I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s Takeover with M.A. Tateishi! Today’s Artist Takeover is courtesy of Christina Baker, the artist whose idea to turn the tables led to this special week at Artsy Forager. I first met Christina while working at a gallery/ consulting firm in Jacksonville, Florida. We carried Christina’s work from time to time and placed it in healthcare settings around the area, but it wasn’t until she moved to Nashville and started focusing on abstract compositions that her work really took off. I’m happy to report she’s a super busy, in-demand artist and it’s been thrilling watching her career blossom!
C and I have bonded over our love of art, coffee and our super-adorable husbands ( she married her true love just a few months before I married mine ). Here’s a peek inside one of our online conversations..
Blueberry Martini, acrylic on canvas, 60×48
Christina Baker | You love most everything beautiful to the eye and what I have grown to admire about your eye so much as how authentic it is to “you.” You have such a myriad of taste yet it always goes back to seeing a little glimpse of you in each and everything you share with others.
Have you ever thought of Artsy Forager as sort of a personal home away from home, not just a vehicle to promote art but a place you feel that is part of you and you are the hostess?
Artsy Forager | You know, I’ve never really thought about it that way, but given that George & I are living such a vagabond-ish lifestyle, it makes sense that I’ve crafted Artsy Forager as a sort of home! I hope that AF feels like a warm and inviting place, where visitors feel welcomed and want to linger over a cup o’ jo and some fantastic artwork. I’m a nester by nature, so I put my personal stamp on any place I inhabit, even an online home.
Locked Doors, acrylic on canvas, 36×36
CB | I have totally taken note of how much you love nature. You have even seemed to have met the man of your dreams who also loves and respects nature. I have also noticed your taste leans more contemporary yet you show appreciation for such a variety of styles and genres. Is there any connection to your passion for nature and your taste in the contemporary arts?
| I do see my love of nature coming out in the works I’m most attracted to. Many of my favorite artists find a way to combine natural themes or elements in a thought provoking and contemporary way. Artists like Rachel Denny
, Jennifer Bain
and Brenda Mallory
come to mind. The natural world is full of abstract shapes and textures, it’s an unending source of inspiration and I’m most intrigued by artists who interpret that world in abstract ways vs. a realistic landscape or still life. Being outdoors and immersed in nature, away from the hustle of traffic and pressure to be connected to technology refreshes us in so many ways. I find myself at my most creative and thoughtful after a day of hiking. George & I have been batting around a long-term dream of opening an artists’ retreat in a gorgeous, secluded location. Kind of like summer camp for artists and other creative types. It’s my favorite dream right now!
Birds in the Dryer, acrylic on canvas, 24×30
CB | Do you still own any of your childhood art projects? This could include anything from your college years as well. If so, have you ever pulled them out and studied them as well as had the urge to create a new body of work in the present moment of your life? I think it would be really cool to see a blog post of something you have or plan to create.
| I have stacks of paintings from my college days hanging out in our storage unit in Florida. My mom and brother/sister-in-law each have several paintings of mine hanging in their homes. There is a large portfolio full of figure drawings from my senior year in college that I can’t bear to get rid of. Most of them are on newsprint and have at some point or another been rolled up, so they aren’t in the greatest shape, but I just can’t part with them. I struggled when I first began taking Figure Drawing with the amazing Paul Ladnier
— I got so frustrated with myself, yet he was incredibly encouraging, telling me that one day it would just click. And that’s exactly what happened! I grew to love it so much I took 3 semesters of Figure Drawing with him and was probably at the height of my skill level then.
Playing Catch, acrylic on canvas, 36×36
But here’s the thing. Painting and drawing are skills, like anything else. They must continually be practiced and developed or they lessen over time. I haven’t painted or drawn really consistently since college. Every once in a while I create something I’m proud of, but more often than not, I’m disappointed with my efforts. I would love to get back into painting, as few activities energize me as much ( when the work goes well, anyway! ). But I’m also humbled by the amazing talent I see every day. It would be difficult to keep from measuring myself against so many incredible artists and falling short. Maybe one day I’ll have the courage to post about my own work. It’s definitely something I would have to work up to!
All images are via the artist’s website.