Christine Bass paints contemporary landscapes and still lifes characterized by strong lines and shapes, flattened planes and the use of vibrant colour. She grew up in
Trinidad and the bright light and vivid colours of the tropics still exert an influence in her paintings.
She draws inspiration from the Buckinghamshire countryside: the gentle beauty of the
Chiltern Hills, views from the Ridgeway, the patterns of
fields scored by furrows and bounded by hedgerows, the bare trees of winter,
the colours of crops and the seasons.
Another aspect of her work is her still life paintings which often include flowers for their exuberant colours and organic shapes.
In her mixed media work, she begins by drawing the composition onto board or canvas. Next, she uses tissue to loosely block in areas of colour, relishing the unexpected shapes which emerge from torn edges and overlapping layers. The tissue is glued to the board or canvas. The drawn composition is important to her; when it begins to disappear beneath the layers of tissue, she re-draws it. She then paints in acrylics onto the collage base, focusing on the original drawing but also incorporating many of the shapes which originate from the tissue layer. Her aim is a synthesis between the drawing and the more abstract collage, with the painted layer bringing the two together.
Her background is in illustration and design (First Class BA Honours Degree, Manchester, 1982). Most of her illustrations feature in publications for environment and development organisations (such as IUCN in Geneva and IIED in London).
In 1998, she won the Sunday Times/British Airways Competition to design a tailfin for BA as part of its ‘Global Images’ campaign. Her artwork, inspired by British canal art and titled ‘Grand Union’, decorated BA tailfins and buses for several years.