Christine Karron is a full time artist and illustrator. Her artwork has been published in books and magazines, exhibited in numerous exhibitions and sold to clients worldwide.
Currently she is illustrating children’s books and paints between the projects. Christine, originally from Estonia and Germany, lives with her husband and their three children in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Christine, can you please describe your art to us?
Although I work in a variety of media, like watercolor, colored pencils and acrylic, my art is always a combination of abstract layout and realistic detail. My acrylic paintings tend to be more loose and express spontaneous character through bold colors, broad brush strokes and palette knife technique. When working on the children’s book illustrations I keep it more realistic and add whimsical touch and fun.
Carrie: When did you first realize the arts were an important part of your life?
Art was always in my life, but the turning point was when I was 13. My mom thought my sister and I were talented enough to attend the entrance exam of the children’s art school in Tallinn, Estonia, and we were accepted.
Carrie: How did you discover your artistic style?
It was a long process of experimenting and finding myself over the years. I am getting close but I am still not there, and I hope I never will be, because this is what it’s all about – looking forward to the next painting, a new idea, the journey of improving.
Carrie: What does your workspace look like?
My studio is in my home, it’s a big open room with lots of light. I am a morning person and I love to start painting with the morning sun shining through my studio. It wasn’t always like this – when my kids were small I painted on my dinner table with my kids running around and often they joined me painting.
Carrie: Can you describe your artistic process to readers? For example, do you follow the same pattern and track when you develop an artwork from idea to product?
I have found a process that works for me – I sketch my idea/the subject to see that the composition and layout works, then block in the colors, mostly starting with the parts which will appear in the back first and then work through to the parts in the foreground. When I start painting I have a plan, a picture in my mind, but most of the progress happens and develops directly while I paint. At the end I add details and abstract color expressions until it feels right.
Carrie: How do you take risk in your art?
I like to experiment with my new ideas, trying some new techniques, different subjects. Challenge myself to do something new, like last year, I participated in the Art Battle live painting events and was a part of the Art Alley mural project in my home city. That was an incredible experience of growing.
Carrie: What is the first thing you do when you feel stuck working on an artwork?
I do take throughout little breaks – usually my studio assistant, my puppy, takes care of it. Getting a little distance from the artwork while painting clears the mind and view, and prevents getting stuck when working.
Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
I have lived in three different countries, learned 4 different languages, met many different people… everything I have ever done and experienced have formed me. All of this forms my art. Behind each of my artwork is a personal story or meaning, even when it’s not always visible, it’s there.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Music. Music creates mood and lets me drift away into my imagination. Often I just listen to the local radio station.
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
All around me: nature, people, every day happenings, my family, happiness.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Creativity for me is the ability to create something new out of the usual, the traditional.
Be Courageously Creative: Many of you in this community lament that you do not know your style. Rather than seeing your style as an end-point, can you see your style as something you hope to never reach? How can seeing our style as something constantly evolving help our art?
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