Tim Baynes

Artist in Evidence

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Here’s the story – the last two years

I have a great but demanding day job and passionate about art. The job takes me all over the world* sometimes the travel takes some of the weekend away and what with one thing and another there’s little time to paint.

So the idea of drawing becomes the major outlet for the creative side of my life.

The recent books build on a habit established some twenty years back; when we go on holiday and I aim to fill a book across two weeks.

The entire ‘collection’ to date adds up to some 30,000 drawings.

Travel is a privilege, professionally and personally. The places I visit and the people I meet and the parts of a city they take me to are always interesting.

Drawing means getting up 30 minutes earlier to catch the sunrise on the side of a building in Saõ Paulo, sneaking the book out of my bag at the dinner table or grabbing a quick sketch in the departure lounge (often the delay lounge).

The books take on a life of their own
and one is always with me, just in case.

I am one of 8 artists at Commercial Square Studios exhibiting on
June Sat 17, Sun 18, Fri 23, Sat 24, Sun 25, Fri 30 July 1st and 2nd
Fridays Noon - 5pm
Weekends 10am - 4pm

We opened the other week. Lots of people turned up – thank you. I am show completely new work! And sold three pieces!!

Commercial Square Studios2nd Floor Block CLeigh StreetHigh WycombeBucks HP11 2RH


Thursday, June 01, 2006

May 2006

In November last year I went to Central St Martins in London to attend the programme PHOTOGRAPHY, ART AND ARCHITECTURE with Diego Ferrari. The course was aiming to encourage an innovative approach to the relationship between architecture and photography, examining the distinctions between documentary and artistic approaches.

We were encouraged to study and select the work of well-known modern photographers in architecture and use this as a launch pad for our own explorations: I investigated Hiroshi Sugimoto (born Tokyo 1948). I was attracted by his photographs of the sea and his well known series of cinema interiors that freeze time; here is a photographer who seeks to slow down the art of ‘looking’. We can take in his work with one look, blink and see the image in our minds.

Sugimoto’s work is atmospheric and weightless. Almost every image plays with tone rather than line with a powerful use of monochrome. Even solid masses within his images appear to float in front of the viewer.

Since my time at Central St Martins I have taken images when travelling from the Islamic in Istanbul to post-modern architecture in Tokyo. The common thread is using light to create a loose impression of buildings and interiors and pushing this further through drawing and ‘etching’ into photo-prints.

The narratives created blend photography and fine art, base images etched over with charcoal and chalk.

The results are works that often have an ethereal feel, the literal lightness of the printing and drawing work creates an end result that is light. Sometimes the effect of this new approach is to draw a veil over the subject and create a mystical effect, there is something held back from the viewer, something that would be there in a documentary photograph but absent when the fine art dimension is added.

The means for my new approach begins with a digital camera to capture the image, when taking the shot the camera is moved vigorously, this removes the ‘control’ over the photographic result. The images are surprising, often demanding trial and error to get a base-line image on which to work. What makes a good shot? The answer is to keep just enough context, some reality without the detail that brings complexity.

A selected image is then printed on an inkjet printer set to ‘draft’ - minimising the amount of ink on the watercolour paper used in my work. The final stage is working extensively across the print with charcoal, chalks and pastels, putting down marks and then ‘knocking back’ the tones where they are too dominant for the image. This working method feels like one is etching into the picture.

On the later images I have added figures into original shot where the scene was without people, feeling that the work is improved by these additions without trading away the sometimes unearthly feel to the picture.

As a painter I explored how photography plus the adding marks, incorporating a painterly approach could enable me to move into a new territory and new direction position. With this new work the idea was to see if it is possible for me to enable the viewer to look longer and be persuaded to add their own feelings to these new pictures.

The result I have labelled ‘Painting with Light’.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Recent Drawings Poland

I have focused on painting and picture making over the last 16 years. Inspiration for my pictures is drawn from the landscape and urban scenes with much of my work drawn from periods of business travel and holidays.

I work in line and wash, watercolours and acrylics.
Life painting and drawing is a very important part of my work.

Art Education
Colchester School of Art – Foundation and Vocational Graphic Design
Westminster Institute – Life Drawing and Painting
Slade School of Art – Life Painting
Central St Martins School of Art – Photography and Architecture

Warwick Gallery 1992 – 1996
Buckinghamshire Art Week 2003, 2004 and 2006
Obsidian Gallery 2003 - 4
Oakley Gallery London

Associate - National Society of Painters Sculptors and Printmakers
Member - Buckinghamshire Art Society

Tim Baynes


The other day, whilst travelling, I finished another sketchbook. I have completed 35 in the last twenty years, which works out to 30,000 drawings. What is it about sketchbooks?

The books themselves, the paper and binding are lovely to handle, whatever the style, weight of paper and covers and the more a book is handled the better it looks. People give me different books as presents and I think, ‘ugh! I never get used to this one (because it wasn’t like the last one) and then, of course, having worked between its leaves for a while, it becomes a treasured possession.

Well they serve several purposes – drawing practise is the first.
Paul Klee said that drawing was taking a line for a walk. I think that drawing is like practising piano scales - it keeps your hand in and your eye fresh. When I have not drawn for some time the work appears very stilted, almost uncomfortable, this is in marked contrast to the final few days of a two week holiday when you can hardly put a mark wrong!

Drawing as recording happens on holidays or business trips.
Six or more drawings each day are underpinned with thoughts and observations which are normally written in the evening over a glass of wine. The narrative can become very acerbic:
Derya Villa – Kaş Turkey
All very peaceful first thing then this morning Mr., who is also staying here emerged from his family apartment, telling everyone of the bus’s early arrival. “Bugger it” said Mr. T-L-B-S’s chum! We first encountered Talk-Loud-But-Slowly on our arrival at the Villa, he was at the bar asking for a new light bulb: “It’s a HAL-LOW-GEN light bulb he bawled at the man behind the bar, who then proceeded to panic and gibbered in Turkish to his chum, who, in turn, scurried to a store room for a HAL-LOW-GEN light bulb. All sorted, obviously another victory for ‘the I shout, you understand me’ school of linguistics.

Sketch Book as companion and faith-keeper;
I have a great job which allows me to travel all over the world – a lot. The downside is that traveling eats into edges of the weekends and painting time. So making marks on business trips, sneaking out of the hotel to draw before breakfast, arriving early 10 minutes for a meeting to enable a drawing is an important way to keep at it and ensure ‘art’ retains its important role in my life.