Colin Mitchell Artwork

Oil Pastel Drawings

I took advantage of a nice warm day in April to draw the Oak sapling which sprouted in a pot in our front yard a few years ago.

A day spent at the beach with my children. Sometimes I like to title works with a Haiku.

I have been experimenting with drawing on cradled panels to not frame the work under glass.

Sitting in the woods all day... what joy!

Sometimes I like to place the viewer in a location which is specifically non-specific. Something everyone can relate to even if you don't know where it is. Creating attachments to their memories with my work.

The first drawing on cradled panel after numerous experiments to make sure it was a viable technique. Normally oil pastel has to be framed under glass to protect it, but I'm pretty certain this technique is adequately protected while still being archival.

On occasion I like to title works in reference to other of my works. Keeps my audience on their toes and ties the work together nicely.

When I walked my children to school I would look for things to go back and draw later in the day. This was one of those instances.

Drawn at the beach at Galveston, Tx, USA.

I decided to try my hand at a traditional still-life arrangement with this one. I can't do anything conventionally though it seems. I didn't want to draw a tablecloth, and went with a rather bold framing gesture...gotta roughen it up a bit you see.

I sat for so long in the woods that I gained the trust of the squirrel, who ran down the tree and posed for me just at the moment I was finishing that area of the trunk. He seemed to know exactly when I had captured his likeness, 'cause he stayed stock still until the very moment I was done drawing him, then ran off again.

As far as I recall, this was near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver BC.

It's funny 'cause George W. Bush was president at the time, and nobody in their right mind loves him.

My parents had a lovely property in Abbotsford, BC with many beautiful trees in the yard. I miss that yard - it had a great meandering pathway leading down a hill into the nearest thing you can get to wilderness in the suburbs.

This shows the entrance to the pathway mentioned above through the arch in the background of the drawing.

While waiting for my (now) wife to come home from work one day, I sat and drew the tree outside her apartment. Funnily though, she came home and I was so into the drawing I didn't go in to see her for about 45 minutes, until the drawing was done. She's an artist - she understood.

One of the methods I particularly loved around 2000 was floor drawing. I would tape paper down to the floor, and just get aggressive on it. The theory was that if it was on the floor, it was treated accordingly. You walk on a floor, so if the paper was on the floor, it was part of the floor and was to be walked on if need be until it was removed from the floor. To an outsider it must have looked like a god-awful mess, but to me it was all work in progress. The floor drawings often went along with a specific piece of music (footnoted on the work if relevant) but I don't believe this one was about a specific piece of music.

This is a large floor drawing of an entire album rather than just a single song. You get a much better feel of how I am almost behaving like a seismograph with these drawings, following the meandering, twitchy lines. A spacey drawing for a spacey album.

I think this was the first of my floor, music drawings. I would tape it down to the floor, light candles, cue up the song on the stereo with my headphones ready and the box of oil pastels beside me, close my eyes, choose a pastel for each hand and then hit play on the stereo remote. The music would be all absorbing and I would reactively draw how the music felt, as if the music was flowing through my arms onto the paper. The magical part would come when I found myself focusing more on what one hand was doing than the other, and the "free" hand which I wasn't focusing on would just float on it's own to the music, giving some beautifully lyrical passages of line. When the song ended, I went back in and drew the "Start" and "Finish" points on this drawing, but didn't always do that. Most people see these as scribbles. I got some funny looks when I showed these... actually I was asked to take my drawings down from a restaurant when I showed a group of them. I can laugh about it now. Ha.

This is how the trees began. The second one, as the title suggests.

©2016 onward, Colin Mitchell /