With the opening of Artists at Work in our Drawings Gallery we thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to shed some light on the artists among our colleagues at The Courtauld. Here we have Chloe Le Tissier, Assistant Registrar / PA to Head of Gallery and The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2016 winner discussing her practices.
Could you tell us about your practice – what media you work in, what subject matter you focus on, what inspires you?
I work primarily with oil on canvas and watercolour, and sketching and drawing forms the basis of much of my work. I am inspired by my surroundings, particularly from travels, as well as everyday scenes, people, objects and beauty in nature.
Tell us about your working environment(s).
My studio is at Thames-side Studios in Woolwich where I have a lovely view of the river and north facing light which is perfect for painting. I often work outside of my studio too, which largely came about through studying at the Royal Drawing School where courses were regularly taught out and about. Many of the pictures in the show Artists at work are really familiar sights!
Do you work anywhere other than, or in addition to, a studio – and if so, where?
I often have a sketchbook to hand in case I can grab a few moments in the Gallery to sketch from works in the Courtauld collection. I spent a lot of time in the Goya: Witches and Old Women exhibition a couple of years ago and managed to make a sketch of each work from the album we were displaying. I love drawing and painting in other museums and galleries as well as outside; in woods, parks, on the beach and at the Zoo, anywhere that captures the imagination and is visually intriguing. I undertake Artist Residencies too where you are completely removed from your usual location, which can be both enjoyable and challenging.
How does your working environment affect your art (if at all)?
Working outside can present certain practical limitations – the scale of the work, the medium, how much equipment you want to carry with you, whether it dries in time (especially in the British weather… I once watched a watercolour I was working on melt away as I tried to take shelter under a tree from heavy rain).
In my studio I am surrounded by my paintings, by books, materials and canvases. I have had the contents of my studio for years so it’s all very familiar and comfortable, but I also try to keep it clean and clear so that I can focus on painting. I love having a view from my studio for the connection to the outside world.
Are there any particular tools or objects you feel particularly passionate about and/or are central to your work?
Studying other artists and art history, seeing exhibitions and observational drawing are all really important to my practice, as is knowing when to stop on a painting, when it is finished.
How do you deal with creative block?
Studying other artists and art history, seeing exhibitions and observational drawing! As well as sometimes just stepping back and thinking, trying not to panic and staying positive.
Thames-side Studios are having an Open Studios this weekend, 9-10 June 2018. All welcome! more info here
Discover more of Chloe’s work:
Artists at Work
The Drawings Gallery
Until 15 July 2018