The Broken Boat by Michele Del Campo

"La Barca Rotta" (The broken boat), oil on linen, 114x162cm This painting is the result of some sketches that I made several months ago, in December, when the initial idea was of a boat astray in the open sea, with no oars, perhaps in a misty atmosphere. After leaving this work aside for a long time, while I have been busy with other projects, it took a slightly different turn, although it keeps some of the spirit of the first sketch. I show you those first studies below.


Este cuadro es el resultado de unos bocetos que hice hace varios meses, en diciembre, cuando la idea inicial mostraba un barco a la deriva en el mar abierto, sin remos y en una atmósfera neblinosa. Tras haberlo dejado de lado, ocupado en otros proyectos, el cuadro al final se ha desarrollado en una imagen ligeramente distinta, que pero conserva el espíritu del primer boceto. Te muestro esos primeros bocetos debajo.

Consuming Desire in detail... by Michele Del Campo


Here I post some high-resolution close-ups of my painting "Consuming Desire" for those people that, like myself, love to see things in detail and to find out some "secrets" of the technique at a closer look.

You can click on the pictures to see them in full detail.



Aquí pongo unos detalles en alta resolución del cuadro "Consuming Desire" para aquellos que, igual que yo, tienen curiosidad por ver las cosas de cerca e intentar descubrir algunos "secretos" técnicos.

Puedes clicar en las fotos para verlas en alta resolución.


"Consuming Desire" by Michele Del Campo


I was waiting to show this painting because I wanted to announce also the exhibition that will host it. However the event, a group exhibition in a public art institution in Shanghai, will take place later than I expected, around mid-2013, so I couldn't wait to show the result of so many sketches and studies, that you can see in previous posts in this blog.

The exhibition will be about globalization and this is one of my contributions to it. The title “Consuming Desire” has a double meaning, and the intention is to produce a metaphoric interpretation of the excess of consumerism. The rubbish dump represents what we leave behind, our ecological footprint. Although the cycle of extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal of our goods is having devastating impacts on our planet and our health, we are made believe that the level of development and civilization in a country is given by its ability to consume and irrational consumerism is fostered.

I have painted enraptured, naked people among the rubbish. Far from being disgusted, they wallow, agitate and contort, intoxicated by sensual pleasure.


Estaba esperando para mostrar este cuadro y anunciar también la exposición donde se mostrará. Pero al final el evento, una colectiva en un espacio institucional en Shanghai, tendrá lugar más tarde de lo que pensaba, así que, tras mostrar los bocetos en algunos posts anteriores en mi blog, tenía ya ganas de mostrar también el resultado.

La exposición será alrededor de la globalización y ésta es una de las piezas que yo aportaré. El título, "Consuming Desire", es un juego de palabras con doble sentido ("deseo de consumir" o "deseo que consume") y mi intención es mostrar una interpretación metafórica de los excesos del consumismo. El vertedero representa lo que dejamos atrás, el final del ciclo de nuestros productos de consumo, nuestra huella ecológica. No obstante el ciclo de extracción, producción, distribución, consumo y desecho de nuestros productos llegue a tener consecuencias devastadoras para nuestro planeta y nuestra salud, se nos hace creer que el nivel de desarrollo y de civilización de un país se mide a través de su capacidad de consumo, así que esto se fomenta de manera irracional.

En mi cuadro he representado gente desnuda y extasiada entre la basura. En vez de sentir disgusto, ellos se menean, agitan y revuelcan desnudos, embriagados por el placer de los sentidos.

Life drawing in my studio by Michele Del Campo

A selection of quick sketches and drawings from the life drawings that I organize in my studio. The majority of them are on A3 papers:

"The Way to Darkness" by Michele Del Campo

I have been gathering many ideas in form of sketches and texts for my new exhibition during many months. Now I am picking up a selection of them and, after many re-considerations and re-elaborations, one by one is taking shape on canvases.

One of the images that occurred to me for my "Journey of no Return" exhibition was a naked girl who has just stripped her clothes off and walks dangerously on a railway, defying death in front of her friends. After a few months, where I had been working on other paintings, I retook this scene and reconsidered it under a new light Read more… / Versión española…. I wanted to give the scene the power to evoke solitude and abandonment, so I finally portrayed the girl alone.

The painting deserved a big surface to be contemplated in a scale that would benefit the perception of its dramatic beauty, so I made it into a challenging triptych of 170x400cm.


A lo largo de varios meses he ido acumulando muchas ideas en forma de bocetos y textos para mi próxima exposición "Viaje de no retorno". Ahora estoy seleccionando algunos de esos bocetos, reconsiderándolos y reelaborándolos y uno tras otros, se van convirtriendo en cuadros.

Una de las ideas que se me ocurrió para mi exposición “Viaje sin retorno” fue la de una chica desnuda que se acaba de desprender de su ropa y camina peligrosamente sobre la vía del tren desafiando a la muerte frente a sus amigos. Después de varios meses, en los que trabajé en otros cuadros, retomé esta idea y la reconsideré bajo otra luz. Quería que la escena evocase la soledad y el abandono así que, finalmente, pinté a la chica sola.

El cuadro necesitaba una superficie grande para que se pudiera percibir la escena en toda su dramática belleza, así que la he pintado en un tríptico de 170x400cm.

Variations in life drawing by Michele Del Campo

My weekly life drawings in my studio are becoming quite varied, and variation is an element that inspires change and development, important things that nurture creativity.

Professional ballet or salsa dancers, performing twins, comparisons between the clothed and the nude bodies, costumed recitals of great literature pieces and belly dancing performances are among the treats that I am introducing in every new session.

At the end of every session sometimes we have normally one or two longer poses of 20 minutes each and I take the chance to sketch with oils on scrap canvases or watercolour sketchbooks. Here you can see some of them:

I win the Life Drawing marathon at the Oubliette Arthouse by Michele Del Campo

On 28th December I took part in the Life Drawing marathon held in the first of the three nights events organised by the squatting Oubliette art group in their newly occupied space in the London district of Soho.

The place, originally a church, was then converted into the world-renown night club called "The Limelight" until it decayed and it was taken over by the Walkabout pub, which closed its doors one year ago. Now, occupied by the Oubliette group, it has been prepared with only the essential comfort but it has become an exciting space for sharing creativity in a friendly atmosphere.

Among the several artistic activities in program, like exhibitions, live music, poetry recitals, photography workshops and film screenings, there was also a life drawing marathon from 6pm to 5am. I ended up participating in it and drawing many hours. I especially enjoyed the activity, drawing a variety of people in solitary poses and rodinesque compositions. I met many interesting artists and friendly people there.

The marathon, organised by the Life Drawing Society UK, had to produce two winners who would receive an annual membership to enter for free in all life drawing activities held by the organisation around London. When I remained with only four more artists to draw, with models much more worn out than artists, the competition ended in a draw and I resulted being one of the two winners.  From now on I will have a good deal of life drawing and painting activity in program, between my own sessions in my studio and those that I will be able to attend for free in other venues around London.

Drawing the nude by Michele Del Campo

Life drawing is an indispensable practice for the artist, it enhances our ability to see, understand and create. Since the first official Accademia was created in the XVI Century by the Carracci brothers in Bologna (Italy) drawing the nude, activity commonly named "life drawing", has always been a central discipline for any aspiring artist.

Since I started studying arts I have never stopped practicing life drawing because I know that the quality of my work depends on the quality of my drawing. Even when using photographs as a reference, knowledge of the human form is essential to "fill the gaps" and go beyond the poor bi-dimensional reference. Lifeless portraits are the result of mere dependence on photography and poor knowledge of the features in real life.

Nevertheless it is as easy to build up drawing skills as to lose them in periods of inactivity. I can spend months without painting after a solo exhibition, when I am in search for new inspiration, and soon my ability to put visual ideas on paper suffers from lack of practice. I always compare it with sport: if you stop doing it, you will have difficulties starting again and will be out of shape. This is why I always try to do life drawing especially when I am not painting.