The Artist

Portrait of Chris by Palm TreeWhat would your answer be if you asked yourself “What do I want?” My answer from the age of 6 was “to be an artist.” More specifically today it’s, “to be an artist who lives in Hawaii painting the flora and fauna endemic to the island of Maui.” The quote I live by is this:

By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.

Three years ago I took a risk, leaving my friends and family to create what I had sufficiently desired and moved to Maui where I paint the abundant beauty on my rainforest property and all over the Hawaiian islands.

I paint to communicate. I paint because it’s stimulating and energizing. And I paint because there is a part of me that embraces the challenge of the process of rearranging shapes and values to make a design that works.

In order for me to expand as an artist I have to strip away outward concerns of acceptance that dictate what I choose as subject or how I choose to express what I see and feel. So, now I take more risks, whether in subject matter, style, or both, remembering that painting started out as pure play – before concern of outward approval.

Watercolor is predominantly my medium of choice, though I also enjoy painting in pastels and oils. Each medium has its own allure. Pastels are immediate and use pure pigment to give vitality to the color; oils have texture and can be worked and reworked; but watercolor creates a delicate dance between control and letting go. It makes me think and plan, but then sweeps me away with its subtle beauty. It challenges me. It is my true passion.

Christine is a national award winning artist who has taught at the University of Rochester’s Creative Workshop at the Memorial Art Gallery and has conducted workshops and given talks across the country. Besides being a full-time artist she works part time at Picture It Framed frame shop and art gallery. Her work is exhibited at Maui Hands galleries, The Gallery at Picture It Framed, and online at christinewaara.com. When she’s not painting, she’s usually outside collecting more inspiration.

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