Figurative Paintings by Michael Childs
When I went to live with my dad, Bernard Childs, in Paris in 1953, he introduced me to the method of drawing developed by Kimon Nikolaides ("The Natural Way to Draw," Houghton Mifflin Boston 1969) with whom he had studied at the Art Students' League in the '30's. There were three components to the method: the first was gesture where you capture the movement, weight and essence of an object or a pose with a continuos flowing line that never leaves the paper (or any medium), without regard to the outline. The image below, "Dancer," contains nothing but gestures of a dancing woman, overlaid with a quick contour when I asked her to freeze in the middle of her dance. All the images below started as gestures. Then I kept working on them - or not. I work spontaneously with very little planning. I have a general idea where I want to go, and I'm in a particular emotional state. Whenever I try to duplicate what I've done before, like the "Yellow Blue Seated Nude," below, it never works out. Something else happens and I follow its lead, like hanging onto a galloping horse.
Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary
I combine painting and drawing in a unique and personal way. My heros are Picasso for the directness of his line, the color of Matisse and the emotion and movement of Van Gogh. My subject matter is simple: figurative, floral, vegetables, fruits, and landscapes - but they're just a means to contemplate the Matrix of life. This approach transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Prints on Paper or Canvas Only
2003 Medium: Water Soluble Pens & Acrylics on 140 lb. Rag Paper
"I want my images to be alive, as if caught in a moment of time, in the middle of a movement. I also try to capture the emotional images evoked while creating the images. To me, everything and everyone exists simultaneously on different levels. Since I usually work with models, I slip into a meditative state wherein I perceive an inner world delineated externally by color and line. I constantly shift the emphasis between the two, and constantly experiment with new mediums."