Christabel Blackburn

Christabel Blackburn is a London-based artist who studies and specialises in the human form. After finishing her degree in Classics at Newcastle University she studied figurative drawing and sculpting in Florence and then The London Atelier of Representational Art where she started to paint.

Christabel’s work has evolved over the last ten years, becoming increasingly pared down. She is an observer of people within cities and certain environments such as art galleries or parks. She has a great skill for being able to capture the essence of a person’s mannerisms or mood despite her minimalist style and often featureless figures, revelling instead in the power of colour and form. Her figures are always solitary, usually only accompanied by their own strong shadow which serves to emphasise their solitude and creates an unsettling and vulnerable feeling, as if they are being followed. Christabel’s work has been featured widely within the press and she was the winner of Sky’s The Portrait Artist of the Year in 2019.

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Christabel's Style

Christabel is influenced by Edward Hopper’s realism and photography by Philip-Lorca di Corcia as well David Hockney’s architectural traits. Her strong sense of observation has enabled her to refine her technique. Both capturing on her iphone or holding the image in her mind, the moment that she sees a captivating solitary figure within a dramatic backdrop, she will later use this as the starting point for her paintings. Be it a lone figure in a gallery or a child in an urban park, the stillness she portrays in her everyday scenes draws the viewer in and like photography, holds you in that moment in time. 


The intimacy she creates pulls you closer, giving you a greater sense of the people in the picture, their thoughts and their feelings. The simplicity of her work often conveys the loneliness and anonymity felt in a crowded city as well as challenging the impact of mental health caused by this digital age. Christabel’s scenes transcend the everyday; they are stories about society and how we live our lives.


Read about Christabel in The Times, following winning The Portrait Artist of The Year on Sky Arts in 2019.

Read 'Conversations with Friends - Christabel Blackburn x Kate Bryan'

“Growing up in London I have always been an avid people watcher. By painting figures and architecture in the way that I do, I hope the viewer will get as much pleasure from these scenes as I do.” - Christabel Blackburn

Shop by Collection

Winter Prints 2022

Drop 2 - Summer 2022

"These works reflect upon solitude, travel and humanity. With the constant flow of images of families being separated, never has the theme of connection been more relevant. Be it a connection with ourselves, our loved ones or our surroundings, they're part of the consciousness which makes us human. Light and space play an ever-present role in these paintings, embellishing the stillness and fostering a sense of hope." - Christabel Blackburn

Spring Limited Edition Prints 2022

"Spring is a time of hope and we all need something to brighten the days at the moment. With images everywhere of families being separated, the theme of isolation has never been more prevalent." - Christabel Blackburn, Spring Prints

Drop 5 - Autumn 2021

"Studies in oil and gouache of summer moments both urban and rural, with my daughter providing much of the inspiration. I enjoyed moving towards abstraction with the oils whilst keeping the gouache representational. For me it’s about playing with colour and shape, informed by light." - Christabel Blackburn, Summer

August 2021 Prints

“It seemed appropriate to produce prints which symbolise hope and togetherness. I realised recently it is not necessarily people or architecture which are the subject of my paintings, but sunshine and light.” - Christabel Blackburn

Pavements - An Online Exhibition by Christabel Blackburn

This collection of over 15 original artworks, including works on paper and oil paintings on canvas and panel, has been created for Christabel's solo online exhibition: Pavements, which focuses on the relationship between people and architecture and explores questions of identity. 

Anonymous figures, vibrating amongst the buildings they share their city with, form the subject of this series. In these works, Christabel explores what it means to be human in an urban environment, and how these different structures with which we coexist can alter the way that we feel, behave and think. 

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