Bermudian artist Christopher M. Grimes has been painting for 41 years, the last 10 on a full time basis. Following mandatory retirement at age 55 he decided to explore his former hobby with a view to devoting all his time to developing a body of work that will be his legacy. Consequently he now paints every day at his studio in the Bermuda Arts Centre at Dockyard, Bermuda.
Initially, in 1982, as the result of acquiring a collection of circa 1900 photographs of old Bermuda scenes he focused on transposing those black and white scenes into renditions of the old days in Bermuda when life was far more quite and serene. To this day he still produces the “Old Bermuda” series of paintings, in sizes ranging from 5×7 to 48×48 inches.
An avid Bermuda history fan, he has produced a number of paintings documenting Bermuda’s history from as early as the wreck of the Sea Venture in July 1609.
His work is highly sought after by collectors worldwide, and since his high profile studio makes him accessible to the public every day while painting, the list of collectors, especially from the US, is growing.
Christopher prides himself on the standard of his commissioned work. He listens and discusses in great detail the requirements of the client and advises accordingly. “There is always a fine line between what the buyer wants and would like to see in the work and the standard of the artist in not compromising for the sake of the sale” he says. “There are times that I have to advise the client that too many elements will cause the painting to be cluttered and confusing, sometimes simple is better but getting that point across is an art in itself”.
Christopher paints on location when time allows a break from studio work. “The single most progressive thing I have done as far as my career is concerned is to start painting ‘Pleine Air’. I have noticed, and other artists have mentioned, a difference in my appreciation of light and shadow, primarily due to the practice of painting on location with ever changing light and conditions.” He strongly advises any artist that wants to improve to paint from nature – “Hard lessons are learned from this practice, lessons that will serve you well in your studio painting.”
When asked what is the secret to success, Mr Grimes unhesitatingly stresses that hard work and devotion, along with a healthy dose of patience will allow an artist to progress, however we never stop learning.
Chris’s website is www.oldbermuda.com and he may be reached at email@example.com or through Facebook.
Examples not in Gallery: