The life of a figure draughtsman is a unique one. Much of my time is spent among the naked and the dead. I am indebted to the friends and strangers who have volunteered their bodies to be studied, and to the med-students mischievous enough to sneak me into anatomy labs while the doctor is out.
I have heard it said that drawing the human figure is one of the most challenging practices in art. We are most critical of representations of ourselves. Someone who has never picked up a pencil to draw nevertheless has an expertise with the human body, having their own and coming into contact with an immeasurable amount of them throughout their lifetime. This forces the figure draughtsman to weigh every line carefully.
I tell my students that every line is a decision. And like any decision, the more factors that are used to decide, the more powerful that decision will be. My decision making process has two primary, however conflicting components: the technical and expressive. The technical aspects include anatomy, the geometry of form and space, and the physics of light. As important as the technical aspects are to me, my drawings are not as technical as they initially appear.
I am in love with the line. The line is a beautifully expressive graphic element. The lines in my drawings are produced with speed and abandon over a strong technical foundation, just as a rollercoaster speeds over a fixed scaffolding supporting it.
I do not draw in order to paint or sculpt. My drawings are an end in themselves. There are numerous master painters throughout history who have insisted on seeing only aspiring apprentices drawings, not paintings, in order to see whether they had any future in art. I believe that this is because of the immediacy and honesty of a drawing. The immediacy of a thought translated directly into line and the honesty of a medium which, unlike paint, cannot be easily covered or edited. Every line drawn rests on the surface as a record of exactly what the artist was thinking. If you look hard enough at the drawings presented here, reading lines as if they are words, you will find that what you have just read is redundant.