ROMI BEHRENS
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ROMI BEHRENS

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© Copyright Romi Behrens 2012

Romi was born in Wiltshire in 1939 and began painting when she moved to Cornwall in 1959, on marrying her husband.  Inspired by her love of Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh, she is largely self-taught.  Romi's talent is to instinctively capture the subject in a vibrant blaze of energy and colour. Her work has been exhibited from Cornwall to London, including the Royal Academy and the Arnolfini in Bristol.  She has recently completed a commission to paint twenty-four members of the Le Grice family, following which critic James Day wrote “these paintings need to be seen to be believed and, once seen, they are unlikely to ever be forgotten”.  The artist herself says that “the spontaneity in my work probably comes from a lifetime of juggling painting with having children, being married to a farmer, letting holiday cottages, playing the violin and having the good fortune to meet some famous and inspiring artists and musicians among others”.  She feels that she ‘learnt’ from looking at the great artists, either through exhibitions (only the best!) or from books and finds painting the greatest fun and pleasure.


When Michael Canney, former director of Newlyn Art Gallery, spotted a painting by Romi in an exhibition he made her a member on the spot.


Jeremy Le Grice wrote:  “Romi’s portraits are microcosms of sheer delight.  The intensity of her pleasure communicates instantly and the rapidity of her application is hard pressed to keep up with the fleeting nature of her intuition and insight.


With the confidence and knowledge Romi now displays in her maturity white areas of canvas speak for themselves in her paintings.  This paradoxically increases the completeness, with the sitter spot-lit in a spontaneous blaze of brushwork and colour placed on an immaculate ground.


However, beyond exuberance, Romi brings into her work an essential humility.  It is this quality that is carrying her to ever greater heights as a painter”.


Painters Cornwall

Painters Cornwall