|hristina Baker’s fascination with art began in her family’s backyard in Amelia Island, Florida. It started with mud pottery shaped meticulously from wet, brown dirt and placed in the sun, to bake. Every time the art crumbled to dust, young Christina would try again. Today, Christina has much greater success with a different medium—acrylic paint. Her self-taught artistry began when she explored landscapes, florals and abstract art, and eventually, co-owned a gallery. Three years ago she relocated to Tennessee, before marrying her husband in 2010, and felt like she was completely starting over. Much to her delight and surprise, Christina’s most-recent abstract series, Fresh Water—cool blues, vivid greens and stirring grays and whites—has received wide acclaim.|
She is currently represented by Gregg Irby Fine Art in Atlanta, as well as Imagine Gallery of American Fine Art and Objects in Franklin, Tennessee. And while gallery managers help display and sell her large four- and five-foot pieces, they also nurture Christina’s artistic growth. A year ago, it was Gregg Irby who suggested Christina move away from black and employ more grays and softer colors. She accepted the guidance, and her first canvases with the new palette sold before the paint was dry. She’s been under pressure to produce more in the same series ever since.
“Abstract work is so intuitive,” Christina says. “I never look at anything when I paint, it’s just all about the mood I’m in. I can do some of my best work when I’m engaged in conversation, because I’m not thinking too much about the painting.”
Within the last year, her pieces have been displayed on the exclusive online art gallery, Escape Into Life. And now, Christina’s artistic mentors are suggesting an even bigger change: upgrading her medium from acrylic to oil. That move could double, if not triple, the sale price of her work. Until that change comes, Christina spends countless hours, six (sometimes seven) days a week in her studio in Franklin, trying to keep up with growing demand, and taking one exciting, humbling and uncomfortable step at a time. Look for her new series of oils in 2013.
Site: Manner & Lane
freelance writer | nashville, tn
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