Christine Relton and Tom Marine have been making their living from painting collaboratively for over 21 years and paint under the name Relton Marine. Both have a background in fine art and also run the gallery Colourbox, where they take their own and other artists’ work to art fairs throughout the UK. They also show paintings with other galleries in the UK and at art fairs throughout the world. Christine and Tom work from their studio in Wharfedale in Otley, West Yorkshire.
Christine was born in Cumbria 1959. Studied at Jacob Kramer in Leeds and gained Fine Art Degree from Lancaster based on time spent in India. Has also lived in Japan and Vietnam and painted widely throughout South East Asia. Since returning to the UK in 1996 has made collaborative representational works with Tom Marine which continue to explore similar themes of place and memory.
Tom was, born in Hartlepool 1956. Studied at Byam Shaw and Chelsea College of Art. Paints in collaboration with Christine Relton on representational works.
Also exploring printmaking and has a separate focus in working with text which is mainly used in his work with children's workshops in schools.
‘We work together on the same canvas. The paintings can be described as representational in that we start with an idea of a real place or event, usually based on some where we’ve been - travel features a lot as the colours and images are stronger and more memorable. Over the last few years we’ve also developed an interest in painting imagery based on the ceramics and textiles collected over the years of travelling.’
‘We’ll decide what we 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 our 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. We always use acrylic paint for the same reason - it dries fast and allows a lot of manipulation and re-painting. We consider it finished when the balance and composition feel right, the colour works and the result is fresh and full of energy.’