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The Courtauldian

c/o The Students’ Union

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Vernon Square, 

Penton Rise,




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Meet Carole Nataf, the Courtauld’s very own 'Plein-Air' painter who is making waves in the art world, presenting her work in various galleries in London and generally killing it as a budding art historian.

Tell me about your artistic story.

I never really went to art school; one day I just started drawing and I never stopped. My cousin taught me how to use oil paints when I was 12, which was great fun. I hesitated over whether to study art as an academic practice, so I went to a summer course at Parsons, but I didn’t like having a professor tell me how to design things. I started working in tech, but I never stopped painting. It was only when people started asking me how they could access my art that I started exhibiting with different groups and selling my work online. I love painting portraits, landscapes, and still-life. I love to paint from life, so you can often see me wandering around London with an easel strapped to my front!

(Image courtesy of @carole.nataf.art)

Who’s inspired you along the way?

It sounds cliché, but I’ve always felt inspired by the Impressionists. I like the textures and how they focussed on creating paintings based on what they see.

Why did you decide to study at the Courtauld? What has it done for your journey, artistically and personally?

Well, for years working in tech I felt very frustrated that I wasn’t honouring my love for art. Joining the Courtauld helped me develop the skills I would need to work in a museum, and it developed my love for research and the history of art. I love being able to use my artistic background to understand further how paintings were made, in terms of technique especially.

What’s your favourite thing about the Courtauld?

The quality of the knowledge here. Everyone you meet here is passionate about something, anything. We’re all interested in different areas of art, and it means that the discussions with students here are incredible. When we all start talking to each other, we can learn so much because of the breadth of knowledge floating around.

(Image courtesy of @carole.nataf.art)

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?

Make, make, make. Create as much as you can. It’s the best way to learn. Sometimes you’ll only have half an hour to do it a day, but you have to make the time. And don’t be afraid to show people your work; the most important thing is to get your work out of your mind and share your ideas. Exhibiting my work has helped me focus less on how they look and has freed me from being too obsessed about how people would perceive them. It allowed me to give my works a life of their own.

Carole’s works are available to purchase on Etsy, and you can follow her instagram to see more of her works at @carole.nataf.art

lissie mackintosh

Events Editor

Lissie Mackintosh is the events co-editor for the Courtauldian. An accidental advocate for trash TV and over-priced coffee, she isn’t afraid to say what she thinks and packs a punch with her writing. Lissie has previously written for Tatler and is recently interested in the study of political art and photographic responses to historical events. She hopes one day to be working at Vogue, despite the fact that she thinks spending all her money on clothes is a good idea. Always up for a laugh and a good event, Lissie has got you covered with the best and most unmissable events of the year.