Maxine Dodd is an artist and illustrator working in Leicestershire in the UK.
‘Racing Lines began in 2012 as a way of recording my daily drawing routine – I draw every day, usually in the morning – before I do anything else. The focus of my drawings in 2012 was my favourite sporting event, the Tour de France. I watched and drew the action from the race every day. I chose to draw with my favourite ink pens, working quickly to keep up, hence the name, ‘Racing Lines’.
The subject guided me to the style, I have long admired many French artists, from Delacroix and Géricault, David and Ingres, Lautrec and Degas, right through to Matisse and Dufy. They all have great freedom of expression and draw with beautiful lines.
In ‘Racing Lines’, I try to emulate the style of these wonderful masters, but I know I have a long way to go!
The theme of ‘Racing Lines’ developed to portray speed and movement, often with sport, especially cycling as the subject, (La Vuelta de España and the Tours of Britain and Yorkshire followed), along with rugby, horse racing, cricket. I love the spontaneity of line and working quickly, the challenge to keep up is another race in itself!
The medium of pen and ink with watercolour is intense and risky, but quick and responsive, suiting my subject with its twists, turns and bursts of energy.
At times, I’ve added new materials to the pictures, sometimes pastel and watersoluble crayons, acrylic paint and gouache, but I always start my pictures with the flowing, uncompromising lines of the pen with washes of watercolour. They are the backbone to every piece.
For me, these subjects have great abstract qualities, showing colour and graceful lines. In cycling, the teams’ colours have a rhythm as the riders move – singly or as a group, the flags and banners waved by the crowds of fans, set in the open landscape is perfect for me. It is these elements, along with the energy of the race itself, that I try to show in my pictures.
Lately, I have turned my pens to new subjects, closer to home including the wildlife in our garden, our cat, our local landscape, and scenery from holidays – anything that catches my eye really.
There’s always something going on and drawing is a different way of creating memories… I put the camera phone down and pick up my pen!
Recent Solo Exhibitions: ‘Racing Lines’ Cank Street Gallery, Leicester, Alfred East Gallery, Kettering, jGallery, ’20 Stages’, jGallery, Moulton, Northampton
Private collections: UK, France, Switzerland, Canada and US
Affliations/Groups: Leicester Society of Artists, Leicester Sketch Club and Harborough Artists Cluster