Twelve artists were honoured at DRAW 12 with prizes and awards from well-known manufacturers of drawing and art materials – one artist was awarded twice! The winning works of art were chosen by John Yardley RI, and presented by Hon. SGFA Member and guest speaker, Prof. Ken Howard OBE RA.
The winner of the Daler-Rowney Award for the Best Work in the Exhibition, sponsored by Daler-Rowney Limited, was STUART STANLEY ASGFA for Spencer House at Dusk (acrylic), who says:”My career as a theatre and events designer has had a strong influence on my approach to painting. I use the essential elements of colour and light to create a dramatic visual effect in a painting as I would in a theatrical scene. I work mainly in oil or acrylic but drawing in pencil is fundamental to my work, so my sketch book is always to hand. Consequently, I was able to capture the image of light in the windows of Spencer House through the silhouetted trees as I was sketching in Green Park prior to creating the painting in the studio”.
CHRIS FORSEY RI SGFA won the Award for a Highly Commended Work in Colour sponsored by STABILO International Gmbh for his Fence, Stack and Towers, Geevor (watercolour, ink and crayon). He writes, “I am basically a landscape painter, favouring the rugged, the spectacular, the moody and atmospheric and the light-filled as sources of inspiration. The work in the exhibition is inspired by this subject matter, mostly coastal, and the mine workings at Geevor caught my attention. They seem to encapsulate all the things I like to work with: structure, texture, mood and a certain melancholy romance. I exhibit with the SGFA as a full member and always enjoy the discipline of the drawing. . . ‘Any fool can paint’, to quote Ken Howard”.
The Arqadia Award for a Work in Monochrome, sponsored by Arqadia Ltd, went to BARRY JOHN HARRISON SGFA for Specimen (pencil). “Drawing underlies my work”, says Barry, “yet the end results are something other than drawing. The method is to choose pencil hardness to reflect the material, or the position of the object being depicted, then to manipulate the pencil marks and pencil shading. This is done by cutting back the intensity of the marks/shading using normally putty rubber, by moving and blending the marks/shading with chamois leather, paper, cloth etc. and, for detailed area, stumps. As with printing techniques I need to plan those areas which will stay white, and sometimes use masking or surface incisions to produce the desired effect”.
KEN HEAD SGFA‘s Ropes and Pulleys – HMS Victory (watercolour) won the Award for a Highly Commended Drawing sponsored by STABILO International Gmbh. He says, “Drawing and painting have always been a big part of my life, especially since I was forced out of full-time work almost twenty years ago. They are now my main preoccupation and have seriously developed my thoughts and ideas on subjects. I work mainly in watercolour, but venture into oil painting now and again, developing on-site pencil sketches. I became a member of SGFA in 2005, mainly because of my interest in drawing — which I feel should be reintroduced in art generally”.
DR SUMI PERERA RE, MSDC, SGFA recently achieved the rare distinction of being elected straight to full SGFA membership, by-passing the Associate Member category. Her Displace (etching, aquatint, collagraph, stitch) gained the St Cuthbert’s Mill Award for a Work on the Theme for 2012, ‘Drawing Breath’, sponsored by St Cuthbert’s Mill. Sumi says, “I am a multidisciplinary artist whose work follows the narrative of an artistbook – hence the two pages with a torn edge (a well read copy!), layering and textblocks. Ghosts of notebooks also appear. An assemblage of etching, aquatint, collagraph, monoprint, chine collé, painting and stitch signify the importance of process over product. My work is an amalgam of influences: working as a doctor, scientist and artist; trying to blur boundaries between the orient/occident, past/present & artist/artisan. I am committed to the values and diverse approaches to drawing that the Society upholds, and was accepted as a full member this year”.
A similar fascination with meticulous, multi-layered media can be seen in the creations of ANNIE RIDD ASGFA, already a DRAW 11 prizewinner, and collector of no fewer than 2 awards this year! Her Dante Deo (For the Love of God) (graphite) took the Stabilo Award for Drawing, sponsored by STABILO International Gmbh, while the Award for a Highly Commended Work on the Theme for 2012, ‘Drawing Breath’, sponsored by Jackson’s Art Supplies, went to Beatus (A Blessed One). “’To live is to leave traces’ (Walter Benjamin, Reflections, 1979). In his book Reflections, Benjamin draws a comparison between archaeology and art, to the extent that they both explore the world of the uncanny, revealing what would otherwise remain hidden. This consideration of the absent and present, the examination of what was once here but is now gone, fulfils a desire to stem loss and rationalize death. It is within this framework that I locate my art”.
Fabric collage is the speciality of ANNE CARPENTER ASGFA, whose Somerset Levels II earned the Award for a Highly Commended Work sponsored by STABILO International Gmbh. Having lived in Somerset for many years, Anne says she would find it difficult not to be inspired by the beautiful and mysterious Somerset Levels. “Sedges, grasses, pollarded willows lend themselves to my chosen medium of drawn threads and a variety of fabrics. I had thought that my technique and medium was like painting with fabric, but was excited to be offered associate membership of SGFA on the basis that I draw with my scissors. The whole range of fabrics and nets, their colours and textures, is stimulating and rewarding”.
Similarly colourful, but in a more exotic setting, is the work of SUE ANDREW ASGFA. Another second-time prizewinner, Sue has pulled it off yet again with Paraguayan Dream No.1 (gouache), winner of the Artistpapers Award for a Work in Colour sponsored by Artistpapers.co.uk, UK Distributors for
Strathmore Papers. “I am delighted to have won The Artistpapers Award for a Work in Colour and feel particularly honoured to have done so after winning the equivalent award last year. I love colour. I work in gouache as the ink-like
colours are so vivid and vibrant. The medium is particularly well suited to the tropical scenes on which I have been working recently. In 2012, I became an ASGFA. I am very glad to exhibit with people of like mind, other graphic fine artists who do not regard traditional skills as incompatible with moving forward in art”.
Monochrome will always be valued in a drawing society, and BERNARD FLEMING’s Still Life (charcoal), winner of the Award for a Highly Commended Work in Monochrome sponsored by STABILO International Gmbh, is a fine example.
Bernard writes: “I submit work to the SGFA because it appears to me to be one of the few remaining organisations that will entertain work produced with skill and knowledge made to reach the unconscious reponses of viewers before any interpretative speculation in which they may choose to engage”.
MELVYN EVANS ASGFA’s lino print, Weaving Branches, won the Derwent Award for a Print, sponsored by Derwent at the Cumberland Pencil Company. “Part of my work is focused upon capturing the essence of the British countryside, evoking the sense of history and prehistory we see in a landscape. I live close to the ancient woodland of Knole in Sevenoaks, and have been drawing it for years. Some of these drawings I’ve made into lino prints, one of which was ‘Weaving Branches’. I like to restrict the print to a maximum of four colours, working out how to define the other colours by using texture, line, overlaying two colours, or letting the eye fill in the missing area. I like this problem-solving. The SGFA is a wonderful society for promoting drawing as fundamental to all image-making. I really support its aims and it’s a privilege to be able to exhibit with it”.
“I like nothing better than to take a sketchbook into the landscape – countryside or city; find somewhere comfortable to sit; and then draw whatever’s in front of me,” says MICHAEL GAGE ASGFA, whose Sissinghurst won the Award fo a Highly Commended Print, sponsored by STABILO International Gmbh. “I take the sketches home, backed up by lots of photographs, and turn them into linocuts. It was difficult to find a scene that hadn’t been done many times before, and to avoid a ‘pretty’ view of the gardens. I eventually chose one from the castle tower, emphasing the paths and gateways around the flowerbeds. The linocut technique that I use is the reduction method: using one block to print multiple colours. At each stage, you’re cutting away parts of the block and printing it in a darker colour. The challenge of this method is that you can’t see the result until you print that final colour. By then, the block is almost destroyed, and you can’t change anything. It’s difficult and disheartening when you see the finished print and realise it’s all gone wrong. On the other hand, when it works it produces a unique, graphic effect that you can’t get in any other medium. I exhibit with the SGFA because it’s the one of the few (only?) societies left that still recognises the primacy of drawing”.
The President’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Society of Graphic Fine Art, went to KATHERINE PEEKE for Matt Series (acrylic). A graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, Katherine writes: “The ‘Matt’ study evolved from a “realism” portrayal into a series of twelve. Working in this way the progression has enabled me to experiment. This image was achieved using an air-brush technique and acrylic medium on coloured board keeping to a neutral palate with white detailing. I have long admired the standard of work
produced by the Society and submitted for the first time this year”.
Pat Harvey SGFA FRSA November 2012
Editor’s note: Since DRAW 12, we are pleased to announce that both Annie Ridd and Michael Gage have been elected as full members of the Society of Graphic Fine Art, and that Katherine Peeke has been elected to Associate membeship.