We move on to another amazing painting called Decapita. It has just been deframed to shoot for the cover of OPUS #3. We talk about styles and techniques. I mention that some artists have gotten great effect from painting with oil on cardboard. Windsor-Smith is interested, and points out that Van Gogh painted on cardboard when he couldn’t afford canvas. “Yes. It’s got that mottled business that I like, this (Decapita) is oil on heavy cold-press paper, it gives a similar effect.”

I ask about computers, but Windsor-Smith says, “I’m what’s now called a ‘hand artist’. Who’d’ve thunk?” We turn back to a study of hands. “That’s from Sibyl. That’s a nice piece there,” he says, drawing out a pencil, “Negative shapes . . . drawing solid areas without any use of tone or cross-hatching . . . this is how I was taught to draw in school. Training in art school and the last twenty years of study.”

BWS: OPUS will be a special collection, including anecdotes, notes and autobiography from Windsor-Smith. He pulls out a portfolio of drawings, dizzying in their detail, that depict King Arthur’s court.

“This’s going into OPUS 2. It’s from the mid-seventies, like, centuries ago.”

 

This is a sequential portfolio tentatively called Camelot. It starts with Merlin playing tricks for the kids. Then there are Guinevere and Lancelot, she is providing the music is for the party. Next is the jester playing the fool with political overtones. Lastly there is Arthur playing chess, with the Orkney brothers watching the King’s strategies. In all there are 91 figures in four pictures, all elaborately dressed as befits a visit to Camelot.

“I don’t draw like this anymore so finishing off all the bits and pieces is going to be a challenge, I guess.”

The entire set of four pieces is laden with symbolism, like the drowsy guard in the last panel, representing how England sleeps while treachery is afoot, and the jester sporting a shield where England’s rampant lion is replaced by an ass wearing a crown.

We discuss the technique and planning behind such a piece.

“I would never contend that there’s anything accurate about the scenario, but all of the details are authentic. It’s all taken from period stuff. It took months to gather all of the reference.”