Me & Alvin Kofi

140 hours of drawing labour concludes my epic adventure with Alvin Kofi. Now he wants to draw me.

The short promotional extended video showcases the drawing stages of my new pencil portrait titled, ‘Portrait Artist, Alvin Kofi’. It’s a 50 x 50 cm pencil drawing which illustrates him in deep contemplation. He is backed by selected images from his portrait work. The work began with email contact with Alvin on 11 January, was concluded after 34 studio sessions and 140 hours at the drawing board, on 16th March 2021. I hope you like it and the cool groove that accompanies it.

Thank you to the incredibly talented portrait artist, Alvin Kofi. Alvin is a portrait artist who I hugely admire. I reached out to Alvin after he deservedly made it to the final of Sky Arts 2020 Portrait Artist of the Year. To my amazement he agreed to take a chance on me and permitted me to complete this extremely challenging work.

We’ve been in regular contact via Instagram in which I posted updates of the portrait progress and throughout Alvin has been active in posting supportive and encouraging comments.

I was relieved to complete the portrait 16/03/21 and promptly contacted Alvin when I was done with collating photos and editing the video. As per usual, Alvin’s response was prompt and generous, “I don’t know what to say Gavin, that’s excellent work and thank you for the video (see above). The detail is extraordinary…”

Through his work Alvin Kofi seeks to enquire, learn and celebrate the traditional notions of African culture. Although a second-generation West Indian who grew up in London, his creative perspective is very much African-centered. “The genius of African art, especially its use of iconography, is how it allows us to understand nature and our relationship to it,” says Kofi. “I feel the African-centered viewpoint has been dismissed, almost lost, and needs to be brought back to prominence – not just in the world of art but also in our debates around philosophy, spirituality and our relationship to our environment.

You can find Alvin’s incredible portraiture,

#paoty2020 #paoty #katebryan #taishanschierenberg #kathleensoriano #joanbakewell #portraiture #pastelsociety #societyofgraphicfineart #rsportraitpainters #newenglishartclub

10th Anniversary of the Japanese Tsunami

Tamiko Sako by Gavin Bowyer

Ten years ago, one of the most powerful earthquakes on record triggered a devastating tsunami in Japan, killing more than 18,000 people and triggering catastrophic meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. This is my portrait of Tamiko Sako, a survivor of that disaster.

‘Gambaru -11.03.11’ by Gavin Bowyer

Gambaru (頑張るstand firm), is a ubiquitous Japanese word which roughly means to slog on tenaciously through tough times. The word Gambaru is often translated to mean “doing one’s best”, but in practice, it means doing more than one’s best.

Fell in love ❤️ with ‘Tamiko’ the minute I saw her ‘thank you’ Gavin Bowyer for allowing me to fully appreciate her. Wendyanne Shapiro

tsunami #pastelsociety #societyofgraphicfineart #rsportraitpainters #japaneseart #leekartstrail #leekstaffordshire #gavinbowyerportraitartist #staffordshireartists #foxloweartscentre #portraitpainting #pencilportrait #gambaru