Archive for July, 2013


Chris Billington British Modern Artist a review by Mary Oram

My immense thanks to journalist and blogger Mary A. T. Oram for writing ‘Chris Billington, British Modern Artist’, a comprehensive review of my oeuvre to date which she has recently completed following an interview with me and her visit to my studio in May of this year.

Mary Oram at the studio of British Modern Artist Chris Billington

Mary Oram at the studio of British Modern Artist Chris Billington

Available in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German Japanese and Spanish,  the full review can be read here Chris Billington, British Modern Artist by Mary A.T.Oram


‘Flight 1549’

Last night I delivered a talk on Creativity and a brief insight into my Creative Process at the Creative Inspiration Event at Tremough Innovation Centre. For the event I produced a limited edition of 80 prints, signed and numbered, featuring ‘Flight 1549’, which was a painting that I was referring to in my talk.  These prints are on premium quality Galerie paper and are lightfast so hopefully they will have a long life.

Flight 1549 ~ Chris Billington

I produced these as a gift for Aren Grimshaw and the organisers and attendees of the event but as some people could not make it at last minute I do have a few left if you would like one.

Below is a transcript of my speech for the benefit of those who could not be there, and also for those who were my apologies that what you will read  does not really match up well with what you heard, the perils of trying to deliver a speech entirely by memory.  Despite much preparation I somehow missed out complete chunks of what I meant to say on the night.

It was good to see you all and thank you for the wonderful feedback and comments on the talk that I did deliver, you are all way too kind for sure.


Flight 1549 ~ The Signing ~ Chris Billington

Flight 1549 ~ The Signing ~ Chris Billington


Here is a transcript of my talk.

My Thoughts on Creativity and an Insight into my Creative Process

Good evening!

What is Creativity?  According to the oxford English dictionary creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness:

Where can we find creativity? Everywhere, I am in a room full of it, you lovely people are all creatives in one form or another.

Every advancement since the dawn of mankind is a result of a combination of curiosity and creativity…in all fields of human endeavour, be they artistic, scientific, medical, engineering….

But, where does this creativity come from? Creativity is interwoven with inspiration

Inspiration literally means breathed upon, alluding to a time when creativity was believed to have come directly from a divine or supernatural being.  Even today modern science is still trying to analyse exactly what sparks these moments of insight.

New research indicates that insight arrives during a relaxed state of mind, I would go one stage further and say that its all about being in the right state of mind.

It is no coincidence that many instances of creativity arrive when you have just woken up, this is because your mind is very relaxed.  Often, as in most cases of creativity it arrives like a bolt from the blue, and within a fraction of a second it has come and gone.  The trick is you have to learn how to recognise them.

So, how can we unlock this inner genius during our normal waking state?

We live in an always on society, a world full of constant static, with our minds always trying to focus on a multitude of distractions.   

The first thing I would urge you to do is to tune out the barrage of background interference, try turning your phones off for an hour or two a day, you might be surprised at the results.   Learn how to unfocus the mind because contrary to what you might think creativity seems to flow better when we are not focussed.

 I am a firm believer that creativity cannot be taught, forget about such phrases as ‘think outside of the box’ it’s just doublespeak, there is no box, there is only you and your own mind.  

However I do believe that creativity can be nurtured and the best way to nurture your own was summed up quite nicely by Marcell Proust when he said

“The real magic of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes!”

If you take anything away from my talk today it should be this most important point, do not simply look at things, open your eyes and see things!

Observe everything, and then observe everything again, by seeing you truly will awaken your creativity.  

Trust your instinct, the more you see things, the more creative you will become and the more the inspiration flows the more your eyes will see.

Remember, above all see all!!!

I would just like to say a few words to give you an insight into the creative process in my own practice and how the way that I see things affects my painting. 

To illustrate this I have chosen a painting that I produced for a 2011 exhibition in New York which is titled ‘Flight 1549’.  Why this particular piece? I want to demonstrate how seeing things differently affects the creative process.

When asked to exhibit for a certain gallery or exhibition there is most often a theme to work to, and in these cases I draw upon a combination my current thinking and what I have in my memory bank.   I am sure that when asked to paint for a show in New York many artists would think of obvious landmarks such as the Statue Of Liberty, New York cabs etc.   Of course I did paint ‘Manhattan’ but I also painted less obvious subjects such as ‘Strawberry Fields, Central Park’ along with the most incredible event that was the landing of ‘Flight 1549’ on the Hudson River on January 15th 2009.   What you can see in my painting is Flight 1549 sitting on the Hudson River, having flown through a flock of geese, it’s tailfin standing proud complete with the American Airlines logo which to me was symbolic of a cross, the whole miraculous scene appearing to be the result of an act of divine intervention.  Of course the plane and its passengers were brought down safely due to the skill, foresight and heroism of the pilot but this painting is to show you how I actually see things.

My point is that every day I see things, and by that I mean I carefully observe things, in the news, on my travels, in my home, from the moment that I get up until I go to sleep my mind is constantly cataloguing material.   As a result I have literally hundreds of paintings in my head waiting to emerge when the time is right.  And when the time is right these paintings burst into life in full colour.

I will close with a couple of quotes.

In the immortal words of Albert Einstein, remember ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world’

And in the words of Chris Billington ‘Above all, see all and the creativity will flow’

Thank you for listening. 


Art News From The Studio Of Chris Billington

Here are a few photo’s and an update of the latest art news from my studio.

Art News From The Studio Of Chris Billington ~ British Abstract Art Meets German Landscape

Art News From The Studio Of Chris Billington ~ British Abstract Art Meets German Landscape

I am currently working on 5 of the paintings for my next German exhibition, ‘Colour and Reduction – 15 landscapes to J. W. Schirmer’, at the Juelich Museum and all is on schedule with several months to go until the show in October.

Art News From The Studio Of Chris Billington                            British Abstract Art Meets German Landscape

Art News From The Studio Of Chris Billington ~ British Abstract Art Meets German Landscape

I am most pleased to report that I shall also be starting work very soon on a painting for an exhibition in Newquay, this will be for a show at The Hotel Victoria.   The exhibition will be held in a magnificent room and will feature a number of my paintings, several of which have not been exhibited in Cornwall before and none of the works will be for sale.

Since my move here from Falmouth 3 years ago I have been asked many times when I will be painting something of The Lizard and my surrounding area. Having been so busy with exhibition commitments it is with great pleasure that not only will I be staring work on the first painting of what will eventually be quite a body of work, but I am delighted to be donating this painting to charity because whilst not for sale, the new painting will however be offered as a raffle prize, with 100% of all proceeds going to Marie Curie.

This will be my first exhibition in Cornwall for more than two years and full details will follow soon.


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