A Tree of Influences
Monday, April 9, 2012
Pencil by Margaret Jones (my grandmother)
I am what is considered a self taught artist.
However, I have had countless teachers, even if in passing.
My Grandmother was the first. I recall her telling me
to look at a green bush and if I looked hard enough
I would see the color purple in this bush of green.
"This is how you look at nature when you paint."
She loved painting old shacks. Well that is what
she would call them. I learned how to draw one of
her old shacks by memory when I was around 8 years old.
I can still draw that shack today.
There were my peers back home in Florida, Paul Massing,
Barbra Fuller, Theresa Daily, Karen McFadyen, Georganna Mullis,
Carol Winner, Candace Fasano, Casey Matthews, Sandra Baker Hinton,
Lynette Holmes, to just name a few. We had an open studio night
every first Saturday of the month. I remember at one event,
Paul came into my studio. He was admiring my work yet in the
same breath he said,"Christina, you should try loosening up a bit"
as he would point to specific areas on the painting in discussion.
He just had this personality where he spoke with his hands,
with his eyes and the tone of his voice. He would move his
hands elegantly and softly in motion around areas of my work
as if he were holding a paint brush in his hand. I took notice.
My very talented business partner, Carol Winner, whom in my
opinion is one the most underrated artists that I know,
use to always point out how good I was with composition
yet that I needed to try and make my shapes bigger and bolder.
(still struggling with that Carol) Casey Matthews, who taught me
so much I can not even begin to count, is one of the more innovative
artists that I have been able to work with. Her style is completely
unique to her. She has a way with composition and capturing a mood
that you could get lost in for hours. She taught me a lot about
being a working artist from painting tips to marketing and
should I add, goofing off.
These are just small examples of why I am the artist that I am today.
I'm the first to admit I have been influenced by them all and so
many more I can not begin to list. I see Sandra Baker Hinton
in my work constantly and feel Karen McFayen, Theresa Daily,
Lynette Holmes & Georgain Mullis smiling in the small pops of
color I play with. I still hear my grandmother firmly telling
me how to mix color and how to wash my brushes. Not a day goes
by that I do not think of her and the gift she and I shared that
was so personal to us it was as if we had our very own
"girls only" club house.
Since moving to Tennessee I have met and am still meeting new
teachers to add to my list of influences. I am constantly learning
and anxious to do so. It looks like, as an artist, we will forever
remain on a path of growth and discovery.