Christine Klein, pictured below, is another alumnus of Heatherley’s portrait diploma (and post-diploma!). She chats with us here about her background and inspiration.
How did you become a painter?
Painting was always a favourite passtime from early childhood. My mum loved art and was a very good artist; she inspired me.
I used to paint posters for events to earn pocket money as a student and went to art evening courses as well. I then worked as an international model, traveled the world and was always looking forward to exploring art everywhere I went. Japan opened my eyes to Japanese art and this later led me to porcelain painting for many years.
While raising my family I went back to acrylic and oil painting through adult education and The Shepperton Art School.
What drew you to portraiture in particular?
Even though I liked landscape painting I became very interested in Portraiture. A teacher of mine, Wendy Balkwill-Clouse, recommended I join Heatherley’s School of Art. I took Portraiture courses with Allan Ramsey and then undertook the Portrait Diploma and Post Portrait Diploma.
I find it fascinating to paint people and to have this direct, mysterious and engaging exchange. I do not only try to represent them physically but I try to capture a sense of them and their feelings. This is of particular interest to me. The translation of what your eyes and feelings capture to an image is a wonderful process.
Which other artists or painters do you look to for inspiration and why?
My favourite artist for many years was Van Gogh. His paintings say more then what they show. His feelings and poesy are brushed like a musical movement. His colours lusciously applied. The image that results is beautiful and intriguing. Lucien Freud, Gustav Klimt, Picasso, Rick Wouters, Kees Van Dongen also inspire me with their beautiful colours and brush strokes.
What, to you, constitutes a good portrait?
A good portrait has to be captivating, enigmatic and moving. The style isn’t important but the colours should talk.
Do you have any current projects that you’d like to tell us about (exhibitions, articles, websites, commissions, personal projects)?
I took part in the Pintar Rapido exhibition ( land-cityscapes) and Parallax International Art Fair recently and I’m working on a very unique exhibition project ‘Motherhood Portraits’ with a new formed group of artists !
That would be us, the Lots Road Group. There will be more information about our first exhibition ‘Motherhood’ in the next post. Many thanks Christine for sharing your thoughts on portraiture.
(all images and text copyright thelotsroadgroup 2014, please ask permission before use)