The Pen Is Mightier Than The Paintbrush; New FROM JCG

By Jo Phillips

London artist James Cyril Gardiner has had to (at least temporarily) abandon his Copic Marker cityscapes and adopt an unconventional new approach to drawing- one which utilises Bic blue ballpoint pens. Known for his beautiful, almost ghost-like images of global cities tracing the people living working and passing through them, this new pen series moves his work in a new direction. Never one for a formal approach find out more in The Pen Is Mightier Than The Paintbrush; New FROM JCG

Worsening arthritis in his hand as an indirect result of the physical trauma of a near-death car crash in 2001 has meant for the Artist James C Gardiner the pain felt when rendering with markers was becoming intolerable. The slow, light strokes used by hyperrealistic pen artists suggested a way forward with the creative take of using only a Bic pen has brought about invention. As we know necessity is the Mother of all invention

Various application techniques, usually involving the most gentle of touches, arbitrary swirls, and angular strokes but sometimes extending to an almost ‘percussive’ pointillism result in drawings he calls ‘Bictures’- not attempts at Photorealism, not Abstractions, but maybe somewhere in between.

His latest project focuses on classic images of key figures in the London creative scene, mainly from the late 20th century- London heroes, captured in iconic photographs and then transmogrified, over a period of 30-60 hours each, into ‘Bictures’…

These new Blue Ballpen artworks explore differing rendering processes, challenging when working only with a Bic blue pen. The works are labour-intensive yet require the gentlest of touches, often taking over 30 hours to produce.

The picture on show include Ian Dury, Poly Styrene, David Bowie, Jah Wobble, Vivienne Westwood, Roland Gift, Sade, Siouxsie Sioux, and footballer Pele at 17

To find the full portfolio of works from James Cyril Gardiner please visit here

‘Bictures of my London heroes’ is on display until November in the Noes Lobby, London Marriott County Hall Hotel, London SE1

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