Thursday, November 3, 2011
Paint Party Friday: Carol Christie
Last year, while browsing in a gallery in Blue Ridge, I came across the art of Carol Christie and was immediately smitten. Her work bursts off the canvas in spontaneous swaths of color and has, she says, a strong rhythmic base, due to her love of music and early training as a pianist. Since that time, we've struck up an online friendship, and I've discovered that Carol is just as warm, energetic, and joyous as her work. Recently Chef Art Smith, former personal chef of Oprah, opened a new restaurant called Southern Art at the Intercontinental Hotel located in Buckhead. Carol's painting Down the Road a Ways was commissioned for the space. It hangs from the ceiling, suspended by cables, and it is amazing. I made a trip to Atlanta last weekend to see Carol's gorgeous new painting, but you can see it here!
What emotions drive the creation of your art? SINCE I PAINT DAILY MY EMOTIONS ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING SO THIS IS PRETTY HARD TO ANSWER. MY MOST PASSIONATE AND ALIVE PIECES ARE USUALLY CREATED WHEN I'M FRUSTRATED OR ANGRY. IT ALWAYS RESOLVES WHATEVER IS BOTHERING ME AND IS MUCH CHEAPER THAN A THERAPIST!
What experiences led you to become an artist? AS A YOUNG CHILD I SPENT A LOT OF TIME ALONE. I ENVIED MY OLDER BROTHER AND HIS ABILITY TO DRAW. FROM THE TIME I WAS 6 OR 7. I DAYDREAMED ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST. I LOVED TO SKETCH AS A KID. WHEN I WAS OLDER I STARTED DOING SMALL WATERCOLORS FOR GIFTS AND EVENTUALLY EXHIBITED IN LOCAL OUTDOOR SHOWS TO EARN EXTRA MONEY.
When did you make the decision to be an artist? PROBABLY AT 6 OR SO. I KNOW I WAS VERY YOUNG.
Is your art goal-oriented? FINANCIALLY IT IS GOAL ORIENTED SINCE IT'S HOW I MAKE A LIVING. I TRY VERY HARD NOT TO COMPROMISE MYSELF OR FOLLOW TRENDS. MY BEST WORK IS DONE WHEN I HAVE NO PLAN AND NO DIRECTION AND JUST LET THE PAINTING EVOLVE.
What are you passionate about? PAINTING AND THE PIANO. I STUDIED CLASSICAL PIANO FOR 12 YEARS. I AM ALSO A PROLIFIC KNITTER WHEN I HAVE THE TIME.
How would you describe yourself? KIND AND SENSITIVE TO A FAULT AND VERY DRIVEN PROFESSIONALLY TO BE SUCCESSFUL. I ADORE MY KIDS, GRANDKIDS AND MY FRIENDS.
What artistic challenges do you face? OH MY WORD. I FACE THEM EVERY DAY. EVERY PAINTING IS A NEW BEGINNING AND A NEW CHALLENGE. HOW TO BALANCE THE COLOR, THE VALUES, AND HOW TO CREATE A FEELING OF SPACE.
What's the most important lesson you've learned as an artist? LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE AND STAY TRUE TO YOUR OWN VISION AND PASSION. IT'S SO HARD TO FIND YOURSELF AND ONCE YOU DO, YOU HAVE TO NOT LOSE YOURSELF.
What’s your proudest artistic achievement?. MY LAST SOLO SHOW, IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR, AT the TAYLOR KINZEL Gallery.
What artists have influenced you most and why? JOHN MARIN, RAOUL DUFY, DEKOONING, JOAN MITCHELL....THEY WERE ALL SUCH POWERFUL PAINTERS. NOT AFRAID TO EXPRESS WHAT THEY FELT. THEY ALL HAD SUCH PASSION, INCREDIBLE USE OF COLOR AND SUCH AMAZING ENERGY. I'VE SEEN WORKS BY ALL OF THESE ARTISTS IN MUSEUMS AND RETROSPECTIVE SHOWS. I HAVE BEEN MOVED TO TEARS BY ALL OF THEM. YOU NOT ONLY SEE THEIR WORK BUT YOU FEEL IT ON A VISCERAL AND VERY EMOTIONAL LEVEL.
What’s been your best decision? NOT GIVING UP.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? JOAN MITCHELL OR WILLEM DEKOONING.
What are you currently reading? I JUST FINISHED READING THE NEW BIOGRAPHY OF JOAN MITCHELL'S LIFE... RACING IN THE RAIN... AND LITTLE BEE.
Who would you like to trade places with for one day? Why? PROBABLY OPRAH! WOULD BE AMAZING TO EXPERIENCE HER ENERGY, HER CONFIDENCE, HER POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND TO BE ABLE TO BE IN A POSITION TO HELP SO MANY PEOPLE.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? OH MY WORD, THERE ARE SO MANY. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE MY WORK IN A NY AND A LA GALLERY...I'D LIKE TO DO SOME UNIVERSITY SHOWS....THE ULTIMATE WOULD BE A MUSEUM SHOW. I'D ALSO LIKE TO SEE MY WORK IN MORE CORPORATE COLLECTIONS. SEEMS NO MATTER HOW MUCH I ACCOMPLISH, THE DESIRE TO DO MORE IS ALWAYS THERE. I'M NOT SURE I'LL EVER FEEL I'VE DONE ENOUGH. I DON'T THINK ARTISTS EVER STOP. IT'S WHO YOU ARE AND EVERY PROJECT PRESENTS A NEW AND EXCITING CHALLENGE.
What subject would you like to portray in your art that you have not yet attempted? I DON'T REALLY THINK ABOUT IT. I PAINT WHAT I FEEL, WHEN I FEEL IT. I'M VERY CONTENTED RIGHT WHERE I AM. FOR INSTANCE, I USUALLY ONLY PAINT LANDSCAPES IN THE FALL. I'M VERY INSPIRED BY THE BRIGHT COLORS. I PAINT MORE FLORALS IN THE SUMMER AND ABSTRACTS AND FIGURES IN THE WINTER. WHAT EVER ENERGY I'M EXPERIENCING IN A GIVEN TIME IS USUALLY WHAT I'M PAINTING! RIGHT NOW I'M VERY CONTENT. I JUST WISH THERE WERE MORE HOURS IN THE DAY!
Thank you so much, Carol.