Christine Relton and Tom Marine have been painting collaboratively since 1996 under the name Relton Marine. Christine studied fine art at Leeds and Lancaster and Tom at Byam Shaw and Chelsea School of Art and both have been involved in painting and print making for over 30 years.
Relton Marine have become widely known for their original style and have paintings in the permanent collection at The House of Lords and are listed in both ‘Who’s Who in Art’ and ‘Artists in Britain since 1945’.
Christine and Tom work together on the same canvas. The paintings are built up in layers and are a representation of a real place or event, based on somewhere they’ve been or something that happened – travel features a lot as the colours and images are stronger and more memorable. Over the last few years they’ve also developed an interest in painting landscapes of the UK, especially the Yorkshire Dales near where they live.
They decide what they want to paint in terms of where and what and discuss rough ideas and colours. Under painting has become more and more important to give depth and texture and this is primarily Tom’s job. He stretches and primes all the canvases and spends hours getting the surface and colours looking good. Christine has no patience with this but is more interested in the overall composition. She works very fast and Tom’s other job is to tell her when to leave the painting alone and give it room to breathe. As a result, we don’t often paint at the same time but will get together to decide how to finish the painting and discuss what’s working and what isn’t and make changes. At this stage it’s not unusual to change the composition and repaint whole areas again.
This amount of over painting and adjustment is the good thing about working together as it stops you from getting too stale or too precious about the work. They always use acrylic paint for the same reason – it dries fast and allows a lot of manipulation and re-painting.
They consider a painting finished when the balance and composition feel right, the colour works and the result is fresh and full of energy. They want the viewer to feel uplifted and for our enjoyment of the painting process to come through.