Kristin Rawcliffe

Please click on thumbnails to see the full art work. 


“If a picture paints a thousand words, Kristin paints a novel.” I am predominantly a portrait and figurative artist working in oils and am compelled to tell peoples’ stories though paint. I want my paintings to be more than photographic representations, I want the viewer to feel the emotions and character of the people I paint. Reality is important to me, not in terms of copying but of creating a sense of what’s there; of character, energy and presence. I am inspired by a range of realist artists from the Newlyn School to Lucien Freud. I build energy and depth into what I do. This involves spending time building up studies to find the best way of putting across in paint what I want to say. That may be through vivid, lively colour; tone and light; use of texture; bold, emphatic brush marks; thoughtful composition or a combination of those elements. I am currently working on incorporating abstraction into my backgrounds and using the blurring of the edges between reality and what surrounds us to hint at stories and suggest feelings. I am always seeking new ways to capture movement and emotion through paint techniques, and paint regularly from life, drawing inspiration from the everyday as well as people I come across.


Kristin has drawn the world around her since she was a child, when drawing was a way of creating story worlds into which to dive to escape the real one. As a child, her talent for drawing was recognised through success in a number of local and national art competitions. Kristin studied art at university in Aberystwyth but wasn’t emotionally ready to be an artist. Life happened in a number of unexpected ways, and twenty years later after suffering a stroke, she knew she had to return to doing what she loved. She began to paint again, equipped with many more stories to tell and a far deeper understanding of life, people and emotions. With a renewed thirst for learning about art, Kristin sought out ways to learn from the best painters. She studied painting under various artists, including Caroline Hulse and Cat Croxford, who taught her fundamentals of painting as well as renowned portrait artists Sam Dalby, Tim Benson, Nicolas Uribe and Felicia Forte. She fell in love with oil paint, having previously used acrylic and watercolour, because of its power to capture energy and convey emotion through colour and tone. She painted many portraits and figurative paintings exploring emotions, particularly depression, whilst simultaneously working as a commission portrait artist. Since returning to painting in 2012, Kristin has had success in a number of national art competitions including a Highly Commended in Patchings Open Art Competition 2015, being shortlisted in WHSmiths Portrait competition, Jacksons Pastel Portrait competition and being pre-selected for the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition in 2017. Kristin has exhibited in a number of group shows, and had her first solo show ‘Passions – Superpowers of everyday people’ in Southwark, London in October 2018. The exhibition was a series of portraits exploring the amazing talents that people pursue with passion. Comments about the show included: “The movement and emotion in all the paintings are so intoxicating” and “Wonderful passion captured and glorious colour”. Because her art journey has been a tricky one, Kristin is committed to helping other people explore their own art. She teaches drawing and painting and runs a local art group, as well as running several online art groups. She will continue painting the world around her and telling stories, finding new ways to represent reality in oil paint.