Christine was trained at Leeds and Lancaster and Tom at Byam Shaw and Chelsea School of Art and both have been involved in painting and printmaking for over 30 years.
Painting collaboratively as RELTON MARINE since 1996, Christine & Tom have become widely known for their original style.
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 have been or something that happened – travel features a lot as the colours are stronger and more memorable.
They will decide what they want to paint in terms of where and what and discuss rough ideas and colours. Underpainting 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 suface 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 they 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 is not unusual to change the composition and repaint whole areas again.
This amount of overpainting and adjustment is the good thing about working together as it stops them 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 repainting.
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 appreciate the enjoyment the painting process has given them.