Tag Archives: Christina Baker

Artist Takeover, Day 3: Christina Baker

1 Aug

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?
AF | 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.
AF |  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!
To see more of Christina Baker’s work, please visit her website.  A special treat tomorrow– a double takeover with  Christina Foard and Steve Williams!
All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Christina Baker

22 May

I love it when fans of an artist’s work remind me to feature them!  So of course, I had a V-8ish slap-myself-on-the-forehead moment when the Managing Editor at Escape Into Life saw me post on Twitter about Christina Baker’s work and reminded me how awesome it would be to feature her over there.

Runaway Tears by Christina Baker, acrylic on canvas, 48×48

Please go over and take a look!

Christina Baker on Escape Into Life

Friday Faves: Different Kind of Hanging O’ The Greens

16 Mar

Sometime in my late 20s I went through a slight obsession with the Irish part of my heritage & Irish culture in general.  I think it stemmed mainly from too many Maeve Binchy books and multiple PBS viewings of Riverdance.  Add to that the fact that my husband thinks Guinness is the greatest thing since, well, Guinness, and it isn’t any surprise that we love St. Patrick’s Day.  So to get you in the mood for a little Erin Go Bragh, how about some artwork to remind us of the Emerald Isle?

Runaway Trees by Christina Baker, acrylic on canvas, 48x48

Ives Pond I by Susan Morosky, acrylic on canvas, 30x30

Cold Feet by Casey Matthews, mixed media, 24x24

Covenant Commitment by Steve Williams, mixed media on canvas, 84x84

Christina Baker | Susan Morosky | Casey Matthews | Steve Williams 

Make sure you check out these artist’s websites ( linked above ) to see more of their work.  Happy St. Patrick’s weekend!

Featured image is Empty Bathtub, Full Power Meter by Steve Williams, mixed media, 84×84.  All images are via the artist’s websites, linked above.

The Artsy Home: Decking Halls and Such

14 Dec

I LOVE this time of year.  It’s a few weeks out of our lives that we take the time to beautify our surroundings, making sure everything sparkles with a holiday glow.  We all become artists, creating vignettes of tinsel and holly,  making our homes magical for our loved ones, our children, ourselves.  A wonderful trend that I’m seeing is holiday decorating that is inspired by what we love to surround ourselves with every day. ( Oh, there’s still room for those homemade childhood ornaments! )

I thought it would be fun to pair some beautifully decorated Christmas trees with a work of art.  I’m no stranger to art-inspired tree decorating, take a look at these trees I decorated for the gallery where I was working a few years ago.  Just goes to show, any piece of art can inspire your holiday decor.  So let’s deck our Artsy halls!

the art:

The Keeper of Dreams by Philippe Loubat, oil on canvas, 23.62x23.62

the tree:

via TrendyTree.com

the art:

Frozen Blueberries by Christina Baker, acrylic on canvas, 30x30

the tree:

via SimplifiedBee.blogspot.com via StylebyEmilyHenderson.com

the art:

Sentinel by Steven DaLuz, oil and mixed media on panel, 36x36

the tree:

via House and Home

the art:

Growth by Haley Farthing, pastel and ink on wood, 48x24

the tree:

via Pinterest via Purlbee.com

the art:

Oceanic 29 by Thomas Hager

the tree:

via Stylish-living-room-ideas.com

the art:

Tower by Justin Richel, gouache on paper, 17x19.5

the tree:

via TrendyTree.com

Hope you’re inspired to think about your art collection when decorating for the holidays.  If it’s too late for this year, there’s always 2012.. it will be here before we know it!

Featured image is via SimplifiedBee.  All art images are via the artists’ websites.

The Artsy Home: Show-ing Off

25 Oct

As promised, here’s our 2nd Christina Baker feature of the day.  The fabulous Mrs. Baker has four (!) pieces of artwork featured in the Nashville Southern Living Showcase Home.  So I thought it would be fun to give you a peek at her work in this beautifully designed space.

Commissioned work for master bedroom, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, acrylic on canvas, 48x48

Master bedroom, Lazy Day, acrylic on canvas, 30x40

Master Bedroom Inspiration Board, Southern Living Showcase Home

Art Powered By Passion, Coffee and Big Talent: Christina Baker

25 Oct

I have a confession to make, Artsies.  I have been remiss.  Since the beginning of Artsy Forager, I’ve had Christina Baker listed as a Pick of the Crop artist, and save for a few mentions in Friday Faves and The Artsy Home, I have yet to feature her!  Shame, shame, shame!!  So to make it up to the lovely and always supportive, Christina, today you’re getting a two-fer!!  One now and watch for a special The Artsy Home feature later.

The House My Heart Built, acrylic on canvas, 18x18

This self-taught artist’s work is ever-evolving and intuitive.  One of my favorite games to play with Christina’s abstract work is “What Do You See?”.  In every piece, there is something that is familiar, yet fresh.  In one instance, I may think I see a representation of one thing, but then I go back, take a second look and see something completely different.

Cloud Animals, acrylic on canvas, 8x8

Her use of color and light creates soft, yet powerful imagery, the kind of work that translates easily between contemporary and more traditional aesthetics.

Moondrops, acrylic on canvas, 18x18

Watching the Grass Grow, acrylic on canvas, 30x30

I hope you loved Christina’s work as much as I obviously do.  To see more, please visit her website!  In Nashville, her work can be seen at York & Friends and at the Southern Living Showcase Home until November 6th ( more on that later!! ).  For Atlanta folks, check her out at Gregg Irby Fine Art.

Featured image is The Garden Inside of His Heart, acrylic on canvas, 24×24.  All images via the artist’s website.

[ Insert Art Here ]

27 Sep

Artwork has the power to facilitate change.  Most importantly, in our minds, spirits and hearts.  But today, we’re going stay in the more shallow end of the pool.  🙂  Let’s have some art + design fun and  take a look at a beautifully designed room and see how just changing up the artwork can transform the way the room feels.

For our first go ’round, we’ll start with a fairly classic, neutral room:

Look #1:  In keeping with the classic, slightly beachy style of the room, we’ll add an oceanscape by Tennessee artist Christina Baker.

The shift from mirror to artwork, in this case, is subtle, but what an impact!  Makes for a much more interesting room, yes?  Even the pup seems more pleased!

Look #2:  Though the space is gorgeous, it could use a well-placed pop of color!  So let’s see what a Michelle Armas abstract does for it..

The lovely colors and lively brushstrokes really bring the space into a shinier, happier territory, don’t they?

Look #3:  The best way to help elevate a traditional room into something with a bit more personality?  A graphic and quirky piece by Sarah Ashley Longshore from her Audrey Hepburn series.

This look works because what’s more classic than Audrey Hepburn?  That’s right, nothing.  So her iconic image keeps with the traditional vibe, but the bright colors and pop-style of the painting add a punch of the unexpected.

Hope you enjoyed our little peek at how varying styles of art can change a room’s personality!  What’s your home’s art-style?  Do you change things up or keep your favorites up ’round the clock?

Be on the lookout for future installments of this new Artsy Forager feature, [ Insert Art Here ]!

Featured room image via House of Turquoise, architect James Cullion and interior designer Eileen Marcuvitz, photographed by Robert Benson.

Hang ‘Em High..Not TOO High

28 Apr

CONFESSION TIME:  One of my biggest pet peeves is artwork hung incorrectly.  And by this I mean too high, too low, staggered when there is no reason for staggering ( i.e., up a staircase wall ), etc.   While there are no set rules when it comes to hanging artwork, there are guidelines.  Knowledge is power, ya’ll, and you’ll thank me for it when my eyes aren’t twitching uncontrollably when I come over and see how your artwork is hung.  I’m too polite to say anything, though.. I am a Southern girl, after all.

Guideline #1:  Normal height for  hanging artwork is to center it at eye level. 

But whose eye level?  You may be 4’11” but your husband is 6’4″– how do you decide?  Law of averages, my friends.   I’m 5’5″ ( ok, 5’4 1/2″ ), so my eye level is actually spot on.  The safest height at which to hang artwork is 60″ from the center of the artwork to the floor.

I couldn’t resist adding in this image from Traditional Home ( via House of Turquoise ).  Recognize the work of our very own Pick of the Crop artist, Christina Baker?!  Girl’s got skilz.

Guideline #2:  Use picture hooks and D-rings for hanging whenever possible



Plain ol’ nails might be super cheap, but picture hooks are the best way to go to get your artwork to hang levelly and securely.  The weight of a piece of artwork will drag down a nail, but the picture hooks are designed to set the nail at an angle so that the laws of physics hold the picture up, instead of putting all the weight on the nail.  There are different size hooks available according to the weight of what you’re hanging, so if you’re in doubt about the weight, go with the heaviest weight hook so you’ll be sure your artwork won’t fall on someone’s head.. or toes.

D-ring hanger

D-rings are God-sends for hanging artwork and should be used instead of wire, if possible.   Simply install two d-rings at the same horizontal level on the back of the picture frame.  It’s true, you’ll need to put two holes in the wall instead of one, but your artwork will be more secure and won’t have that annoying habit of going crooked anytime it get’s bumped a little or someone closes a door a bit too hard.

Guideline #3:  When hanging multiple pieces together, be aware of the space between them and how they relate to each other

If you’re hanging a pair or series of artwork above a piece of furniture, measure and treat the pieces as if you were hanging one solid piece– taking into account a bit of space between them and center the overall size horizontally above the furniture and center each piece vertically at 60″.

Guideline #4:  Some rules were made to be broken

Not Guideline #2, the picture hook thing is always important, not just for aesthetics, but for safety.  The other two, however, might be flexible depending on the situation.

  • Broken rule #1– It is OK to hang artwork lower ( or higher, I guess, though this is less common ) than eye level if it helps the work relate to its surroundings

  • Broken rule #2– Sometimes extending a grouping of work outside of the borders of a piece of furniture or other furnishing helps the artwork to make more sense within the room, as in the case of the room below.  In this instance, more is more, yes?

  • Broken rule #3– The rules are, there are no rules.. Sometimes the positioning of artwork doesn’t really need to relate to the surroundings at all.. randomness & asymmetry can be beautiful!  If done well, of course. 

If you ever find yourself unsure of how to hang your latest acquisition, I hope these guidelines are helpful.  If you’re really stuck, drop me a line– I’m happy to help!  Happy hanging!

Friday Forager Faves

25 Mar

 A few of my favorite things this week.. in honor of the beginning of spring, a little light, some flowers and birdsong.

1. Dogwood Branch by Pamela Viola

2. Get Lucky by Christina Baker

3.  Fading Boundaries by Maribel Angel

4.  Everyone Loves a Parade by Casey Matthews

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