Raphael Balme is a UK based artist whose layered paintings tell a story never short of colour, form and texture. Balme’s work is inspired by nature and animals. From whimsical paintings of animals to deep portraits, her stunning paintings have been transformed onto ceramics, fabric, cushions and wallpaper. Balme’s work is vibrant, colourful and full of patterns. Just how we like it!
Join us as we explore some of Raphael Balme’s work as we ‘Meet The Maker’…
When did you begin painting?
My mother was a painter. Going back generations on her side of the family, there are tenuous connections to The Bloomsbury Group. My childhood was fairly bohemian, growing up in a house filled with stories, art, artists and writers. We just absorbed it. Going to Chelsea Art College was a natural progression and I turned down university to do art.
Where do you find inspiration?
I look at art of all genres. One thing springs from another. I rarely plan the blank page, but I seriously consider the colours. It just evolves and something ignites the spark. It’s a whisper away from dreaming and the vivid creatures, figures or plants drench the mood.
We see your love for animals repeated throughout your work. Where does this theme stem from?
I’m very drawn to animals in a sort of transcendent way. I appreciate how humans and animals have an understanding without words. Their movement, character and beauty also lends well to art.
We absolutely love your cushion collection, can you tell us more about it?
The cushions are in collaboration with The Shop Floor Project. They have a wonderful curated collection of art and objects and we’ve been working together for a while. We discuss the ideas, which might stem from a tiny seed, a fresco, a garden, or some old painting and the story grows. I’ve just begun working on a new collection of paintings for them.
Can you share anything else that you are working on?
I have two very exciting projects with Anthropologie about to launch. I always have private commissions on the go. Also at the moment, some stemming from large canvases I did for US interior designer Rose Ink Workshop. Although sometimes precarious and unpredictable, every day I think how lucky am I to make art for a living. The dream!