© Charles Poulsen 2016



This drawing website has two strands, Drawings on paper and Three-dimensional drawings.

For studio sculpture see: www.charlespoulsen-sculpture.com
For growing sculpture see: www.growingsculpture.com

Drawings on paper

Drawing has, in recent years, been my primary means of expression. Traditionally, drawing is regarded as a secondary, or preparatory, activity. But drawing is immediate, direct and simple, it evokes and suggests rather than fixes, it feels transitory and ephemeral, echoing the lives we live.

The drawings on paper are large (153cm square), striking abstractions realised in layers of pencil, wax and gouache. They are more about energy than any particular subject matter – the invisible energies, the internal organic forces of growth, the forces which drive the winds and currents the energies within the earth.

The drawings start with the square sheet of paper and a drawn square frame within. The square is chosen for its stability, calmness and because there is not the same association with landscape or the portrait of a rectangle.

In the past two years I have moved from gestural, expressionist work toward a quieter, more contemplative quality without narrative or direct observation, which looks beyond physical matter to these invisible energies – the basic form of things. These drawings are ‘rooted’ in a grid formation. I was particularly influenced by commentary in Tate Modern’s catalogue for an exhibition of Agnes Martin (2015), as follows: ‘The root word for ‘grid’ in both Latin and Greek denotes ‘wicker work’ – flexible twigs or shoots woven criss-cross into a horizontal-vertical format.’* This released me – from the idea of the grid as simply a rigid structure of straight lines – and led me to start drawing loose, overlaying structures of irregular spatial elements based on fragments of the grid: a cross, for example, or short, overlaid lines. Recently I moved from using black gouache to a more insistent use of colour, which I wish to explore further in coming months and years.
(*Agnes Martin edited by Frances Morris and Tiffany Bell, Tate 2015, p.79)

Hanging Example

The drawings are often drawn to music as the musical language of harmony, melody, rhythm and form has a very close relationship to the language of my drawings.

The drawings are on Saunders Waterford HP 300gsm stretched up with white gummed paper tape (in the first couple of years the drawings were on Fabriano Academia paper stretched up with brown tape). I use pencil, wax and gouache. When the drawings are cut off the board, I leave the gummed paper as a ‘frame’ and hang the work using spring clips and panel pins. This is how I like to exhibit the work, making it very simple to mount an exhibition. The drawings are transported flat in a specially made wooden case.


Three dimensional drawings

I regard the pieces in this section not as sculpture but as three-dimensional drawings. These works are made of different combinations of lead, twigs wax and paper. Later pieces are mostly in wax and paper similar materials to the drawings. These three-dimensional drawings attempt to show below the surface of things. The wax and paper pieces particularly create a sense of looking through a surface and beyond, similar to the drawings.

If you would like to know more my work or are interested in purchasing anything, please feel free to contact me. I will respond back to any correspondence within 24 hours.