October 11, 2017
This spring, we look forward to welcoming British Columbia based artist Christine Camilleri for a five-day studio workshop from April 29-May 5, 2017. Christine’s workshop will focus both on color and composition. In advance of her workshop, Christine took a moment to help us get to know her a little better!
Q: What’s been your most unexpected source of inspiration?
CC: I am inspired by many unexpected things: an unusual perspective, a story line, an abstract design that makes me think of something to work up, a shock of color where I didn’t expect it. I always want to challenge myself and my viewers.
Q: How has teaching impacted your personal art practice? And vice versa, how does your approach to your personal art impact your teaching style?
CC: I took a workshop once where the instructor said, “Every time you pick up a pastel or a brush loaded with a particular color you should be able to tell anyone what you’re using that for”. That was a breakthrough moment for me: before hearing this I was experimenting (producing “mud”) and adding marks without intent. I then challenged myself to have a ready response and to understand that if I didn’t have one, then I, and the painting, were losing direction. I take that thinking into my painting classes to share with my students.
Q: What’s one tip you have or trick you use for keeping your studio space organized?
CC: In order to stay creative and focused I clean out my studio once or twice a year. I don’t mean wash the floors and dust. I mean I throw out old ideas, sketches and half finished paintings. I find I have to be ruthless. It clears my mind and helps me to see where I am going. I don’t want to fill my visual space with things that are half done or forgotten pulling me back to “finish” them one day, some day. I also keep my mediums separate and work on one medium for weeks at a time. Oils in one corner, pastels on a big table, acrylics on another table. Some paintings lend themselves to a certain medium and that way they are accessible at a moment’s inspiration.
Q: Who are your art heros? Who do you admire and why?
CC: I enjoy artists who exert competence, color mastery and story telling ability: these include but are not limited to Howard Terpning, Charlie Russell, Richard Schmid, Sheila Reiman, Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Jeanie Dobie, and Skip Lawrence.
Q: What exciting projects are you working on right now or big dream projects you would love to begin exploring?
CC: Bison have become a fascinating focus and I am drawn to wide, open landscapes like the prairies they once roamed. I am planning a series of paintings inspired by the last of the intact prairie areas in Canada and the US and hope to capture what these may have looked like before settlement.