Artists Among Us // Jonathan Traynor

In this series of posts, we aim to present a 'virtual exhibition' showcasing the artistic talents hidden within our teams. You may have seen this done recently by the Tate with their weekend long exhibition Inside Job of their staff's artwork. Well, we also believe the unknown artists among us are worthy of recognition. This series will present to you a diversity of disciplines from people who are practising artists, or exercise this as a hobby.

Jonathan Traynor // Visitor Services:

Since graduating from Manchester School of Art in 2012 I have continued to develop my creative practice. My mixed media drawings focus primarily on the human figure. The subject matter derives from direct observation, photography and my imagination. These elements often work in conjunction in order for me to produce any singular artwork. Human sexuality, Angst and Primitivism are themes that feature prominently in my current body of work. I work in traditional materials such as charcoal, soft pastel, Watercolour and Gouache. German expressionism has played a key role in my formative years as an artist. The paintings of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) and Emil Nolde (1867-1956) have been particularly inspiring for their bold and adventurous use of colour.

Pictured Left: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1910) Franzi in front of carved chair, ©Museo Thyssen- bornemisza, madrid

pictured Right: Emil nolde (1915) Die Grablegung, © the ArtStack

I have always found drawing to be the most direct and immediate way in which to communicate things I have often struggled to verbalise. My intentions at the outset of creating a drawing often change during the physical act of producing the work, often within the first few marks. I date and time all of my drawings upon completion, this allows my work to be viewed in retrospect as a visual diary. The following quote from the American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) perfectly illustrates my feelings towards picture making -

‘’A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks laboured and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-laboured efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.’’

— In Barbara Rose, Frankenthaler (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1975, p. 85)