Christina Smith of Earthly Images is our first artist feature of the Nelson Virtual Art Walk. Christina's online & in-store art showings take place from June 25th-July 23rd.
As some of you may know we have been carrying Christina's greeting cards for many years. Rich & bright colours, beautiful heart-centered images & themes that convey a connection to Spirit, Christina's art speaks to the soul and reminds us of our connectedness to each other, the Earth & the cosmos.
Christina has had her work published several times in the We’Moon calendar produced by Mother Tongue Ink in Oregon. She has also had her work featured in ‘Reve de Femmes’ published in France, as well as in ‘The Art of Pregnancy’ by Pachamama Publishing in Oregon.
"I paint to express my reverence for the magic of Spirit in all things… When I am painting, I recognize a sense of Divinity, flowing through me."
-(www.earthlyimages.ca - Christina's Biography)
Please enjoy our interview with Christina as she talks about her creative process, where her passion & inspiration come from and much more.....
Gaia: Hi Christina, tell us a little bit about yourself. Background, where you grew up, just a brief history of YOU...
Christina: I grew up in Vancouver. My Dad traveled from New Zealand to Vancouver in his early 20’s, where he met my Mom. I moved to the Kootenays in 2004 with my partner & our first child.
Gaia: What prompted your interest in art? Were there any art pieces, or was there a moment of inspiration that compelled you to pursue becoming an artist?
Christina: I have always loved creating art. In high school I finished all my academic classes early & so, I mostly took all art classes in grade 12. That’s where I first was introduced to oil painting. After high school I traveled to New Zealand & Australia and while I was there I got this overwhelming sense that I needed to paint. Pretty much ever since then, I’ve devoted as much time as possible to painting. Sometimes I’ve had the opportunity to paint every day for 6 weeks and sometimes there’s been no time for painting for over a year.
"Awakening Inner Vision" Christina Smith
Gaia: In your bio it says that you use water-mixable oil paints. Why do you use these types of paints for your art? How does it contribute to your art style? Do you ever experiment with other mediums?
Christina: I really like oil paints. I like the way the colours blend and the way you can remove colour with the paint thinner. But when I was pregnant with my first baby, I realized it was not healthy to be breathing these paints and the solvent, and magically I discovered water mixable oil paints. So really it was a health choice for my developing baby. Water mixable oils are similar to traditional oil paints the way the colours mix & blend, but they dry faster - more like acrylic. Water is used to thin instead of toxic paint thinner. I prefer oil paints over acrylic, because I often am creating the image as I paint and oil paints can move & change easily. I personally find it hard to keep colours bright with acrylic - everything ends up grey or brown. Sometimes I like to use water colours for fun, but the water mixable oils are my favourite.
Gaia: In your creative process, do you have pre-determined ideas for pieces or would you say they are more inspired as you work on them?
Christina: In my creative process I do always have an idea to begin with. Sometimes I’m processing something wonderful or terrible in my life and as I ponder, an image will come to me. I’ll start with a rough sketch. Then I translate that onto the canvas and it begins to take on it's own life. I listen & tune in and spend a lot of time just sitting and looking at the piece, then suddenly another idea will come and the image builds itself like that. Sometimes I create for a specific theme, like for We’Moon. I think about the theme and slowly inspiration will gift me with an image. Or sometimes I have an idea or theme, but I can’t envision anything. Then I start putting paint on the canvas and watch as an image starts to manifest. It is so magical!
"Fire of transformation" Christina Smith
Gaia: What inspires your art?
Christina: I think the inspiration for my art is really just me reflecting back my acknowledgement & awe of the infinite intelligence of the Universe.
Gaia: What do you do to help get you through any creative dry spells or blocks, if you have any of them?
Christina: The biggest block to my creative process is setting aside the time for it. Sometimes I just need to decompress for a day to get into that creative space. But if a painting feels stuck, I just set it aside and work on one that is flowing. Sometimes it may take years to complete a piece because on some level, I feel like I’m waiting to be ready to “see” what needs to happen next and when the time is right, it flows!
Christina: Hmm, shopping bag at Gaia? Always Nag Champa incense, bees wax candle, natural stone earrings and a little carved statue of Kali or Ganesha.
Find Christina's painting "Unity" on display and for sale at our store!
We also carry her journals, stickers & greetings cards! Come by and check out her work in person, check out her website virtually and stay tuned for regular Nelson Virtual Artwalk posts!
Christina's website: www.earthlyimages.ca