“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe ~Like the majority of the artist’s that I’ve been meeting through this series, Christine’s studio was located at her house. The minute I walked in, I felt at home. She has a very comfortable and gentle spirit about her. I unpacked my gear while we chitchatted. Christine’s paintings were full of energy and colour. She had a few pieces hanging in her living room, so before leading me downstairs to her studio she began telling me a little about each piece. Christine’s process is a deep one. It’s meaningful. It’s playful and it’s healing. It’s as if her paintings are her journals. I could sense she had a strong connection to them. As I listened to Christine tell me the stories that each canvas held, I was so inspired by the relationship she had with painting.
I like to ask each artist that I visit what inspires or compels them to paint and create. Christine is often inspired by the relationships she has with others, as well as the array of emotions that people, especially those close to her, might be going through at various stages in their lives. Like for instance, the loss of someone close to her. Or the excitement when a close friend is having a baby. It’s these memorable moments in life that will move her to paint.
When we were done photographing the paintings that were displayed around her home she brought me down to her studio/garage. It was a nice long space that she had painted all white except for the floor, which she let catch the beautiful excess of colour. The floor itself was a piece of art.
There were two distinct styles that I saw in her art. One style had a more intuitive process. They were full of colour and movement and flow. She poured her paint and moved it around. She worked with the paint, letting it take control at times. There was mystery in how these paintings were going to turn out. While the other style was quite opposite of that. They were more modern and graphic in style. They were striking portraits. Her process for those pieces were completely different. They held more structure. They were planned out. These two very different processes that she had, seemed to create a sense of balance in her creative life.
Our visit was short and sweet and I left feeling inspired. Inspired to, whenever possible, seek out the stories behind the art that I come across. Inspired as well, to look for the stories that might be hiding within my own art.
I invite you now enjoy the lovely Christine and her beautiful art and please visit her website as well. It’s a really great site! www.christinedelong.com
This whole Artist series that I’ve been doing, has had many unplanned little moments of serendipity. Moments I’ve been calling magic. It happened again here with Christine’s session. Christine shared with me that when her Grandfather, who was also an artist, passed away not too long ago, she had been given his paint brushes and all of his unfinished paintings. When I heard that, it gave me… not so much as a chill, but a rush of something inside and my arm hairs stood up. Wow!! What a special gift. And I thought to myself, I have to remember to ask her when we get into her studio which brushes were her Grandpa’s so I could get a photo of her with them. Well by the time we went downstairs to her studio I got distracted with everything and totally forgot to ask her. It completely slipped my mind until I was already back home. SHOOT! Oh well, I thought. It is what it is, but I was pretty disappointed. So then when Christine saw the little “sneak peak” on my facebook pg of one of the double exposed photos I had taken of her, she emailed me right away and said she loved the way the one with her Grandpa’s brushes turned out. The one with her hands in the background. Another little rush of something ran through me. It’s these unplanned, unexpected moments of things feeling exactly right. When everything feels connected. Like little gifts from above. Below are some of those double exposed film photos from our session. Here’s the one with her Grandpa’s brushes.