Paul Westcombe

Paul Westcombe was born in 1981, in Scotland. He studied at The Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, before going on to gain his MA at The Royal College of Art (Painting). Westcombe uses a variety of surfaces to paint and draw upon, including old vaseline tins, batteries and used coffee cups.

The titles of Westcombe’s work are provocative and self deprecating, and here are two below which I have chosen, to the left a red and white doodled intricate maze including tiny toasters, lightbulbs, and chains, entitled ‘In the morning in the Shower I Saw the shit run down your leg’, 2008. To the right another complex scene of monochrome, entitled ‘Sex is boring with me’, 2008. They remind me of the intricate worlds of where’s Wally with lots of hidden detail. Without being able to see the whole image at once your eyes are drawn to the outer edges to wonder what can be found beyond.

In response to Westcombe’s work I saved a couple of items from the recycling to experiment with, so I could experience what it’s like to paint on a spherical 3-D surface. I chose a baked bean tin and a jar of spicy marinade. In order to doodle easily on the surface instead of using acrylic paint with a brush I used an acrylic paint pen instead.

Here’s my first response to Westcombe’s work, a baked bean tin covered in doodles. It was really fun to just doodle and see where the lines took me. I found working on the baked bean tin quite challenging as the ridges along the middle dictated the movement of line and often caused the pen to veer off in unexpected directions. I don’t think this would occur in the same way if I had used a paintbrush.

Here’s another example of some doodling on a glass jar. I decide to only cover two thirds of the bottle, as you can see the pattern through the glass and onto the other side. I really enjoyed just doodling, as in previous assignments there was more of an emphasis on drawing from an original image or object, and doodling can be just anything at all that pops up in your mind!

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