CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

Kent's very own portrait prize winner, Charlotte Harris

PUBLISHED: 12:52 29 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:58 20 February 2013

Kent’s very own portrait  prize winner, Charlotte Harris

Kent’s very own portrait prize winner, Charlotte Harris

In the heart of Folkestone's Creative Quarter, Kent's very own portrait prize winner, Charlotte Harris, creates some mouthwatering pieces.

Words by Diana Crampton pictures by Manu Palomeque

A couple of years ago, I was in Charlotte Harris studio, admiring her burgeoning portrait of a mature woman. What struck me was the texture of the sleeve. It reminded me of the self-portrait of Raphael and Charlotte, knowing immediately which painting and pose I meant, said yes, Titian its in the National Gallery.

It was a commission for Diane Church and Charlotte was thinking of the famous Titian sleeve when she set up this portrait, and very successfully too.

So I was delighted when the opportunity arose to speak to Charlotte about her work, two years on. Walking into the studio was one of those particular artistic pleasures: the smell of oils, and the works in progress studded around walls and on easels.

In front of me is a mouthwatering boiled egg with soldiers, but its a canvas, and its a work in progress. Charlotte admits she had to cook herself an egg after working on the painting: Setting up the egg was great fun. The yolk looks scrumptious and the sandwich tasted good, too!

Charlottes prize-winning portrait for the BP National Portrait Award, Granny, went into the competition in January 2003 and won that summer, coinciding with the completion of her three-year BA at Leeds. From this she got several commissions, including most of the portrait commissions for the next five years and a slot on Womans Hour.

I had also seen more of Charlotte's portraits and the hyper-real still lifes at a show in Folkestones Georges House Gallery, under the aegis of Strange Cargo. Again I was to see that painstaking work on textures: a wonderful portrait of Charlottes sister in a red dress with a black overskirt in lace, which gave plenty of opportunity for detailed work.

Charlottes artistic heroes include the great masters, Titian, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and the Spanish Old Masters, such as Velezquez, as well as the Dutch Frans Hals. More recently, I love the work of Stanley Spencer and David Hockney," she adds. I enjoy looking around different galleries and I like Gwen John.

The love of the traditional does not mean eschewing an interest in the contemporary: There is such a massive wide range out there. I think there is some fantastic painting going on at the moment, much is photo-real and hyper-real. The way painting progresses in tandem with digital media is very interesting. However, Charlotte has always loved portraiture, and says she always will.

I ask Charlotte how she starts new projects. First, she may refer to the painters who inspire her. If Im stuck, Ill look at their work. With portraiture, the inspiration is often family and friends, people Im close to. With still life work, Im often inspired by an object, by the way light falls on it, even fruit in a supermarket, everyday things around me.

She adds: I love painting material and different textures and fabrics and getting that texture onto canvas. I love painting glass, the way it reflects and plays with light, it has a very magical quality.

On the wall, we look at the work in progress and I get a lesson in painting. These works start with a grisaille, a monotone with raw umbra. This sets out the tonal values for the painting, so when you glaze colour over the top it gives depth and realism and you work into those glazes and bring them up to the finished level. You can do glazes with acrylic, but I always use oil, adds Charlotte.

She enjoys working in the Creative Quarter and tells me. Its been good. Its developed a lot, particularly over the last four years. Ive met a lot of people and fellow artists. It has a nice community and the potential to grow even more.

Currently working on canvases for an art exhibition, you can see her work at the Fairfax Gallery, with five pieces on show, as part of a group exhibition, until the end of April.

Charlotte has taken part in the Affordable Art Fair in London and her ambition is to start exhibiting more, hoping to put portraits in open exhibitions in the capital.

Contact


Charlotte Harris can be found at her studio at 35-37 Tontine Street, Folkestone CT20 1JT,

%01303 212361 or

%07990 945457,

)charlotte-harris@hotmail.co.uk

You can also see her work at the Fairfax Gallery, 23 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TD,

%01892 525525, )andrew@fairfaxgallery.com


Charlotte Harris can be found at her studio at 35-37 Tontine Street, Folkestone CT20 1JT, 01303 212361 or 07990 945457,
charlotte-harris@hotmail.co.uk

You can also see her work at the Fairfax Gallery, 23 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TD, 01892 525525 andrew@fairfaxgallery.com

0 comments

More from Out & About

14:30

New Street Bar & Grill is the James Bond of casual dining, as we discover

Read more
14:02

Treat yourself, family and friends to lunch and afternoon tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Sussex tea rooms

Read more

There’s not much more invigorating than a Sunday stroll across our countryside on a crisp winter afternoon. Here we round up some of our favourite Sussex walks to enjoy this winter

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Sussex this month

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What could be nicer than a sleepy Sunday afternoon in one of our beautiful Sussex pubs? Here are some of our favourites…

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

With the South Downs, quaint villages and coastal trails, Sussex is a great place for a walk. Here we round up some of the best

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Steeped in history and tradition, this East Sussex town is the perfect place to discover your inner rebel

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Sussex

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

With views, cosy pubs, endless walks and lively towns and cities, Sussex is the only place to be during the holiday season

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Not everything is what it seems in the West Sussex town of Petworth as we discover

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Enjoy the tranquility of Verdley Wood on this circular pub walk

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ideally situated for commuting to London and Brighton, this West Sussex town offers the perfect blend of rural and urban living

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Clive Agran’s monthly investigation of Sussex’s hidden past turns homeward as he visits Bodiam, Northiam and Ewhurst Green

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Sheffield Park and Garden near Haywards Heath is a paradise for photographers. Especially during the autumn months…

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory


Property Search