Christopher Rainham has always been inspired by the natural world and more specifically an experience of the natural world.
He is inspired by the way flora and fauna are woven into language, the explanations of things, stories and beliefs.
Animals and flowers and birds have their own symbolism. They are the characters in myths, some of the players in religious writings, metaphors for things that we can’t explain.The birds in his paintings are the motif of his design, the objects of his composition and an element of his pattern.
Christopher is interested in the way that society interacts with the wild and not so wild things around it, the effect that we have on the environment and the living things that rely on it to survive.
His responses may represent an image conjured by a text or a feeling found between the lines of the story or even disparate pieces of the story, his own knowledge and other beliefs all rolled into one.
Christopher loves to work with paint, what it does, how it feels, smells, how in painting and drawing materials change and adapt, try and become something else in becoming a painting.
All his work starts out with drawing, usually directly onto a primed canvas or board. He makes stencils of elements to be repeated or uses a digital projector to play with scale.
Then he covers the whole surface with a range of earth colours, brown, ochre, blue or grey. At this point, Christopher starts to develop each element trying to create the colours that he wants.
Often he needs to ‘knock back’ a painting by applying a wash of colour over the existing image. He then begins to develop his picture again. This gives him the freedom to play with the depth in an image. It also brings flexibility to the edges of objects in the picture plane, light, shade and modelling.
Christopher finds starting a painting or drawing to be exhilarating, full of promise and possibilities. He is never daunted by the fear of the white sheet of paper or blank canvas. He has sometimes thought about offering his services to other artists as ‘Picture Starter’.
Christopher enjoyed his work in education because it gave him the opportunity to generate new ideas in the minds of others.
Many more ideas for paintings come and go. They are left somewhere between the supermarket car park and the studio door.
The exchange of thought through his painting is what inspires Christopher to communicate. Defining the point when this should end and a picture becomes ‘finished’, that is the bit that he finds more difficult.
I wonder if anyone offers that as a service to creatives? ‘Picture Finisher’!