that he had looked over to where my sculpture should have been, only to find that it had disappeared. Apparently four little boys had managed to sneak the piece out into the street before being chased off by the invigilator, who wheeled the sculpture back into the gallery.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

'Paris Catacombs' Skull Drawing

This ink wash sketch of a skull is based upon one of the hundreds of photographs that I took of the skulls in the Catacombs below the streets of Paris, when I visited the city a few years ago with my patient travelling companion, the art journalist and art magazine editor, Holly Howe (when we were houseboat and cat-sitting for the talented artist, Kate MccGuire). I say patient because, after an hour or so of us wondering around the catacombs, Holly, knowing how fascinated I am by skulls, said 'I'm gonna pop back put to street level, but you take as long as you want down here - I'll see you when you're finished'. Needless to say, she didn't see me again for another three hours.

But, considering that there are estimated to be the remains of 6-7 million bodies down there, I don't think that you can blame me for taking so long - I had a lot of respects to pay.


From what I gather, in 1786, the city (because of the overflowing nature of its cemeteries) condemned all existing parish cemeteries within the city limits and started emptying them. All the bones were then transported (mostly at night, in covered wagons, so as not to provoke protests from the general population) and staked, 5 stories underground, in Paris' ancient stone quarries.