‘Racing Lines’ is the blog featuring pen and ink drawings and watercolors made by Maxine Dodd, an artist who lives and works 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.
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.
Alongside sport, I love to draw subjects that reflect life and times from 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!
Born in Leicester – grew up there and attended Foundation Course at Leicester Polytechnic after A Levels. Went on to study Fine Art at Liverpool Polytechnic – Returned to Leicester, and went up a few blind alleys before finally sorting things out personally and professionally in 1992 when I married Jim and moved to a small village near to Market Harborough.
I took a studio at Barton Hall, near to Kettering, with some great and diverse artists and makers and was there for several years until the house and grounds became a hotel and conference venue. Returned to my studio at home, from where I work happily, to this day.
My work has been featured in local shows and independent galleries alongside my online presence, ‘Racing Lines’ which was the blog I created specifically to feature my pen and ink, watercolour drawings.
Love life and love drawing!
Affiliations / Exhibitions
I am a member of Leicester Society of Artists , Leicester Sketch Club and Harborough Artists Cluster
Exhibitions: Royal Institute Painters in Watercolour 209th Mall Galleries, 2021
Solo exhibitions: ‘Racing Lines, Le Tour’, 2015, Alfred East Gallery, Kettering, jGallery, Moulton Northants’20 Stages‘, jGallery, Moulton, Northants, 2012, awarded Bryan Ward Prize by the Leicester Sketch Club in 2011.
Group exhibitons: Leicester and Kettering Opens,Alfred East Gallery, LSA Annual Exhibitions, ‘Little Selves’, Leicester Museum, New Walk, Leicester, LSC Annual exhibitions various – Open Studios, ‘Art Windows’ regular participant.
Upcoming exhibition(s): Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, 209th Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London, 2021
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