PAUL WOODS, Artist: figure work - portraits - landscapes

life-drawing tutor, exhibition & events organiser and portraitist

Artist Paul Woods in front of paintin
Paul Woods - Photograph by Christopher John Ball

Artist’s Statement

I have a passion for art, I do not create in order to please others but to produce works which excite myself that are challenging and engaging. I am interested in pushing the boundaries with my work within a traditional paint on canvas format. I like to challenge myself to create new and exciting images.

I draw and paint the nude, the landscape, still life and portraits

I paint in a simplistic way often using just a stick to create a feeling of primitive, primal mark making. I love fluid dripping paintwork which I find expressive and powerful. This crude, childlike, approach seemingly contradicts my need for draftsmanship but expressive paintwork gets me closer to a sense of reality than I think a photographic reality ever can.

I work from life drawing from multiple viewpoints moving all around the figure creating a coherent single complete image. This process is further complicated by creating distortions, transparency and size exaggerations to charge strange, fascinating and complex images.

The clothed and nude figure is a conduit and metaphor for exploring complex issues. I do not call my work erotic, my rough primitive way of working stops the nude from being looked at as superficially erotic and hopefully encourages the viewer to find a different understanding or interpretation with deeper meanings and intent.

 Stefen Prince has written:

”Paul’s very personal approach to life drawing is to render the figure from multi-viewpoints thus revealing details that would otherwise be hidden from a single view-point. Details are revealed through transparent superimposition of body elements leading to exciting distortions of the figureCoupled with these distortions and scale manipulations Paul offsets subtle tonal ranges created through delicate hatch and cross hatching against strong contrasts of light and shadow. The result is a richly coloured series of powerful and sometimes disturbing images exploring the beauty and sexuality of the human form.”


Paul Woods was born in England UK in the year of 1958. Currently living in South West France

Paul trained at St Martins School of Art but it was not until he set up his own gallery, The Coventry Gallery – London, that his work developed in subject and style recognizable today. The gallery was set up to showcase works by young emerging artists.  Paul Woods organised many events at the gallery including notable successes with “Pleasures Unbound” 1995 and “Pleasures Unbound – again” 1996.

In 1995 Paul Woods inaugurated the UK’s then only Erotic Life-Drawing Group where a free and open minded attitude was encouraged towards life drawing. Sexuality was explored in all its forms. This gained the attention of the media especially television which featured the drawing classes many times. The erotic life-drawing group featured with a devoted chapter in a book, “Sylvie Jones Sex Diary” by Sylvie Jones originally published in 2002.

In 2005 photographer Christopher John Ball and Paul Woods created The Association of Erotic Artists. The Association was a campaigning group for the Erotic Arts and Artists working within the erotic genre.

In 2006 Paul moved to South West France where he still lives and works today.


1992 – Gallery 47 – London

1994 – B.P. Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery – London

1995 – Gallerie T’Hoff du Puttens – Belgium

1995 – Just Filth!, Coventry Gallery – London

1995 – Pleasures Unbound Festival of Erotica, Coventry Gallery – London

1996 – Finalist in the Erotic Oscars – London

1996 – Pleasures Unbound Again, Coventry Gallery – London

1996 – Sex in Art, Coventry Gallery – London

1999 – 2005 – Erotica, Olympia – London

1999 – Skin Two Expo, ICA – London

2000 – Skin Two Expo, Barbican – London

2002 – Skin Two Expo, Barbican – London

2004 – Association of Erotic Artists Group Exhibition, Woburn Gallery – London

2004? – Club Wicked, (cabaret exhibitions) – London

2004? – Deep Space Art Show – London

2008 – International erotisk samtidskunst II, Odense – Denmark

2008 – International erotisk samtidskunst II, Aarhs – Denmark

2008 – Mairie, Castelnau-Magnoac, France

2008 – Erotic Heritage Museum, Las Vegas – United States

2008 – Office de Tourism, Mirande – France

2008 – Christmas Exhibition, Galleri Jarsbo – Denmark

2009 – ‘ENLIGHTENMENT’ Association of Erotic Artists group exhibition. Northend Studios – Milton Keynes

2009 – On the panel of judges for a prestigious international photographic competition, The Erotic Review 2009 Erotic Photographer of the Year Prize

2011 – Organiser and curator for ‘Art Bites’ arts festival, securing funding and support of the Arts Council England, Southlands Arts Centre – London