Sitting on the wooden deck of his small, shipping container-sized, backyard studio 'the shed' during moments filled with trumpets and street gospel jazz, artist Andy Doyle has created a portfolio of images reflecting his homes of Bega and Bangkok through pencils, pens, and ink wash.
Within Spiral Gallery, a number of Andy's artworks hang proudly, reflecting historic buildings from Bangkok's no longer standing Colgate-Palmolive factory to Bega's The Grand Hotel with its vintage colour schemes.
As he gazed towards his pencil sketch of the hotel which sits on the Art Deco intersection of Auckland and Carp Streets, he said the initial perspective was based on a photograph he had captured out of the upstairs window of the 1951 Gowings building.
"I would study the building while it was being drawn, so I'd go past and study what the light was doing, and what was important and what wasn't," Andy said.
He stated the artwork took two months in between other drawings, a different process than his overseas imagery, which was captured during one hour drawing breaks during his daily commute to southern Bangkok.
The artworks he captured in 2004 and 2005 in Bangkok were originally sketched on a cheaper quality paper, so during the pandemic, Andy redrew his artworks on a higher quality paper stock and with better colouring techniques.
Some sketches were so heavily coloured it suffocated the paper below with solid rich pigments, others were painted by the brush of watery diluted ink, coffee, watercolour or the flick of a tooth brush, some had double cross hatching that almost looked like crocheted stitches, and a few had skies made entirely from burgundy stippled dots.
"I probably won't do that again, that took about 40 hours, that sky, so I wouldn't call that my favourite technique, I just pull techniques where I need them depending on the picture, the fastest and most successful technique's the best one," Andy said.
One of his treasured works in the exhibition is of the Colgate-Palmolive factory in Bangkok which no longer stands.
"When I went back to see it, it was gone, it was a vacant block, still with this accommodation in the front, the rest was flat gone," he said.
"But I do really love this drawing, I like the way it's not accurate, it's distorted, it's a little twisted, you know, kind of like everything else in Bangkok, that was just to maintain the looseness of the appearance of everything, that it's really alive and happening."
Andy said he began drawing at the age of three, and recalled how his mother would lose him before finding him at the chalkboard where he was capturing cars that were rushing along the street outside his home.
At 68, it could be argued nothing had changed as he still captured cars and buildings in the suburbs he called his home in the same childlike wonderment as a young boy with a piece of chalk.
Of the works in the gallery, each was marked not with flourish-filled signatured but with a technical drawing styled lettering, reminiscent of his previous career as an industrial designer in Melbourne and in Thailand, but he said he favours his present career as an artist.
"I much prefer this, you know, there's no one asking you for something, you don't have to read their mind and persuade them into things, you're just doing your own thing which is a lot more appealing, more satisfying," Andy said with a smile.
The Bega Bangkok exhibition is running from November 10 to November 29 at Spiral Gallery in Bega.
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