I'm excited about two fantastic things today. First, Christina Baker, a friend, and an amazingly talented artist, is here telling us all about herself (her frank honesty is impressive). Two, she's allowing me to share her newest work which is breathtakingly GORGEOUS. Gregg Irby Gallery has just received Christina's newest pieces, and the seven paintings below are among them.
How/why did you first begin creating art?
From what my parents have told me, I began creating around the age of two. I constantly needed to make or draw something in order to avoid boredom. Anything ranging from mud pies to hand-made paper dolls. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I began to paint.
What influences your work most?
There are honestly so many influences that I could write a book on inspiration alone. Current events, the seasons, very simple elements such as a bottle cap left on the sidewalk or more obvious ones like a waterfall. Regardless of changing trends in fashion and design, the soul of my work always begins with an influence far away from the material world.
How has social media affected the world of art and beyond that, you specifically?
Absolutely, but I do have a love-hate relationship with all social media. I love the interaction and community. I love the endless array of images and stories that have touched and inspired me dearly, but I truly dislike the ugly side of human nature that social media can elicit, such as passive aggressive behavior, narcissism, and the countless numbers of reproductions of others' creations. It's really broken my heart to witness. On a positive note, I am amazed by the beautiful and supportive people who have created a warm, almost home away from home world, as if we are all walking into one another's studios or offices during those much needed breaks away from the easel. Support systems are a vital part of life and in some ways social media has created that for those in the creative world.
The Pink Door
How do you create your optimal environment for painting? Do you use music? Share 3 things from your favorite work playlist. If not music, is there another way you generate a climate conducive to painting?
I love listening to music when I paint! I don't like painting in silence as I find I over-think my work. I seem to do my best work when I do not think at all. Music or another background distraction is a necessity for me. Over the past few years I've grown to love having Netflix on, sometimes watching (listening) to a movie I've yet to watch. Though it requires a great deal replaying, my personal favorite preference is to go through an entire TV series. You know, those Breaking Bad, True Detective, and Game of Thrones, binges that last days or a week. I also burn a candle while I work. I lean toward organic fragrances like fruits, vanilla, and spices while painting, and more romantic or musky scents for everyday living.
What item in your studio do you consider indispensable?
Wow...hmmm...my super-ultra-thin long haired paint brush. I use it to create loose playful lines. I call it my "Magical Brush" so if I am walking around saying "honey, have you seen my Magical Brush?" the hubby knows what to look for! That brush is my absolute favorite tool in my box.
What is your favorite museum?
The one that created very vivid memories for me since I was 9 years old is The Museum of Art and Science in Macon, GA. My very talented friend and artist, Erin McIntosh, had a beautiful exhibit there recently. I love the combination of art, science, history and nature.
Key To Her Heart
What priceless, well-known piece of art would you most like to own?
I would adore an Egyptian cat statue from the Late Period.
Christina's panels for my Fall 2014 ORC
Thank you, Christina, for sharing with us! I have to say that I'm impressed by your willingness to speak to some of the less fortunate aspects of social media. Also, two out of the three TV series you've mentioned are among my favorites. I bet you're a huge Homeland fan : )
The last image shows my entry, and the three panels painted by Christina for my Fall 2014 One Room Challenge. Not a day goes by that I don't stop and take them in. What a joy for me to get to enjoy a wall of Christina's exquisite work anytime I like!