Christina Paints for Smiles

An Artist Bio from Crayon to Painted Stories

Silly title, I know.  It's downright corny.  However, my first memory of artwork was the mural in my nursery that my mother painted.  The walls were simply painted in primary colors of blue skies, puffy white clouds, rolling hills with flowers, and balloons.  It was the happiest room in the world and I wanted all rooms to be happy.  It is no surprise that I have done my share of children's murals; in private homes, church nurseries, preschools, restaurants, and even gym tanning rooms.  

Artistic talent runs deep in my family, the Italian side especially has a myriad of creators with artistic flair.  We have furniture designers, mosaic artists, potters, jewelry makers, tailors, fashion designers, and fiber artists to name only a few.  My uncle gave me my very first "real" set of oils and I saved up months of babysitting money to buy my first set of "real" art pens before I was 12 years old.  I've learned many artistic skills through the years by studying under those who master their craft, from jewelry to ceramics and everything in between.  I love to create in many ways but the way that comes naturally is with pen and brush.  I have developed my own styles while taking in all that I can from not only my family but by studying those I admire and adding classes here and there.  I like to try new things with assorted media but often come back to watercolor and ink as my favorite and take every opportunity I can get to learn a new artistic skill.

I enjoy art with a purpose and collect pottery, it's one media that I do not create for myself and admire greatly.  My collection is a few small favorite pieces that I have purchased over the years from friends but mostly I rescue lonely bits from thrift stores.  First thrown mugs that are lopsided or a glaze gone wrong that ends up on the toss out shelf often comes home with me to be set on display or used in my studio.  I love when the purpose of a piece of art is function that is combined with beauty.  Even when it is less than perfect, it is still beautiful. 

The purpose for my art is to make people smile, even just a little bit.  It's often too colorful to be serious even if the nature of the art should be a bit subdued.  Often, it's whimsical or quirky and mostly, I create art for the eyes of a child.  That first look at color or a painted face, I hope may cause that child to move in for a closer look and realize that the painting is all for them.  

I don't do murals much anymore for mainly two reasons; ladders and scaffolding.  I do, however, continue to enjoy bringing smiles with brushstrokes of color.  When I can't think of how to make others smile with my artwork, I paint what makes me smile; coffee.  I paint coffee cups, coffee beans, spilled coffee, people drinking coffee, and coffee pots.  I think that it makes my mother smile too because so many have gone home with her.  It all seems right since she was the one who helped start my artful journey with a simply painted, happy mural.  


 A world of smiles at Ridgedale Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee!