Relton Marine are Christine Relton and Tom Marine – painters who have worked together to produce vibrant figurative paintings of subjects including the Tuscan landscape and exotic still lifes. Their work featured on the AV Acrylic page of our ‘Inspirations’ supplement last year. Their depictions of pattern and colour are particularly beautiful – Still life paintings such as ‘Still Life with Blue Jug‘ excite with flattened plains filled with patterns buttressed against contrasting patterns, objects intersecting and creating a composition that is more about abstract design than any kind of reality: The resulting painting sings, and has an uplifting quality.
As well as making paintings together Relton & Marine also run their own gallery, ‘Colourbox‘, who represent not only their own work but paintings by artists including Ingebjorg Smith, Beth Richardson and Alison Dickson – artists who all celebrate the delicacy and wonder of the world around us. Colourbox has a stand at the Battersea Affordable Art Fair this 13th – 16h March 2014.
Lisa: How did you come up with the idea of working collaboratively on a painting?
Relton Marine: Tom always liked the idea of working with other people. Christine, not so much but we came to quickly realise we had different skills to offer but a similar idea of what constitutes a good painting and just started playing around with paint. Over the 18 years (this week exactly! ) we have been working together this style of working has evolved and grown from those beginnings.
Lisa: Do you have a fixed way of working?
Relton Marine: Not fixed, but these days Tom tends to be the one who prepares the canvases and does the under painting. Christine does the composition and ideas for the subject matter. They don’t paint at the same time much until they get together at the end to over paint or print and decide if it is finished.
Lisa: What is it that you love about AV paints?
Relton Marine: The consistency and variety of colour and transparency is fantastic. We’ve used it solely for the last 15 years, since discovering it.
Lisa: What is a typical day like for Relton Marine?
Relton Marine: We try to get office work and emails etc. out of the way as early as possible. Christine likes to paint around mid afternoon to mid evening and Tom late into the night. There is usually a deadline of an approaching exhibition and an idea of how many pieces will be needed.
Lisa: Tell us a bit about how you started up the Colourbox Gallery.
Relton Marine: In the late nineties Tom and Christine used to do artist fairs to show their own work and realised quickly that the newly established gallery fairs were a fantastic place to exhibit with a much higher standard of work and a much larger audience. The Affordable Art Fair has always been the best of these fairs. Colourbox was established as a means to show work at these gallery fairs and grew from there.
Lisa: What can visitors to the AAF expect to see at your stand?
RM: Lots of vibrant paintings from seven different artists including the latest and newest work from Relton Marine: landscapes, still life’s and a few pieces based on a recent trip to India. We love the chance to get out of the studio and meet our customers and talk about the paintings.
Lisa: How have you selected the other artists that you represent?
RM: We choose artists who’s work fits well with ours and that we basically like and feel happy about showing and selling.
Lisa: Would you say that you think Art Fairs are a good exhibition opportunity for emerging artists?
RM: Yes. The audience at Battersea AAF for example is usually around 23,000 people, all interested to some degree in looking at or buying art. Sales are usually good and it can really help give exposure and an income to artists.
Lisa: What else is in the pipeline for Relton Marine and Colourbox?
RM: Hampstead AAF in June, Bristol AAF in September and Singapore AAF in November for Colourbox. Relton Marine paintings will also be at Hong Kong AAF in March. Inspiration wise, Tom and Christine will be spending two months next winter in Andalusia so watch out for paintings from there at next year’s shows. They will also be showing work with their usual galleries through the year: Hicks Gallery, London, Byard Art, Cambridge, Wey Gallery Godalming plus others. Check www.reltonmarine.com for more information and up to date listings.
Lisa: Where is your stand at the AAF so our readers can be sure to come find you?
RM: We are on stand K3 at Battersea this week. Free tickets are available and can be left on the door so if any one would like some, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get them to you.