One of the main things I love about commissions is how different each brief is and my clients visions can be. This month I was approached to do an abstraction on a 60 x 90cm canvas of a special location in Scotland, using colours to compliment my clients space.
They have existing teal wallpaper in their period home, so the main objective was to use colours to compliment the space. The room has a huge window which opens out onto the river tay in Dundee, Scotland. They wanted to capture the tay in the piece and use the painting as a focal point above a fireplace.
As always, I worked up a mood board for them before starting the piece. I focused on bringing in the colours in their walls, as well as introducing some contrasting neutrals to compliment existing architectural features and bring different tones to the piece.
The river tay is a beautiful expanse of water, and I wanted to capture the flowing tones and reflections in the location, the bridge and its linear qualities, as well as some characteristics of Dundee city itself.
Can you see the resemblance?
and... TA DA! finito!
Can't wait to see this framed and up in its new home. I really enjoyed doing this piece and seeing the final result. For more info on commissions head to the commissions tab, where I will talk through the process a bit more and hopefully answer some questions!
2020 wasn't great for socialising, and 2021 so far does not seem much better. Instagram and social media has been a LIFE SAVER for me in terms of still managing to connect with clients, other creatives and influencers and I think I'd really struggle without having it there as a creative outlet. I was lucky enough to connect with Kim Mcfarlane who has her own insta page and following under 'the home kim built'. She is based in Glasgow and she loves pink just as much as me, so when she asked me to work up a new painting for her living room I was more than excited! Kims taste is luxe, SUPER feminine, classic and timeless with makes her house updates really interesting to follow - I do have a soft spot for feminine style and Kim nails it with her instagram page.
As I always do with a new commission, I discussed with Kim what kind of style she would like, and took all of the colours in her room to work up a palette which would influence the piece. I loved the mix of dusty purple in her sofa with the cool baby pinks on her wall. I also made a point of taking in the warm orange and browns from her flooring and neutrals found in her mantel piece. Kim then agreed with the moodboard I had sent her, and I used this as I was painting.
The Final Painting
The end result was this lovely pink painting. I think this painting has so much personality and adds a playful edge to the room - its mostly pink, with some graphic shapes and contrasting blues; A pleasure to create and lovely seeing it sitting in Kims lovely room!
I was commissioned to create a painting to fit perfectly into my clients lovely kitchen and dining area. Their friends call it the “beach kitchen” (even though they live in London) as it has a relaxing vibe which includes pastel hues which might remind you of a beach scape. They had envisioned a piece to contrast with the light pink walls and light grey kitchen cupboards, but keeping with a beach theme - think of stormy greys and textures, play of reflections and shapes resembling shells and sandy textures.
My client was really drawn to my “nights by the bay” piece which capture the colour palette they wanted. Think a base of dark blues, greens and greys, then adding in whites and light greys with pops of pink to compliment the walls and bring some light and contrast to the dark. This piece was all about contrasting linear elements with strong organic flowing shapes. My client then sent through some interior photographs which included a close up of their granite worktops which are white with swirls of grey, and asked if I could include an element inspired by that stormy look that they capture.
For every commission I do I create a moodboard based on the brief, and send this to the client to see so we are both along the right lines of colour and influence. I then always refer to this when I am beginning the painting & throughout the process.
The Final Painting
The final painting I've named 'fragments of the tide' - and you can probably see why. I think it captures a stormy sea scape well, but also looks contemporary and abstract enough. Really enjoyed doing this piece and my clients were lovely! Onto the next one now...
I was so excited to be commissioned to create two paintings for an interior project run by Kibre Studio in London. The space they were commissioned for was a lounge/ games room for a Build to Rent scheme in Sutton. Kibre Studio specialise in Build to rent schemes and have worked with some of the UK's largest landlords.
Kibre sent me through the branding document, as they ideally wanted them to tie into both the furniture / finishes and the new branding.
Below are the furnishings, interior finishes and moodboard which should help paint a bit of a picture of the brief they gave me to help create the paintings to tie in with the overall project.
The brief was incorporating mainly the Dark green RAL 6003/ grey tones from the branding, with some hints of the dark blue that’s in the furniture. Then I planned to add accents of the copper/rust tie it in with the accents in the furniture and lighting. From this brief I put together a moodboard which is below.
Below are some of the proposed furnishings and palette which influenced the piece.
Part of the brief involved creating a 'water' effect which linked to the projects branding. I tried to incorporate this by using some watered down acrylic neutrals and green, layering these and letting them contrast again some harsher lines.
Those copper accents & finer details..
The Finished Pieces
Because there was such a clear brief from the team at Kibre, the paintings were completed within a 4 week lead time from the initial commission and in 4 weeks sent down to site ready to be hung! I can't wait to see them in the space next to the furnishings, fittings and decor the team at Kibre have chosen. It was great to explore some of the other projects Kibre have completed, involving some gorgeous artwork from other artist and furnishings - I'll link there website here and include some images of their previous projects below. This was such a pleasure to do for them, I loved working to such a beautiful design brief and can't wait to see the project come together. Who else loves those emerald greens?!
I was delighted this month to be asked to work up a commission to sit in a beautiful apartment in Monaco, France.
My client had a vision of pale blues, whites, and pinks. She wanted the overall feel to be light, airy and peaceful. I worked up the below mood board for her which consisted of some of my previous pieces she liked, a colour palette, and references to other pieces I thought worked well and fitted her brief.
The Mood Board
In the Studio
I really enjoyed using the colours in the palette as I've never used them before - this pale blue was a bit of a challenge just to get the balance right. I started working the painting up in dark blues and lots of texture, and then painted on top of this to work up a base of this pale baby blue colour. I started shaping forms and colours and creating an almost 'terrazzo' effect out of shapes. At the size this piece was which was 1m x 1m, it had a really statement effect despite being such soft colours.
The Final Piece
Upon completion of the painting, we decided to go for a shadow gap white frame which just brought the piece together - it instantly gives it a contemporary edge!
I'm pretty happy with how this piece turned out - so much so that once it was sitting in my living room I didn't want to give it up!
I've decided to call this piece 'pearl blue' because of its light, fresh (and obviously blue) palette.
Its now arrived safely in Monaco and I can't wait to see it up in the apartment.
Since launching my business I have met many interesting people. The client who commissioned this painting was one of them. Helen owns her own jewellery brand (I'll link below), and makes the most gorgeous abstract intricate pieces. Working with someone who has their own creative vision is really exciting; and I'd say it was more like a collaboration between us rather than just me painting the piece on my own, which I loved. She asked me to work up a commission for her gorgeous townhouse in the west end of Glasgow.
The main objective of this piece was to create something which would compliment the interior wall colour and the other artworks in the space, so everything in Helens living room would sit together in harmony. She wanted something moody, with deep blues, greys and dusty pinks. I wanted to also include some warm neutral colours as this would be used to tie in some of her furniture and accessories she owned. The mood board below shows shots of her room, and inspiration images and colour palette I used to create the painting from.
The mood board
I wanted to use Helens jewellery as inspiration; which would add a lovely bit of personalisation into the painting for her. I focused on capturing some of the shapes Helen often uses in her pieces. Some are quite graphic, others are more organic. I had fun playing with pops of colour and contrasting linear shapes and lines. I tried to create almost 'jewel'-like shapes.
Studio Shot & Works in Progress
It took a while to get the balance working of the dark blue and contrasting white, you can see some of the top images are quite different to the final painting - again, its all a process and it was great being able to run things past Helen.
The final painting; ready for its new home!
I dropped the painting off to Helen in person which was lovely, and she sent some photos of the painting hung above her sofa. It looks perfect for the space and her grey walls and decor.
I've decided to call this piece 'nights by the bay'. I asked for name suggestions on instagram and almost everyone suggested something sea themed - I can see why and it definitely reminds me of a peaceful water scene. Doing this piece was a pleasure and I'm really happy with the way it has turned out.
Please give Helen a follow on her instagram below, and I'll link her website. I'm all about supporting small, Scottish creative businesses and her work is so beautiful!
This month I had the pleasure of working up a 76 x 101cm canvas for a beautiful house in London which has just been renovated. The clients knew exactly what they wanted, so I let them take the lead and they put together an amazing mood board for me to work with - I've attached this below as it pretty much speaks for itself!
They have the most gorgeous house and their renovation is documented on instagram (I'll link below). The piece was made for the space above their sofa and we focused on incorporating a lot of the living room colours into the piece, as well as some elements from my previous pieces which they liked. The wanted the piece to be darker towards the edges, with a light, airy feel towards the centre.
The room the painting was designed for...
Studio work in progress
The final piece.
I've named this piece 'Cosmos' - there's something about it that reminds me of planets, stars and the sky. I'm looking forward to seeing how this piece will tie the room together; complimenting their style. Follow their lovely reno below!
I was approached by the lovely Carima from Pene Lane. Pene Lane is a interior design studio based in Leeds and specialises in rental property design and corporate interiors.
As I have a background in interiors, I was super excited to get started and work with another designer to help create their vision and satisfy the project brief.
Camira and myself had a skype call to chat the project through. She sent me a moodboard she had put together and some information about what the client requirements were and why the colours were so important to get right.
As always I referenced the colours, moodboard and brand image and made a start in my studio. I knew this would be a tricky commission because the colours are so bold, to get the balance right it would take a lot of layering and manipulation of colours. I imagine a lot of people viewing my work for the first time probably don't realise the process behind it - and this is what I remind many of my clients during the working up of a painting, it is very much a process and requires some back and fourth before I'll work something up that works for both me and my client. I always working closely with the client for feedback and keep them up to date on my progress, and this was essential for this piece. This piece took several attempts to get right with the help of Carima and her vision, but I'd like to think the final piece captures the brand image of the clouds very well. Here it is, styled up in my living room before it gets sent down to its new corporate office!
I really enjoyed working this piece up because it had a very small, set brief and was a challenge - in a good way! I normally wouldn't ever work with such bright colours but I think that 1) it'll look fabulous in its neutral meeting room, and many modern offices incorporate bright colours so it'll look contemporary and fitting with its space. 2) its proven to me that I can work with colours out-with my comfort zone and thats a nice feeling!
I also loved this because working with a designer means they have their own vision. Carima was lovely and it was an absolute pleasure to work with her. I've linked her website and instagram below and will definitely be keeping up with her future projects - she's always busy working on something new!
This month I did something a little different than my usual and asked one of my favourite interior influencers if they would like to collaborate with me - I was over the moon when she said yes. Yasmin had popped up on my feed complimenting my art work a few times, and I’ve followed her progress as an interior influencer for the past few years so I was super excited to create a painting for her gorgeous home. I've shared her grid and link to her insta below.
The main thing I loved about Yasmins style is how unafraid she is of colour, she makes some bold decisions and still manages to make every one look classy and sophisticated. You can tell she is constantly experimenting with her style and she has the confidence to make different decisions and not necessarily just follow trends - which I love. I also knew she would have her unique vision I could tailor her painting to.
As soon as Yasmin agreed to work with me she sent me over mood boards and had so many exciting ideas. She decided what room she wanted the painting to go into. She specified her dining room - I was so excited!! The painting would be tailored to her colour scheme, finer decor details and be used to compliment the room and tie all of her interior furnishings together.
The space is pretty neutral, incorporating bold blacks and hints of strong emerald green. She wanted her painting to be quite similar: kept neutral but with green accents and a green linear aspect to it. It was amazing working with somebody who had a clear view on what they wanted - she was almost directing me on the creative approach to this painting which was really exciting. She also mentioned that this room links in with her kitchen which will be getting painted a beautiful dark moss green colour. She gathered some mood images and sent them to me, and as always I referred to them during painting - some of the images I've featured below.
Some pics of her dining room and colour of her proposed kitchen:
A small flash of bright green would compliment the space and bring out the other green tones she has in her dining room - even her rug had a linear green accent through it so I really wanted to incorporate that into the piece! She wanted the painting to sit above her fireplace and make quite a statement. Because the wall above her fireplace is so light, I wanted to introduce black charcoal greys around the corners of the painting to give that statement contrast she was after.
The Painting Process
The piece was 100cm x 100cm on cotton canvas, and I used various different techniques and materials, the majority of these being acrylic paint and collage.
I originally worked up the painting to reflect the neutrals in her space and then placed the linear green shape into the piece as I spoke about before. I always think that when working with clients, doing less and then giving them the option to add more is always a better way of working rather than going too wild! I also added some very light peachy tones which would compliment her floor finish and warm white wall colour she has on her walls.
I then sent her photos of how the piece was looking, and agreed it could take more green. She loved the piece how it was so I made sure I didn't do anything too drastic - just added a tiny bit more of that bottle green to the shapes. View the updated painting below sitting in her gorgeous dining room! This is still to be framed and I can't wait to see it when its properly hung up.
I loved doing this for Yasmin and really appreciate how supportive she has been of my art since collaborating with me - I'm sure influencers get gifted SO many wonderful things all the time but she was so lovely and I could tell she was genuinely excited by my art. I whole heartedly appreciated it - she even sent my a gorgeous bunch of flowers. I've linked Yasmins Instagram below, please follow her for all things colour and interior inspo - she posts regularly, is super friendly and is one talented lady!
This painting was named 'shifting sand' because it reminds me of the rocks and sand left by the tide at the beach. I feel like this piece was super special because the palette is very minimal, and this is something I'd like to continue to explore in my work.
My client for this commission has very specific taste and style in her home and wanted to capture her style in this painting. Her home interior features lots of whites, creams and neutrals with hints of sage greens and dusty mint colours. She put together an amazing mood board, and I got started.
Her taste was super refined so I wanted to capture this in the painting. She liked these images of thick paint creating texture and then combining this with minimal colour, so I used my palette knife and layers of gesso to create the final textural piece. I also added pops of very subtle sage colours in to create a tiny bit of contrast - but the initial change in colour is so subtle that its almost unnoticeable! Once I had the texture and colours finalised, I then went in with finer details and small brushes to create linear mark making which added some more detail to the piece.
I was made redundant completely out of the blue on a rainy Glasgow Friday afternoon. I can only describe it as feeling like I’d been hit by a bus! I won’t go into the full details of the circumstances at this stage, but I know that anyone who has been made redundant or lost a job will be able to relate to this on some level. Some situations are dealt with better than others… but the feeling of being dropped suddenly and needing to pay a mortgage / bills and having no idea of how you will be able to afford it is more than terrifying.
Finding myself redundant after five years of working full time in the interior design profession, I spent the following weeks trying to process the trauma of what had happened, whilst also scrambling to update CV’s. Then lockdown in the UK was enforced. Gyms, restaurants, parks and libraries were all closed. Staying home had become the new reality and my previously vibrant social life had been reduced to the confines of my home. I quickly gathered a few things up and moved in with my boyfriend. Not only was the world going crazy, and a massively scary pandemic was unfolding, but I was searching for a jobs in an economy that had been ‘put on hold’. Along with all of these things came the uncertainty and fear of the unknown.
I spent the first 2 weeks of lockdown trying to calm myself mentally. I went for walks, did yoga, meditated, played games, dived into books, called friends and tried to first and foremost take the time to look after myself in the situation I was in. My family, boyfriend Liam and my friends are the biggest support I’ve got and I’m so so lucky to have them around (despite being socially distanced!).
However, outwith my own home, where I had left most of my clothes and belongings, there were only so many leisure activities I could do and only so many CV’s I could send out (with the replies of, ‘sorry, we aren’t taking on anyone due to Covid’) before I went mad. (I’m very much a person who needs some form of purpose, or at least a project to get on with and without one I tend to go a bit loopy.)
I have been painting for a couple of years as a hobby, it was something I did on the side of my 9 -5 interior design day job and I always found it was super relaxing and therapeutic. One night I was sitting on the couch after a long lockdown day of being unproductive and boredom had well and truly set in. I moaned to Liam that I couldn’t paint, so the next day he made me and easel and I finally had my little art set up in his attic!!!!
Rediscovering my Creativity.
So, I started to paint again in lockdown, not for anyone else, but for me. Painting has for the past few years, been something that I’ve constantly found therapy in. Its not only given me purpose, but when I paint my worries and spinning thoughts pause for a bit. The focus on one central thing at that moment in time relaxes the body and quietens any physical or mental stress. I’ve heard people relate painting to meditation, and I can completely see the connection there. Even though I was overwhelmed at the world going crazy and my current situation, there is nothing more stress free to me than going up to the attic studio, lighting a candle or incense, putting on some of my favourite playlists and diving straight into a painting.
The Benefits of Painting & Creating:
So, we are pretty aware that painting can help with physical and mental stress but what else can it help with?
Lockdown has been the first opportunity I’ve really had to fully explore this side of my creativity freely and I’ve said repeatedly to family and friends its been the silver lining of CO-VID. I have formally set up my own website and business, ChristinaStudio and started posting more paintings online and really trying to market myself and my brand (very much a learning process!). More commissions have started coming in which I am so grateful for. I’ve been lucky enough during lockdown to work with some amazing clients like I.am.Nomad and Louise Bramhill Interiors in Glasgow to name a few. My paintings have been sent to England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, South Carolina, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Just the thought of having them all over the world in different homes fills me with absolute joy.
One day recently I was packaging up a few pieces of art in my studio I had just sold. I had a thought about how this time is a scary one for all creatives right now, I know so many who are either redundant or are facing redundancy and are struggling to see what the future holds for them. It is inevitable that some days will be good and you’ll feel positive, and others will be bad and you’ll feel like giving up. While thinking about this and all of the other people affected during this time, I had a thought that no matter what life throws at me nothing will be able to take away my passion and drive to create paintings or interiors. This is something that I’ll always have in me, and in that I’ve found a strange sense of comfort. This applies to anybody who has their own unique way of creating and seeing the world - just because co-vid has happened doesn’t mean you've lost it - embrace what you have to offer and remember you are not alone! I thought if I lost my job that would literally be the END of me (sounds dramatic but seriously) but at this point during lockdown I’ve figured out it might only just be the beginning.
Follow my progress here on my blog, and follow me for daily updates via instagram and facebook (links below.)
Products from I am Nomads shop
The Mood Board
The Finished Piece
This month I had the chance to create a super feminine piece of work which was commissioned for a modern new build in Glasgow. The interior itself was very neutral with pink accents and an emerald green velvet chair & cushion. There was also copper in the solid furnishings and lighting which allowed me to introduce subtle hints of warmer colours. The client wanted a rectangular piece to sit above the grey sofa.
The Finished Piece.
I was really happy with how this piece turned out, although it was a slow process and there was a lot of trial and error with composition - once I got there I think the piece looks super statement yet soft because of the colours chosen, and the client loves it.
This will be packaged up with a lot of love and care and sent to its new home in Manchester, I'll hopefully get some pictures from the client and do an update with how it looks in its new home. I love seeing how the pieces sit in the interiors they are designed for. Watch this space!
The main inspiration I took from these pictures are of the garden and an existing piece in the space. I loved the greens and blues in this digital print - and the pops of pink in the florals in the garden.
The final piece
'The Japanese word Komorebi describes the moment when sunlight filters through trees and leaves - the interplay between the light and the leaves.'
These are some of the images Claire sent to me in regards to colour palette for the piece. You can see how this would tie in to her guest bedroom palette - think fresh, contemporary with warm terracotta colours. I got started and sent her pictures and videos throughout the process. My first attempt with this piece was a bit pink, and had to reign it back in to become a bit more neutral. This happens more often than not on a commission, and why it is so important to me to work closely with the customer to make sure I am on the right track for their vision of what they want in the room, as well as mine. I find working with the customer closely to be more rewarding, as its more like a 'collaboration' and makes it much more interior focused.
The guest bedroom has a definite Scandinavian look, along with eclectic ceramics and warm tones in the furnishings. I was particularly inspired by the ceramics and pottery pictured in the lower left image. I wanted to capture the textures, beiges and clay colours which capture the room so well.
The finished piece...
Ta-da! The finished painting. I called this 'clay sunset'. Clay because it reminds me of handmade pottery, sunset because of the warm colours and fades. You can see how the colour palettes that Claire had chosen & the mixture of the existing room interior has influenced the final piece. The size for this was 600 x 600mm, and was mostly acrylic combined with some collage to create a lot of texture.
I dropped this off to Claire as she is Glasgow based, and it was amazing seeing it being featured in her open virtual house at the weekend along with all of the other goodies on offer (the full video I will link below). You can shop the look for this bedroom and the rest of the house via her website.
This piece was a pleasure to do, I had so much fun, and it looks amazing combined with her eclectic taste - now I can't wait to get started on my next piece!