Thursday, April 11, 2013

Communicating with your artwork

Interview with Painter Christine Donaldson
by Miriam schulman, @schulmanArt

get inspired by this artist
Become Christine's fan on facebook!
Christine Donaldson is a professional artist from Queensland, Australia. A seller on etsy for the last year and a half, she started selling her artwork locally six years ago.

SchulmanArt: What inspired you to become a professional artist?

Christine Donaldson: I was really inspired by a Gold Coast artist Di Skelly-Herron after I started going to her art workshops. She helped me develop as an artist - and once I realised that I could actually paint it was like the flood gates had opened - and I just kept painting and painting. And our apartment kept getting smaller and smaller as the number of canvases grew !! One day my partner said to me "Christine what are you going to do with all these paintings?" Having worked in sales for many years I remember looking at him and saying "I'll sell them". And so began the journey!! Approaching coffee shops and restaurants to see if they would like art on their walls ... and from there art exhibitions ... and then Etsy and Facebook and markets ... and here I am !! Once you have that balance in your life that painting can give you - it's such an enlightening and wonderful feeling. And you will never want to go back to the dark days when there was no colour and passion and paint in your life !!

Studio of artist Christine Donaldson
SchulmanArt: How would you describe your painting process?
Christine Donaldson: I love working in acrylics. I find them very forgiving !! For me ... sometimes I can see in my mind how the painting will end up - and I will always be working from my sketches - but once the painting starts to communicate to me - the colours might change course dramatically !! And that's why I love being able to change direction quickly.. which I can do with acrylics. I don't try and analyse what I do or why I do it. I find that the answers tend to present themselves sometime after the painting has finished.

I love using strong, bold colours - and though the subjects may vary dramatically, their vibrant colours remain the dominant thread. My paintings have been described as having vibrant colour and lots of energy and the style semi abstract and a touch "whimsical"

Cards and prints for sale on etsy
SchulmanArt:  But don't you mostly paint the figure?
CD: I tend to paint more of the female figure - though never in the traditional sense. It is the 'essence' of the person rather than the reality that I strive to capture. I believe that anonymity, far from showing lack of detail, allows the viewer to dream. So my ladies are really popular and sell well. My "Bollywood" paintings are slso very popular (particularly on Etsy).

SchulmanArt: Your figures and colors are so exotic, how do you get inspiration  for your "ladies"?                       
CD:  I have traveled extensively and I draw inspiration from the many places I have visited. From the markets in Ubud Bali, to the rice fields in Vietnam and the busy streets of Mumbai in India, I love to capture the local people as they go about their daily lives. I'll always come home with lots of sketches and ideas - it's not just the people but also the "colours" of the countries that I visit that end up on the canvas. Wherever I go I love to wander around the markets. The Ubud markets in Bali is one of my favourites - very early every morning the Balinese ladies sit around surrounded by baskets of brightly coloured flowers and fruits chatting happily away while selling their wars to the locals to make their daily offerings.

School Girls, ORIGINAL painting for sale on her website
SchulmanArt: What is your studio space like? 
CD:    I lease a studio upstairs in an old brick sub-station in Norman Park, Brisbane. It's not very big - but that's probably good because the more space I have the more I tend to hoard and collect things !! There is no view from the studio - the windows are up high but still let good light in. I don't mind not having a view - I tend to get lost in the painting - and don't really stop till my mind says "that's it for the day".