I relish paintings that offer a sense of scale and space, with paths that guide the eye to the horizon and skies that could turn stormy without a moment’s notice. It provides the impression of fresh air, clear-headedness and all the pleasure that comes with being somewhere wild, and it’s all captured in the work of Christine Relton and Tom Marine.
Christine studied at Leeds and Lancaster and Tom at Byam Shaw and Chelsea School of Art. Since graduating, they each continued to paint constantly, and after becoming a couple in 1996, they began painting together, “and that’s when it really took off professionally.”
Working collaboratively like this is unusual, but Tom and Christine take it in their stride. “These days Tom tends to start the paintings by under painting with intense colour and pattern using stencils made from objects collected on our travels,” says Christine.
Tom explains. “Christine uses this under-painting as a basis for the finished piece by making the composition over the top and letting a lot of the under colour and pattern inform the finished painting.”
They say they developed their particular style through “chance, accident, playing around – talking about what to paint and how to make it better. Colour has always been a starting point.”
The pair have the advantage of being able to travel a lot, and often use their journeys to springboard concepts for new works. “Imagery that’s unfamiliar always gets us thinking about how to represent it in a painting so we travel a lot. Asia and India are big favourites for ideas.”
Being based in West Yorkshire, they also draw inspiration from the natural glory of the landscape surrounding them, creating works that appear in collections across the world.
These days they also run their own art gallery, Colourbox, into order to showcase their own and other artists work at art fairs across the UK, as well as join forces with other galleries to participate in art fairs in Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Seattle, Stockholm, Brussels, Milan, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Toronto.
The biggest delights of their lives as artists are reflected in their paintings, especially those depicting the sprawl of Yorkshire hillsides and skies.
“We love having the total freedom to do what we want and go where we like and paint when and what we want, knowing that people love our work and want to have it in their homes.”
And what artist could truly want more than that?
Find more of Christine and Tom’s work at www.reltonmarine.com
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