10 MINUTES WITH Christabel BLACKBURN

Artists & Illustrators|Summer 2020

10 MINUTES WITH Christabel BLACKBURN
The Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2020 winner talks painting famous faces and sticking to her guns.
REBECCA BRADBURY

WHAT WAS IT LIKE COMPETING IN PORTRAIT ARTIST OF THE YEAR?

It was very intense. Artists are generally quite private people and you’re suddenly thrown into this situation where you have to paint in front of a live audience with loads of cameras. In the same vein, I found it exhilarating. Having that kind of pressure meant I had to produce the work, rather than having time to procrastinate.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE COMPETITION?

I learnt you’ve got to stick to your guns. I’ve actually done the competition twice and the first time I was a lot less confident in my own abilities. I tried to paint something I thought the judges might like.

But this time I just thought “I’ve got nothing to lose, I’m going to paint how I normally paint”.

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Summer 2020