Drawing recently on show at the National Portrait Gallery in London (The Portrait Gala 2017)

National Portrait Gallery, Portrait Gala 2017, Mystery Portrait Postcard, silverpoint drawing, ROY EASTLAND

This drawing (silverpoint on gesso on board) was recently on show at The National Portrait Gallery, in London, in an exhibition which included about a hundred A5 size portraits donated by mystery artists.  The work was for sale as part of the 2017 Portrait Gala event and The Mystery Portrait Postcard exhibition.  The gala event and exhibition were part of a fund raising event to raise money for the gallery.  The exhibition lasted for about three weeks but the names of the artists were kept a secret until just last week.  I’m now allowed to say that this one was mine.

The drawing is based on a photo booth image of my mum which was probably used for a bus pass.  It’s one of an on going series of drawings based on photo booth images.  Photobooth images capture little, unimportant, moments of a person’s life.

Scroll down this home page or click on the ‘people’ category to find examples of related works.


Drawings on display in Margate

Roy Eastland, Pie Factory gallery, MARGATE, The Luminous and The Grey, exhibition

Some views of my work in a recent group exhibition which I was invited to take part in at the Pie Factory gallery space in Margate.  The show was called ‘The Luminous and The Grey’.   It also included work by Shona McGovern (who has recently found out that she’s had a drawing accepted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize!), Helen Brooker, Jane Kullman, Tina Atchison-Thomas, Graham Ward and Penny Watts.

Click on the ‘silverpoint’ category (to the side of this post) to read more about the sort of work I had on show in this exhibition.

Thank you to everyone who came to the exhibition and to the other artists in the show who invited me to add my work to the exhibition!

Here is a link to my facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1729139147345839/



work-in-progress silverpoint portrait drawings

I’m working on some ideas for a small solo show at Millennium St Ives in the autumn.


Also, I’ve set up a facebook ‘page’ and you’re welcome to ‘like’ it and follow that as well as this blog.  Here’s a link to it: https://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?q=Roy+Eastland&init=public#!/pages/Roy-Eastland/1495390357351370

Drawing in the National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery.  Gala Portrait 2014.  Silverpoint drawing.

This is a portrait drawing which was recently exhibited in the (London) National Portrait Gallery’s ‘Portrait Gala 2014’  (http://ow.ly/udrha).  It’s about A5 in size and drawn (and written on) in silverpoint on gesso.

I’m presently working a series of four similar portrait drawings.  Each portrait drawing is based on a photo booth picture of my mum and the texts will be made up of multiple versions of hand-written text which recall, amongst other things, certain family memories and linking these with a wider social and historical context – you have to spend time with it.

I’ve been offered a small exhibition at Millennium St Ives, later in the year, and I’m looking forward to putting the work together for this.

I’ve written the last of my six blogs for The Beaney (aka The Royal Museum and Art Gallery), in Canterbury, and you can find these via this link: http://www.canterbury.co.uk/Beaney/explore/Armchair-Residency-Roy-Eastland.aspx

The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013 makes it’s way to Canterbury’s Sidney Cooper Gallery at the end of next week and so anyone who wants to see it and can get there to see it should do so.

My second Drawing blog for The Beaney, Canterbury.

Roy Eastland 2013 silverpoint drawing on gesso  Tuesday 22nd Nov 1983

This was origianlly posted on The Beaney’s website.  You can also find it here: https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/i-draw

You can find more drawings there and also my going to my facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/roy.eastlanddrawing



The Beaney House of Knowledge and Art: The Front Room ‘Armchair Artist Residency’ blog.

Blog number two, October 2013:

I continue drawing objects in The Beaney.

The Epstein portrait of Hewlett Johnson (The Red Dean of Canterbury) continues to draw me to it.  Stylistically, it is a typical Epstein portrait with all his signature mannerisms (you’ll see a ‘family resemblance’ about the eyes and lips in all of his portraits).  And yet, this work is believable as a portrait of a particular person with a personality.  It feels alive.  Perhaps part of its aliveness comes from the way in which the viewer is made to complete its form in the mind’s eye.  Its surface is made up of scored lines, clumps of material and deep hollows that catch the light and create shadows so that the sense of the form is partly a figment of sight as well as the presence of the actual physical form.  The slightly fragmented character of the surface generates a sense of unsettledness and movement.  We have to make a little effort to reconcile the various layers of depth and surface details to see its completeness and this makes looking at this portrait an intimate experience full of subtle and surprising moments of recognition and sense of completion.  I like this sculpture and I feel that I like the person it portrays.

A different kind of portrait bust can be found in the ‘Materials and Masters’ room.  I spent far too long trying to draw this, Neo-Classical style, marble portrait of a man from the early nineteenth century whose identity is not known to us today.  I wondered if I could conjure a sense of what he might have been like in life from spending time drawing his marble portrait.

This object was carved more than a hundred years before the Epstein portrait was modelled and cast.  The light on its smooth, and hard-to-like, shiny surface made it difficult to see its form and its style, with its ‘classicised’ treatment of surface and detail, made it hard to get beneath the surface to feel the presence of a personality.  As I spent more and more time making drawings of it I found myself liking it less and less.  The ‘Classical’ stylisation of the eyes made them especially unrewarding to draw.  Given more time, and if I had the will to make the effort, I’m sure I could make something of this.

I look at my drawings and I can see hints of ideas to come.  Drawing works like that; the things we learn when we draw can’t always be recognised at the time but we get a slight sense of something interesting coming into play.  In the case of my drawings of this object I can see that there is something about the use of fine contour lines that might bare fruit in some future drawing.

As you draw in museums you can’t help but over-hear the things people say.  At one point a couple approached this sculpture and I heard one of them say something like: “Oh look at this, it’s a Roman Emperor” and then, as they got nearer: “Oh, no, it says here that it’s an ‘unknown’ man.” and then they walked away without looking at it.  If the person who paid for this portrait wanted future people to look at it and have nice thoughts about him, he was diddled.

The Latham Centrepiece continues to intrigue me.  I remember seeing this when it was part of The Buffs Regimental Museum (my mum would sometimes take me to Canterbury on the bus and we might go to The Cathedral, The Westgate Tower, The Pilgrim’s Hospital or The Buffs Museum).  The Latham Centrepiece isn’t a fine work of Art but it is dramatic and its purpose was to pass on a story of Lt Matthew Latham’s bravery and self-sacrifice at The Battle of Albuera in 1811.  It succeeds in this perfectly.  It shows Latham, having already lost an arm, grappling with a cavalryman for possession of a ragged flag.  We might quibble at the inaccuracy of the uniforms but a more telling inaccuracy is the way in which the true gruesomeness of his injuries has been left out in order to tell the story.  The reality of the event was that, even before he received the wound to his arm, Latham had been slashed in the face and had lost part of his face and his nose.  He was left for dead on the battle field but managed to survive and in 1815 the Prince Regent paid for him to have reconstructive surgery to restore his nose.  A medal was especially designed for him as a tribute to his loyal bravery and he continued to serve in The British Army and eventually retired and moved to France.  In a letter, published in The United Service Gazette of 25th April 1840, it was noted that he “lives at this moment in a secluded part of France, where for years he has remained, unnoticed and unknown.”

These objects were made to tell us about people and perhaps to transmit feelings about them.  As I continue to draw in The Beaney I also continue to work at my other artwork.  All of my drawings feed into to each other in ways that can’t be predicted.  A recent piece is a small (less than half A5 in scale) portrait of my mum (drawn in silver on gesso).  It is based on an unused photo booth image from a strip of three that is dated on the back (in her hand-writing which I have copied on the drawing): Tuesday 22nd November 1983.  It’s part of a projected series of small silverpoint portrait drawings based on unused photo booth images.  In this drawing, as with a lot of my work, I have included text as well as drawing.  It’s an object that, like the ones I’ve been drawing in The Beaney, will go into the future and might or might not mean something to people there.

Here’s the link to the blog: http://www.canterbury.co.uk/Beaney/explore/Armchair-Residency-Roy-Eastland.aspx


The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013

Roy Eastland silverpoint drawing in the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013

I urge you all to go and see this year’s Jerwood Drawing Prize!  This isn’t just because I have my work in it but because I think it’s a particularly good exhibition this year.

The drawing I have in the Jerwood Drawing Prize is composed of silverpoint portrait drawings and hand-written text drawing called: “They looked like silver birds.  The sun was shining on them…”.  I’ve written about this work previously in this blog and so just scroll down this ‘home page’ to find those earlier posts.  I’ve also put a couple of videos of it on youtube …and also on my facebook page: ‘Roy Eastland’.