Bringing Abstract Alive, with Corinne Natel
Artist Corinne Natel is known for her beautiful, vibrant and emotive abstract works, investigating colour, form, space and texture with real finesse. Working with acrylic and mixed media, Natel’s expression of energy means a blank white canvas takes on new form, developing a life of its own and a new entity. These hugely popular works are inspired by landscapes, nature, cities, travel and nature and are sold the world over. So we sat down with Corinne to find out more about her journey to becoming an artist, the process behind her works, and what makes a meaningful piece.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I was creative from a young age and enjoyed painting. I came to a crossroads at degree level between choosing to study Fine Art or Media Production. I thought I should study Media Production. I went on to work as a web designer which was quite creative. After a few years of working I knew something was missing. I started painting again and knew that was the missing piece! I then got the opportunity to leave my job and do some freelance web design work and this enabled me to have the freedom to paint more and develop my art career. Painting is my ultimate passion and I feel lost if I don’t paint for a while!
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful piece?
I have quite a few favourites, each piece is a form of my expression. I try not to get too attached to certain pieces! Sometimes the way a sale comes about from a customer can be very special too. ‘In Summer’ was one of my favourites, it was very colourful, summery and flowing and it would often make me smile. It has sold now to a fantastic customer and it was their first art purchase, which is so rewarding when someone chooses your piece to purchase as their first piece of art.
Currently one of my favourite new pieces is ‘Leaving’. I was working on it around the time of Brexit. It started off initially as a colourful flowing piece however I could not escape the fact that every time I looked at it, it was reflecting what was happening at that time, with colours merging, moving and then flowing up with this blue wave towards the unknown. What I love about creating abstracts is that it is so free to interpret in any which way someone connects with something.
Tell me a bit about the process you used to create your work. What vision, ideas and/or inspirations are behind it?
I mostly work on large pieces around 1m, on boards flat rather than upright, so I can pour liquid paint onto the canvas, it then has a life of its own and runs everywhere. It can get very messy! I wear protective gloves and sometimes a mask too. As it is fluid it tries to control you and then you try to control it to go where you want it to go. So it is a friendly battle of who is in control – me or the paint?! I build up layers and leave it to dry which can sometimes take days. Then I go over it to create more layers, until I am happy with the shape and effects.
My main inspirations are nature, fashion, travel and media. I am always inspired by the seasons and time of year and this usually reflects in my work and also colour investigation. So in applying these themes I love things that are beautiful and pretty but then have that slight contrast of darkness in them, so things that are pretty but not perfectly pretty.
What do you love most about art & making art? What do you hate most about it?
I love how painting makes me feel a sense of freedom, escapism and is the ultimate form of expression. I enjoy how I can go on a journey when painting, from a blank white canvas to creating something new. I feel complete making art and I know that I am supposed to be doing this, that it is my purpose (dharma).
Sometimes it does not come easy to make a good piece. I used to hate this struggle to make a good painting, now I work through it and know that the struggle can be part of making an even greater painting.
What has been the greatest impact on you as an artist to date?
There have been a few key factors that have had an impact on my art career, including Rise Art. Being a curated site this really helped give me credibility as an artist, especially with features.
I also work with two fantastic London Galleries – Caiger Contemporary Art and Curious Duke Gallery, they have both had a great impact and have enabled me to exhibit at prominent art fairs and in high profile places like the Le Meridien Piccadilly hotel, it has been so exciting and rewarding to see my work displayed there.