The origin of this drawing is thought to be the rapid swirling pattern in brown crayon. The black line drawn over this depicts the head and body of a bird. Its wings to the right have been drawn in a separate line using an off-set drawing technique, whereby a sheet covered with thick paint is lain over the paper and the pattern drawn through.
Date of work
Original: Coloured pencil , pastel and watercolour on paper 23.6 x 29 cm Tate © The estate of John Wells
John Wells was a major figure in the St Ives group of artists that were at the forefront of British modern and abstract art in the post-war period. He worked as a GP throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, only pursuing art as a career in his late thirties, when he moved to Newlyn, near St Ives in 1946. He remained in the town for the rest of his life, drawing inspiration from the dramatic landscapes and vast Atlantic vistas. His abstract paintings and sculptures are celebrated for their subtlety and controlled use of space and form.