West Yorkshire-based artists Christine Relton and Tom Marine have been painting collaboratively for almost two decades, working together on each canvas. They begin each work with the memory of a real place or particular event, discussing their rough ideas of the composition, and then working together through a process of over-painting and adjustment. Tom is primarily in charge of under-painting. This initial step is crucial in giving depth and texture to the finished work. Christine is more interested in the overall composition, transforming Tom’s abstract marks into a specific landscape.
The artists don’t tend to work together at the same time. Rather, they get together during the process to discuss what is and isn’t working. At this stage it isn’t unusual to change the entire composition and repaint whole areas again. The artists’ collaborative process allows them to paint with the ultimate freedom and stops them from getting too precious about their work. They use acrylic paint as it dries fast and allows a lot of manipulation and repainting.
They consider each work finished when the balance and composition feel right. Often the most successful works are amalgamations of imagery rather than specific places. The results are fresh and full of energy. The idea is to leave the viewer to interpret to a certain degree what they are looking at and leave space for their ideas to give meaning to the painting.
They have shown their work at art fairs across the UK and abroad, including New York, California, Milan, Singapore, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Paris, Stockholm, Brussels and Singapore. They have been commissioned by a number of prestigious institutions, producing work for Detroit Airport in the USA, The Sherlock Holmes Hotel in London and Headingley Stadium in Leeds. They feature in The Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945 by David Buckman, and the Who’s Who In Art 2012, Edition 35.