This large-scale sketch was done in 1985 while Michael worked in the maintenance department at the Garden House Hotel (now DoubleTree by Hilton) in Cambridge. Working in the busy kitchen had to be well organised with routine jobs fitted between lunch and dinner services. His interest in capturing movement and emotion on the page or canvas was constantly fuelled by the lively, sometimes overheated kitchen atmosphere. In this study he used limited materials (charcoal and pastel on paper) and worked quickly, which underlined the strong personality of the subject – the head chef – and the industrious atmosphere of the kitchen.
There are two further large charcoal and pastel works on very different subjects, which you’ll see in future posts.