Many artists capture my attention through social media. Their beautiful artwork draws me in, inspiring me to get to know them and discover the uniqueness of their creative process. It was through Instagram that I stumbled upon Christine Rennie, but this time I did not to have admire her work from afar. We're both Richmonders, so we got to meet in person!
Sitting in the local Starbucks sipping coffee, time flew by. We could have stayed there all day talking about Christine’s two amazing little girls, who are dancing queens, her adventurous husband, and the volunteer work that fills Christine’s calendar and heart. We talked about her sweet English Labrador, with a pedigree that goes back generations and her dedication to hitting the gym, which she does religiously. This girl can climb a rope faster than a kid in gym class! Christine's passion for fitness has even sparked a new product line of athletic leggings (I snagged a pair and absolutely LOVE them!!).
And of course, we chatted about her creative process, how she got started and how to fit it all in.
Christine loves to “work big” and has found her niche capturing bright, color-filled flowers with layers and layers of paint and texture. Recognized for these stunning works, Christine paints each bunch with stunningly unique details.
Christine has cultivated her talent over the years with practice and persistence, but also comes by it naturally. With a mom who is an artist, Christine grew up in a creative home where her playroom was a launching pad for artistic exploration. A place where she was encouraged to explore and even paint on the walls! While Christine loved that freedom, her current process is much neater and organized than her childhood experience. Thoughtfully engaged in each painting, Christine sketches the design and sets to work adding color to the canvas, rarely a drop of paint touching the floor. She never starts over. She does not wipe the slate clean, but rather tinkers and tinkers and tinkers. Stepping back to examine, adding the just right touches to balance the color and composition until the painting is just right.
With all that Christine has on her plate, it is a wonder that she has any time to paint. Christine has figured out how to make work fit into her life and knows the value of bringing key people onboard to help manage it all. Meeting years ago at a local gallery, there was an instant connection between Christine and her now Assistant, Rachel. Over the years, Christine and Rachel have developed an amazing and collaborative relationship. As Christine’s right-hand woman, Rachel takes an active role in brainstorming painting ideas, color combinations, working with clients to find the just right piece, and shuttling art to client’s homes and regional shops. Christine and Rachel work so well together, it is fun to be witness to their ideas and collaboration.
The outcome of Christine's approach, process and balanced life is a delicately mastered piece of art that has garnered attention from collectors near and far.
So, grab a latte and join our conversation ...
How did your journey to becoming a professional artist begin?
I have always loved painting and creating as far back as I can remember. My mom is a wonderful pen and ink / watercolor artist and I was always encouraged to try new mediums and evolve as an artist early on. I won my first art show competition at age nine. I have experienced many different sources of art from sculpture to oils, pastels, you name it.
What is your process for creating?
My process for painting these days mainly comes from commissions. I have clients who are looking for a specific painting, pattern, color, or idea in mind. My associate Rachel and I work hand in hand with clients to perfect the image they have pictured for their wall. I do love to take time to create new paintings by inspiration. A walk through the woods or the floral department at the grocery store, there is always something colorful and full of life to paint.
What is your biggest success as an artist?
My biggest success as an artist would be the smiles and happiness my artwork brings to someone’s space, an office installation to brighten someone’s workday to a living room where it is loved by an entire family. This joy is what brings me to paint and why my colors are always so bright and cheerful.
What do you love about being an artist?
Art is my passion. I am so very blessed to be able to stay home and raise my children while creating works of art that bring joy and light into homes and personal spaces of others. I love volunteering with the art resource department at my children’s school and helping little minds create and grow.