Made during the first lockdown, Operation I was part of a series I called 'Hospital', which I drew from television news reports and documentaries, but also from experiences of my own at my local hospitals in Leicester, early in 2020. The painting shows the return to routine operations after the first crisis. I was struck by the depth of concentration that was visible through the smallest glimpse of the doctors' faces. The lighting reminiscent of paintings from centuries before.
The medium of pen and ink with watercolour is intense and risky but quick and responsive, like no other really. It suits my subjects with its twists, turns and bursts of energy. Sometimes, I include other materials, pastel and water-soluble crayons, acrylic paint and gouache. Still, I always start my pictures with the flowing, uncompromising lines of the pen with washes of watercolour. They are the backbone of every piece.
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