Welcome to our 12th edition of meet the Contrado artists series – Painters
We will never cease to be amazed at the talent and skill we see every day from our Contrado Creatives. In our last edition of Meet the Artists, we saw artists with fine arts inspirations. This was a mix of painters, illustrators, and other Fine Artists. This time, somewhat related, we will be looking at painters. Our Contrado Creatives are multi-skilled, talented artists. From painters to illustrators to digital designers, every artist we collaborate with brings so much to Contrado in their own way, from colours and designs, to individuality.
Meet the Contrado Artists
From the moment it was first set up, at Contrado, we have made sure that we strive to create an inclusive platform for artists to share their work. We believe that it’s important to be able to do this whatever your medium. This week we will be looking at some of our Contrado Creatives that are painters. We will learn about their inspirations, their roots, and the process they use to take their work from the canvas to the computer.
The Contrado Creatives
Murnau Den Linden
Murnau Den Linden was a Graphic Designer in another life. And by that we mean before Facebook and social networking. Then switching to be a project manager for various global companies, Murnao always continued to paint. After a few Facebook and Instagram collaborations, after being told “hey dude, you should do this every day!” Murnau decided to do just that, and started designing professionally.
Extremely inquisitive, Murnau uses vibrant colours to relate to everyone, drawing inspiration from everything that answers the why’s and the how’s in life. Influenced by great painters and artists such as The Bosch, Arcimboldo, Zurbarán, Frida Kahlo, Manuel Cuevas and Rousseau, Murnau says:
My collections fit perfectly for the ones who choose life to live it intensively, even if they do it from nostalgia and melancholy. It doesn’t matter how you are, just be it and enjoy it.
Murnau begins with research, the most enjoyable part of the process. Discovering tribes, legends and myths as well as all the unknown things for a Londoner. Explaining how not everything happens in London, Murnau takes everything read, seen, watched or learned and saves into computer folders. When the time comes for that particular project, Murnau will take to a specific folder, and focus on everything at the same time to express feeling with all of it.
Tana Pither has always loved both painting and drawing, even from a very young age. She decided to study Textile Design for her degree, then specialising in Printed Textiles, from which she graduated in the summer.
Describing her styles as expressive realism, Tana uses mostly gouache and acrylic paint when she is designing, allowing her use of bright, bold colours and the ability to experiment with her brush strokes. She only began using gouache at university and Tana loved the strong colour and matte look that it creates. Tana says:
I aim my designs at people who appreciate the natural world, using bright colours that reflect the diversity in nature.
To get herself inspired, Tana starts with a visit to a museum. She then takes to the gardens to take first hand photographs. Wakehurst and Kew are among her favourite gardens to visit, especially the hot palm house at Kew Gardens on a winter’s day. Tana will then start painting from the photographs she has taken, later deciding which of those would translate well into designs.
Sanna Friedner has been drawing and painting consistently since she was in 9th grade (Year 10) and in 2013, she found us. Since then Sanna has been putting her art onto various different products, and is incredibly happy that it allows her to reach out to more people with her work.
Sanna began by painting mostly waterfalls, however in the last seven years she has gravitated more towards painting faces. A lot of her art work is yoga inspired, and Sanna loves the colours and calm feelings, especially in her Namaste piece. Inspired by so much of her life, Sanna says:
I get inspired by kids at work, by beautiful colours or just simple things I happen to see – like a heart shaped stone, a graffiti tag, an old photo etc.
Sanna starts by painting different colours on a blank canvas. Her favourite colours. After numerous layers she will begin forming a face within the now colourful canvas. She doesn’t restrict herself purely to faces, she will start adding whatever comes to her mind. Never having a plan as she starts, Sanna paints whatever her mind thinks and feels as she’s working. The look of her piece changes throughout the layers, and she will often have numerous paintings in progress at any given time.
Natalie Rymer has been painting since early childhood. A lifelong passion, she completed a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art after she left school. Natalie’s artistic streak doesn’t end with her paintings, she recently bought an 1800’s house in the forest, and spends much of her spare time updating it, and working on the interior design.
Describing her style as a real love of colour, and painting landscapes and still life, Natalie went through some illustrative design stages prior to this, and even designed for greetings card companies in the past. Over the past five years she has grown to build up this distinctive style. Inspired by the beauty around her changing with the seasons, Natalie says:
I try to keep my art open and appealing to everyone, I’m a colourist so people who love colour will hopefully connect with my paintings.
Natalie told us that her work was very spontaneous. Once she has an idea she often goes straight to canvas. Using her own standard methods and sequences she builds up the layers in her paintings. Developing and building on the colours, until her piece is finished. She says one of the major influences in her work are her parents, both of whom are artists, and both went to Camberwell School of Art.
Visual Issues showcases design from Traci Larson’s #dailydoodle project. Traci has been creative all of her life. She loves working with colours and patterns. Graduating in 2006 from the College for Graphic Design, Traci has worked in multidisciplinary design studios since. Towards the end of 2014 Traci decided it was time to become independent, and thus her studio, called Visual Issues, was born.
A 2016 New Year’s Resolution saw the beginning of the #dailydoodle project. Traci made the resolution with a few intentions in mind, the main one being to make sure that she was drawing every single day. As the year went on and the #dailydoodle project matured, Traci found her definition of drawing change. It began to progress and started to include many alternative types of analogue image making, including collage making and painting. Traci says:
Over the course of the daily doodle project, the work has evolved and gone through phases. I do return to some themes, but I try to treat each piece as an experiment and not limit myself with preconceived notions. Each day is a question – sometimes I don’t like the answer!
Throughout the #dailydoodle project, Traci would use the same size paper to create every single day, often towards the end of each day. She let her intuition guide her and approached each piece as an exploration. Some days she would get the creative juices flowing, and ride that, especially as she already had her materials out. She made sure to make quick, spontaneous decisions rather than spend time deliberating. Many of her #dailydoodle pieces were quick sketches of ideas, rather than the whole idea in finished form. Traci then scans her work in high resolution and cleans them up digitally. She then only takes the next step of playing around with the design, to create products, if she feels a strong attraction to that piece.
We have a huge library of painters, artists and designers who’ve joined the #ContradoCreatives since we set up our curated marketplace, and you can browse them all. Take a look and let us know what you think. We are constantly looking for new, amazing talent. If you want to partner with us yourself, then get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.