Growing up in Goring-on-Thames, Chris worked as an art director in London for many years and instinctively felt that he wanted to be a professional artist. Living in the Surrey Hills, his work consisted of landscapes as he spent much of his time rambling through the woodlands with sketchbook in hand. But moving to St. Ives signalled a change in Chris’s work, with his aim now to capture the essence of coastal paths and the unique seascapes of this beautiful area across the seasons.
We caught up with Chris to find out more about his life in St Ives and his work.
Has art always been in your blood?
I think so, I’ve always created stuff, first from squeezy bottles, then art college, advertising, painting…I like to have a tinker. The painting is just an energy thing that happens, sometimes it works out and has a feeling or captures a moment…. sometimes it doesn’t.
You describe it as ‘a dream come true’ to now live in St Ives. What’s so special to you about this Cornish town?
The light…and my wife loves it.
Other than St Ives, where’s your favourite place to find inspiration in Cornwall?
Well, due to this naughty bug I’ve stayed around St Ives Bay and given the car 6 months off. It really hasn’t bothered me as we don’t explore too widely so are happy to stay in our bubble and continue to explore this area. Porthmeor Beach is one of my favourite places to visit. From our home we can look down over the harbour and get to any of the beaches on foot so it’s perfect really.
What inspires you about the seascapes of Cornwall?
I live here. The skies. I like where sea meets land.
Which medium do you prefer to work in when creating your work?
Most things but predominantly acrylic because it dries quickly if you’re out and about.
I have ink, pencils, pastels, oil sticks and oil paints (but they take a long time to dry) and other stuff, but it’s normally acrylics - it suits what I do at the moment.
Do you work in a studio with a group of fellow artists or a member of any group?
No. I’m quite happy on my own. Val, my wife, looks over my shoulder and gives her view, that’s it - it works fine for us. I have two rooms in the house for my work. One that’s a messy, creative space. I find that if you put it in order, you can’t find anything. The other I used to finish and store my larger pieces. I’m working on about 14 large canvases at the moment and have lots of smaller pieces on the go too.
Do you have a daily routine?
That all depends on the weather, if I’m honest. If it’s sunny it’s hard to stay in. We are blessed with lots of lovely outdoor space and we never get tired of exploring it. So if it’s OK. Out in the morning. Tinkering in the afternoon. If it’s raining…and it can rain in Cornwall.. then I tinker inside.
But there’s no structure to my week, I have no deadlines. No ‘to do’ list. I’ve no idea what day it is most of the time, so I don’t take the weekend off or anything like that…it all just rolls along.
What’s the biggest painting you’ve done?
Two and a half metres by one and a half metres for the Dorchester’s Coworth Park Hotel reception….it took a lot of paint.
Wow, that’s a significant piece of work. How long does your work take to create on average?
That’s a very good question. I usually spend around a month creating a piece of work for a commission, but it differs from piece to piece.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Well, I don't see it as a job actually but as a vocation. I suppose when I have a show - to see people enjoying the work, sometimes crying, being moved by the paintings is rewarding. But I see the paintings as independent things from me.
What’s next for you?
Other than that I always feel the need to create something but who knows, the future is promised to no one. You can keep up to date with my future projects at www.chrisbourneart.com.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Chris – we look forward to seeing your future creations in our galleries soon.
View Chris's collection here