Based in rural Leicestershire, Maxine Dodd is a contemporary watercolour and mixed media artist. Her main theme is action and movement, inspired by sport and scenes from daily life. Originally trained as a Fine Artist, she worked for a time in the commercial sector, with emerging desktop publishing and graphic software design before concentrating fully on her art practice from 2006.
In 2012, Maxine launched her online prescence ‘Racing Lines’, initially as blog to record her daily drawing practice. This is still her main platform for sharing and selling her paintings and drawings.
‘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, Lautrec and Degas, through to Matisse, Nicolas de Staël 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 – and since the pandemic, news items from hospitals which has moved and inspired greatly.
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!
Love life and love drawing!
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.
Private collections: UK, France, Switzerland, Canada and US
Affliations/Groups: Leicester Society of Artists, Leicester Sketch Club and Harborough Artists Cluster