Portrait One - Artist Charlotte Keates in her studio in Hackney, London
I discovered Charlotte last Christmas when she came to a sale in our studio, we had been mailing back and forth and thats when I came across her work and fell instantly in awe.
Charlotte is a painter, she creates architectural paintings with a 70's Miami style, large windows, big plants, palms and wonderful lines. Using a selection of lush greens, golds and turquoise. Her paintings transport you somewhere else and that place is rather nice!
This summer's vibrant collection works so well with her work, that we thought she'd be a brilliant first H&B portrait.
I went to visit her in her live work studio, her photographer boyfriend Ian took some pictures of her in some of our H&B pieces, while she worked.
Where are you now, as you answer these questions?
I am sat in my studio in London, having just come back from Guernsey where we are planning to move to in a years time.
Tell us a bit about you – Do you remember the moment you discovered your skill? Was it a teachers appreciation for it, or did something suddenly click in your head. What age were you?
I think I’ve always been an artist, but when I was in my first year of my Fine Art Degree I properly discovered painting and decided that I wanted this to be my focus.
Can you tell us three of the most important places you’ve lived, worked or travelled that have lead to you being where you are today.
Falmouth - because this is where I studied for four years, I had an incredible studio where you could see the sea.
London - Initially I thought I would only live here for a year and then move back to somewhere coastal but 5 years later I’m painting full time from my live/work studio in Hackney.
The States - travelling for a few months across North America and Canada became the inspiration for a huge body of work and my first solo exhibition titled ‘Sojourn’. I have endless source material and am continuing to work from memories and drawings I made over there. I also have been collecting old 50’s / 60’s Kodachrome slides from a wealthy family who travelled across the states.
When did your unique style develop and how?
I think it’s just all happened really organically. I was painting spaces in a more abstract sense by the end of my degree show, but in the last 5 years I think my work has become far more detailed and architectural.
If you could have your work hanging anywhere, where would it be?
I’d love to have my work in a public collection museum / gallery one day.
Have you any exciting projects on the horizon?
Yes lots of exciting future projects - with exhibitions in Mayfair, Edinburgh, Miami and LA with Arusha Gallery who represent me, later this year and next year.
I’m also planning to travel throughout China, Japan and Indonesia next year, to get inspired for a new body of work. There’s this amazing artist residency in Bali that I would love to go to, on an old coconut plantation in the rice fields.
Where did you discover us
I found you through Amy Isles Freeman on Instagram, an artist friend also from Falmouth University.
What do you like about H&B clothing?
I just Love the prints, pattern and mark making, they have a real hand painted feel - each piece completely unique and I think that’s really special.
Can you describe your dream item of clothing?
Something comfy that is made really well, with pockets !! (Basically your jumpsuit) It’s easy as an artist to just throw on dungarees every day, which I love, but it’s nice to have a few great pieces that you feel yourself in outside of the studio too.
If people want to follow you and discover more about you where can they go..
@charlottekeates on Instagram
charlottekeates.com for my website
Favourite track to work to at the moment.
Oooooooh tough one... I listen to a mix of audio books, podcasts and music when I work. My favourite at the moment is probably Lake Street Dive - ‘Mistakes’
Charlotte's two questions for us:
Are your pieces inspired by places you visit or people or how do you develop a colour scheme and design in terms of inspiration
Our pieces are inspired by a colour palette, I look around for inspiration. Suddenly something will hit me and that will become the palette. I will then limit myself to those colour and using water colour paint many 'starting points'. These are just from my head, little snips of pattern and brush strokes.
Is there a specific colour you would always want to avoid in your designs?
No I don't think so, saying that I'm really not a big fan of purple, but you never know maybe next year I will be.
Our next H&B portrait will be Amy Isles Freeman in August