Heckel’s Horse Jr. Green Oil Transfer Drawings

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Now the Heckel’s Horse Jr. exhibition (details below) is painted, I’m doing some oil transfer drawings while they dry.

The quite cold weather means an estimated drying time of around 3-4 weeks for my thickest painted paintings. For control of my studio floorspace in the meantime, it was a contest between Edgeworth Band‘s Thursday night YouTube performances, and more oil paintings. Edgeworth Band won, so now my visual art activity is restricted to works on paper for a month. Except for Monday’s at Billy’s. Oil transfer drawings, despite the oil, dry in only a couple of days and are done on paper.

Oil transfer drawings are often misleadingly called ‘monoprints’. They’re not prints. They’re no more prints than an original painting. You put a sheet of paper onto a board covered in oil paint, then draw on it. This directly applies paint to the surface through hand pressure, in exactly the same way as a hand presses a brush onto a canvas. The only difference is which side the oil lands on. Oil transfer drawings are original handmade drawings, in oil paint. I would argue they’re oil paintings.

I’ve been experimenting with oil transfer drawing techniques ever since I saw ‘The Silence of the Angel‘ in 2014 (see video below). Since then, I’ve come up with several of my own invention. Controversially, some collaborative work I did with Billy using one of these techniques was attributed (not by Billy, I stress) entirely to him. As I understand it, despite Billy presenting them as collaborations, the retailer decided it would be too confusing to credit me, so now the world’s pretending they’re ‘by Billy Childish‘ and I’m hoping as a result, people don’t see my solo work done in the same painterly technique I came up with, as derivative of Billy. What an injustice that would be. At least it served as a glimpse into how full of shit the art world is.

Another technique I’m claiming is a sandwiching method of laying multiple sheets on top of each other, alternately covered in oil, then drawing on top. The sheets covered in oil can also be worked on as the mirror images of the ones they’re facing. Two for one. You can then switch the sheets around and redraw, resulting in a set of drawings in matching colours, but with the colours in different places. Here’s some self-portraits I did using this method.

This latest set of Heckel’s Horse Jr. oil transfer drawings began last night at Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club. The blue and yellow parts are coloured pencil.

Heckel's Horse Jr. green oil transfer drawing. Table top paintings.

Heckel's Horse Jr. green oil transfer drawing. Two paintings.

Heckel's Horse Jr. green oil transfer drawing. Sketches.

Heckel's Horse Jr. green oil transfer drawing. A man with a dog.

Heckel's Horse Jr. green oil transfer drawing. A horse.

Heckel’s Horse Jr. is not to be confused with Heckel’s Horse.

Heckel’s Horse Jr. is an alias used by Edgeworth Johnstone. Under this alias, Johnstone paints works based on Heckel’s Horse paintings in his home studio in Muswell Hill, London.

Heckel’s Horse is a painting collaboration between Billy Childish and Edgeworth Johnstone. Since 2013, Childish and Johnstone have made roughly 200 paintings together, at Childish’s studio in Chatham Dockyard.

March 2024:
My next exhibition:
Exhibition Title: Heckel’s Horse Jr.
Venue: Highgate Gallery at Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution
11 South Grove
London N6 6BS
Private View:
8th March 2024, 6 – 8.30pm

Exhibition runs until
21st March 2024

Heckel's Horse Jr. exhibition poster.


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