Month: March 2015

Q & A with Colleen Quill

Our next Q & A comes from painter Colleen Quill. She chats with us about her move from the board room to art studio, a recent commission for SOAS and her love of colour and loose brushwork.

Colleen Quill

Colleen Quill

How did you become a painter? Why portraiture? 

As a child, I was always drawing and my interest in figures and faces was sparked by the wonderful hand-drawn animations of the early Disney films.

I started a career in window dressing with a short stint in a shipping office, but found I was sketching caricatures of the directors in the board room rather than concentrating on my shorthand, so the decision was made to follow a career in art and take a fine art degree.

With a portfolio of such drawings I was accepted at Chelsea School of Art where I discovered the joy of working with oil paint and the thrill of using colour.

Colleen Quill

Colleen Quill in the studio

Which other artists or painters do you look to for inspiration and why?

Bonnard and Matisse are a huge inspiration with regard to colour and design, but the works of Toulouse Lautrec, Degas, Cezanne and Manet were my early inspiration.

Academic study revealed the old Masters; Rembrandt, Velasquez, Zurberan and Vermeer being favourites for their supreme expertise, and the expressive drawings of Kathe Kolwitz and Egon Schiele which I’m always referring to.

At present, more contemporary painters such as Diebenkorn for example and Sargy Mann fascinate me with their loose handling of paint and exciting use of colour.

The passion for painting has never left me and I approach each new work with a sense of excitement, whether it be new figurative painting, a portrait commission or, more recently, rich unusual and slightly more abstracted still life subjects.

Portrait by Colleen Quill, 100 x 75 cm

Portrait by Colleen Quill, 100 x 75 cm

Do you have any current projects that you’d like to tell us about (exhibitions, articles, websites, commissions, personal projects)?

Having just completed a commission of Sir Cyril Philips, for SOAS, I’m now, along with the 15 other members of the Lots Road Group, working on a portrait of a member of the UK International Women’s Forum. The portraits of each of these exceptional women will be exhibited in May in Chelsea Town Hall in celebration of their 25th Anniversary year.

My website is

Thanks so much Colleen, a pleasure to have you on the blog !

(all images and text copyright thelotsroadgroup 2015, please ask permission before use)

Announced ! Our Next Big Project…

As many of you will know this Sunday 8th March people around the world will be celebrating International Women’s Day and so it seemed only fitting that this is the week we let you all in on the Lots Road Group’s next big project. Our artists have been meeting and researching their sitters, priming their canvases and getting down to the very challenging business of making portraits. 

Portrayed ! 25 Years of Inspiring Women:

Our next show is set to open on the 26th May at the Chelsea Gallery and will celebrate and commemorate The International Women’s Forum UK‘s 25th Anniversary with portraits of 16 of its most inspiring women – its 4 founders and first 12 chairs.

IWF UK is part of the International Women’s Forum, an organisation which advances leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world’s most pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement. With over 5000 women leaders across 6 continents and 33 nations, the IWF has unprecedented global reach to exchange ideas, learn and inspire, and promote better leadership for a changing world.

The portraits have been created by artists in the Lots Road Group – artists who all studied at The Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea, one of the few art colleges that focus purely on portraiture, figurative painting and sculpture. Together they have captured in oils, acrylics, pastel, and print the 16 women who founded or chaired IWF UK during its first 25 years.


Christine Klein painting Susan Young

Christine Klein painting Susan Young



Susan Young, who chaired the organisation during its 25th year and championed the initiative said:

”I am delighted to embark on this special collaboration with the Lots Road Group. This is a wonderful opportunity to capture the essence of our leaders on canvas and represent inspiring leadership in an innovative medium.”

We’re all very excited about the show (details for your diary below) and cannot wait to share what we’ve all been up to with you. Many of our sitters are truly inspiring women, leaders in their respective fields and have been real game changers for business, politics, sports and other aspects of life in the UK. To give you further insight into the process of connecting with these women we will also have a catalogue containing information about our artists and sitters available online and on sale at the exhibition.

We hope to see you at the Chelsea Gallery in May !

Exhibition Venue: The Chelsea Gallery, Chelsea Library, Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road SW3 5EZ

Exhibition Dates: Tuesday 26th May to Sunday 7th June 2015.

For further information please contact Stella via

** all images and text copyright thelotsroadgroup 2015.