Christel Baillie is a German-British fine artist specialising in portraiture painting
I settled first in England in the 1980’s and raised my family there, working at the time in several London Chamber Orchestras as a free lance violinist.
My painting career dates from the time I moved to Bremen some twenty years ago. What began suddenly then. developed out of a consuming passion for art.
My techniques and expertise have become ever more serious and the excitement of painting portraits has deepened.
I am self-taught! But some important influences have been Hephzibah Rendle-Short at The Slade School of Fine Art, London, Robert Liberace at the Flemish Classical Atelier in Bruges, and my time at the Summer School at the Florence Academy of Art. For the past ten years I have been painting life models at the Kunsthalle, Bremen.
I have regularly exhibited at the Childwickbury Arts Fair in Hertfordshire, England.
My portraits and comissions hang privately in Edinburgh, Weimar, Bremen, New York, Boston, London and elsewhere.
Bremen Faces - ‘Alter Ego :: Ego Altered’
Over the past two years I have been painting 28 oil portraits, on small wooden boards 25x35cm, sometimes prepared with an added coat of gesso or an application of gold leaf.
The people I painted are predominantly Bremen faces. Some people were excited to be asked, some were horrified but didn’t say so, some agreed to my request out of a sense of adventure and some came forward on recommendation of those I had already painted. With each person I had a photo session producing suitable imagery to work from.
I am currently working on a parallel series of portraits of those same faces that have become familiar to me over the past two years. I am working in a contemporary quick drying medium of Acryllic paint on a larger scale highlighting and accentuating qualities that show the darker side of life while still trying to capture the essence of that face and personality as I perceive it.
I am working towards an exhibition of the two series where I juxtapose the traditional with the free-wheeling one.
The first series of small oil portraits will undergo a form of ‘Entfremdung’ through being projected and blown up onto a gallery wall. I will add a short description possibly in medieval script on to the small oil portraits to provide information about who each person is.
The relationship between the 2 series, how one emerged from the other is what interests me.
The painted portrait is part REALITY, part INTERPRETATION, part MEMORY.
Mixing a contemporary concept with an ancient craft (Handwerk) will bring up questions, no doubt.
A portrait is only ever a point in time and therefor transient. Finishing a portrait carries a quality of letting go like a good bye.