I can't believe we are properly in summer mode now! This morning Mr. Sketch and Story and I went down to our local coffee shop, passed by our park and there were SO many people enjoying the sun in tank tops and flowy skirts (at a safe distance of course). It's a bank holiday in the UK today, which is why pretty much every single British person and their grandma is out in the sun right now.
Doesn't this bright, summery colour palette remind you of a lovely day out at the seaside? Azure waters, golden sands and deep blue skies - oh you can tell I've been indoors a long time!
This stunning painting is by one of our Featured Artists, Christine Rogerson (Cris), who I have previously called the Floral Queen! She paints gorgeous wreaths and flower bouquets for all occasions and all seasons, and has also recently expanded into a range of household items like cushion covers and teaching classes on Skillshare. Having admired her work for a long time, I asked about her journey into painting and transition into illustration.
Image credit: Christine Rogerson
How did you first get into painting and later on, illustration?
I discovered watercolor after I sat with my daughters one afternoon to paint with them. We were just using a child’s paint set, but I really enjoyed it. I thought maybe I could learn to paint some simple things to hang in my hallway. I learned there was SO much more to watercolor than I ever expected, so I started taking some online classes. I found the medium so challenging, and very much a distraction from everyday concerns. My mother was terminally ill at the time, and I found painting to be wonderful therapy. This interest has blossomed into experiments with sketching and other mediums such as gouache. I have really enjoyed all of it!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
In the beginning I think I was like a lot of those just starting out. I was inspired by other artists. As time went on, I began to develop my own style and now I look to nature for most of my inspiration. I also love taking classes to learn new techniques. Taking a class always inspires new ideas!
Image credit: Christine Rogerson
This is my absolute favorite wreath by Christine. It's so lovely (like all her works) but even better, it's wonderful for all seasons! The lovely corals and oranges give a hint of fall, the teal and dark green leaves could be perfect for winter, the yellow ochre (wheat? twigs?) makes me think of summer, and the freshness / sweetness of the floral arrangements gives a lovely spring vibe.
You have a very distinct floral style, using striking combinations of colour palettes that go together beautifully. Do you have any advice for others trying to discover their own style?
I think many folks start by trying to recreate the works of others. The masters actually trained their students just that way. It is very helpful when you are just starting out and it’s fine so long as you credit the original artist and do not try to profit from those works or represent them as your own. As you learn techniques overtime, you will start to develop your own individual style. I would recommend looking to nature, vintage art and other mediums like sculpture or photography. Traveling is certainly an inspiration, but if you don’t have time, or can’t afford that, take a walk in a cute neighborhood or a park.
What are your favorite tools?
Oh I love, love, love good paints! Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith are two of my favorite brands.
Do you have a favorite project so far, and why did you enjoy it?
I have enjoyed all of the commissions I have done. Custom work like wedding bouquets, wreaths, etc. always challenge me and help me grow.
What’s the next step on your journey?
Great question! I want to teach more classes on Skillshare and I’d like to start a YouTube channel to share more of my process. I’d also love to collaborate with great brands like Anthropologie, so I’m putting that out into the universe!!
Hi, I'm Natalie, and Sketch and Story is my passion project. Check this blog for features of indie makers, local artists, and more details on the Sketch and Story subscription experience.