Marcelle Hanselaar, ‘Drawing 56’, 2016, Joanna Bryant & Julian Page

Although I have made drawings all my life, they were either a sort of private note-taking or were used as sketches for ideas for subsequent paintings or etchings.

Recently, my dealer Julian Page suggested that I make some drawings for a show he had in mind. After overcoming my initial reluctance, to my surprise and delight it was as if a floodgate had opened.

Between April and August 2016 I made 70 drawings, all of them pencil and oil washes on gesso ground board.

The odd sizes of the boards were part of the challenge, the size of the surface determined which kind of composition would work.

I wanted my drawings to be unglazed so that you would get the same immediacy as with paintings. These drawings, although pencil is their main medium, show a cross pollination of my painting and etching practices through the use of loose color washes and by scraping in highlights.

I mostly draw late at night, in the solitude of darkness; then in daytime I will have a look, add color washes and work them some more.

The newness of the medium for me and the natural fluency of a pencil line has deeply stimulated my imagination and evoked many new subject matters.

From unsettling and sometimes surreal portraiture to narrative, dreamlike, slightly absurd scenes, these drawings all share a deep empathy with the human condition, both as individuals and with the situations we create.” Marcelle Hanselaar, 18 August 2016