Christabel Forbes (1991) is a young colourist whose individual treatment of landscape is unmistakably her own. She was born in Courbevoie, outside Paris, is of mixed French and British parentage, and is now based in London. Forbes trained at The Royal Drawing School, after taking a BA in Fine Art at Falmouth University. She has built up a portfolio of residencies and teaching experience in the UK and abroad, based around her use of colour to evoke people and places. In her work, as in her teaching, she tries to maintain a level of playfulness and spontaneity.
Forbes began taking an interest in art from a very young age. Her mother is an artist and was a huge influence on her. With her love of the outdoors and friendly, smaller institutions, she was fortunate to begin her training on an art foundation course at Falmouth University. Cornwall was so beautiful to her, that she decided to stay there to further her study with a BA in Fine Art. This allowed her to explore difffferent genres and gave her the time and freedom to find her own niche. After four years at Falmouth, she had built up a portfolio which explored her love of drawing. After this she applied to the Royal Drawing School in London and was accepted on the Drawing Year MA level course, where she joined a small group of drawing fanatics.
Forbes draws from observation, inspired by scenes around her. She uses small-size sketchbooks before working up towards much larger-scale mixed media artworks. She began her practice with an interest in cartography and artistic map-making. Forbes relies on observational drawings, imagination and memory. Over the years, her art has developed mainly into landscape, working with colour in a playful and experimental way and using a range of materials including oil-based, water-based, pen, ink, natural pigment and more. Over the past five years, she has completed numerous residencies (Italy and India), put on a number of exhibitions in London, and completed commissions for private individuals and commercial interior designers.