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Episode 48
Artist Christiane Lyons

  • 2 min read

Episode Description

A discussion with artist Christiane Lyons. In her ongoing series “Some Women”, she explores, by distorting the female body, the cycle of women’s objectification throughout art history and culture while at the same time, attempting to break this cycle by imbuing the figures with subjectivity. One of her paintings from this series is included in the “Women Painting Women” exhibition currently on display at The Modern in Fort Worth.


Craig: [00:00:11] This is Art Sense, a podcast focused on educating and informing listeners about the past, present and future of art. I'm Craig Gould. On today's episode, I speak with artist Christiane Lyons. In her ongoing series "Some Women", she explores by distorting the female body, the cycle of women's objectification throughout art history and culture, while at the same time attempting to break the cycle by imbuing the figures with subjectivity. One of her paintings from the series is included in the "Women Painting Women" exhibition, currently on display at The Modern in Fort Worth. And now constructing the image of the modern woman with Christian Lyons.

Craig: [00:01:05] Christiane Lyons, thank you so much for joining me this week on the Art Sense podcast. Christiane, I usually like to start with artists with a hypothetical, which is if you're at a dinner party and you're seated next to someone who's never met you before, they don't know your work, they don't know who you are. How would you describe what you do and what your work looks like to them?

Christiane: [00:01:29] Well, first of all, I want to thank you for having me. And that's a great first question. And this one I get a lot. First of all, I would probably say that I'm an artist and then...that or sometimes say I'm a painter, but then I have to clarify that I'm not a house painter, I'm an artist. And then I usually get asked the subject of what medium do I work with? And I work with oil paints and what subject matter? And I am a figurative artist or a figurative painter, and I primarily paint women and then I go into the subject of that if they want to learn some more. I usually say that I take multiple images of women to create a new figure and a new female figure, and then I see where it goes from there.

Craig: [00:02:36] Yeah. I think you even said, you know, what are you you said, "some women". Isn't that the name of your most recent series?
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Christiane: [00:02:44] It's a name of an ongoing series that I started back when I actually came up with the idea around 2016. And it took me a while to be able to really hash it together and make it work. But it's kind of a play on the term or the saying. Some women, it's tongue in cheek because yes, it is some women. But sometimes when our culture that's used can be used not in...not in a great way. It can infer certain things and I liked the play on that. So to play with words.

Craig: [00:03:30] Like you were saying, they're kind of typified by their figurative the figures that they're obviously female form, but they're an amalgamation, right? That we we and we can see where the parts have been put together, sort of. Correct?

Christiane: [00:03:47] Yes.

Craig: [00:03:47] Where do you source that material? I mean, do you have models, friends? Is it take him from popular media?

Christiane: [00:03:55] Well, it's important for me. I started out knowing I wanted to I used to paint the figure. I used to paint the female figure primarily in graduate school and before that. And then I kind of after graduate school, I started incorporating more art history into my work. I've always been dealing with appropriation, actually, even in high school before I knew the term was appropriation and in a conceptual manner. And that kind of built more in grad school and on. And I knew I wanted to go back. I was like kind of in a slump, actually, and I knew I wanted to go back to painting the female figure. And I was like, What way can I do it in a new way that's going to challenge me? And I was looking at women and other not just women artists, but artists in general that have kind of challenged that. Like Wangechi Mutu, her collage work, her earlier collage work that incorporates painting. I was really interested in that and I was interested in trying to find a way of doing that and speaking about such things, but doing it all with paint. So yes, they do appear kind of collage together and I get the images from doing random searches on the Internet and it's important to me and I put in like key terms that have been used throughout art history and our visual culture to describe women like model or a pose laying down. Or sometimes they put in even the word Olympia and I see what pops up and I put color. And it's always so interesting to me to see what comes up. And I, I really like working that way because to me it's's what people are currently looking at and being influenced by. And it's important to me to work with images that that is being that people are looking at right now and dealing with those images in some way.

Craig: [00:06:32] And that's really interesting. I mean, it's almost like it's almost like you're writing your own algorithm on what is the world searching for in terms's almost like I wouldn't say an everyman. I mean, it's every woman. It's a reflection of what imagery is being put out there for the female form at this point, right?

Christiane: [00:06:53] Mm hmm. Yeah, it's very interesting. It's particularly interesting to see how. It's it's getting wider, too, which I think is great and less. It's you can gradually see snippets of it getting more inclusive. And like a lot of non-binary people have shown up in my in my searches to which I think is fascinating. And not just women that are size 2 you know and what we think of in our culture as models right now. So, yeah, it gives me a lot of information. I'm sure Google has its own algorithm.

Craig: [00:07:50] Right. Oh, I'm sure. Right. Google knows way too much about us, right?

Christiane: [00:07:55] Yeah.

Craig: [00:07:56] And it'd be interesting, you know, if if I search for the same terms, whether I would even see the same images that you see. Right.

Christiane: [00:08:03] Exactly. Yeah.

Craig: [00:08:05] So how do you cure rate that bevy of images that that come back? I mean, are you just kind of going with your gut? Are you thinking about how these may possibly go go with one another? Do you collect, you know, dozens and dozens and dozens and then kind of look at piecing things together or how does it. Yes, all of the above. Right.

Christiane: [00:08:28] That's what I do. I use Photoshop to make maquettes that I then what I call maquettes or sketches and then I print those out and then that's what I work from to paint the final painting. And so I use the feature in plugging Adobe Photoshop here, but I use the feature in Photoshop - Bridge - where you can collect images. And then I start to look for ones, yeah. That have certain similarities or might be interesting or don't have similarities that might be interesting, and that's what makes them interesting. And then they might appear good together in some way. And I usually start with a central figure and then build on that that I'm interested in. And it's more it's almost well, for right now, for example, I'm starting a series, it's a continuation of this series of "Some Women", but now I'm bringing animals into it and how they're used into in our culture particularly and ads and are being objectified in the same way that women are. And I come up with a lot of interesting things and it's been really fun to try to put those two together. So something will, I don't know, like for like right now I'm looking at I found a photo that interested me that has a bunch of rabbits in it and it reminded me kind of Alice in Wonderland. And then so of course my mind immediately goes to them because I named my paintings after women that I admire, women artists, my mind goes to like, "Oh, I could possibly name it after Alice Neel and I could have some." Then I, then my mind goes to what art history reference could I use in the background? So I've been starting to incorporate art historical references in my backgrounds to create almost like a surreal environment for them and what could emphasize that or play upon that Alice theme. So I found an early Per Kirkeby that has this mushroom in it and tree and and so yeah, that's how it kind of my brain goes in all fires in all different ways.

Craig: [00:11:03] You know, it's really interesting because I mean, I think one of the hardest things as a figurative artist who wants to be conceptual, I think is trying to get to like a creative subconscious. Right. And like you're in and I hear you going through a creative process where you're you're trying to pull in these non-linear things, but in a way that they all relate to, to one another in some small way. And I feel like you're you're kind of drawing on on a knowledge of the art world and art history to try to create these images that can communicate on a lot of different levels. Because, I mean, the first level, it's what do you see from across the room and visually, is it stimulating? But for the person that can recognize Frank Stella or Matisse or whatever or, you know, recognize the name, you know, you start kind of piecing together layers of meaning, right?

Christiane: [00:12:11] There are a lot of layers, not only in my maquettes, but in the work itself. It just yeah, there's a lot going on in my work. Recently, someone called it raucous, which I thought was very cool. And yeah, the layers of meaning and the layers in which the piece of work hits you and I, conceptually, I learned from. The best. My mentor was John Baldessari. So he always talked about the different layers of that, of meaning that the initial first layer of its it can be a great idea but it's still gotta look good basically is what he told me once. And then from there, like, where can it take you? How far can it go? Is it a one liner or can it go kind of pushed farther than that? And I like the idea of being able to do that. And so not just attract the person that knows their art history, but also attract the person that doesn't know anything about art at all that might just like to look at a painting and get new ideas about art, hopefully.

Craig: [00:13:29] I saw in your bio that you studied at UCLA and study under John Baldessari, Elizabeth Payton. And I think if I were looking at your your body of work and not knowing that, I don't know if it would have struck me, their influence. 

Christiane: [00:13:46] Really? Oh, that's good to hear. It's interesting to hear.

Craig: [00:13:50] But once I read that, I feel like I can see them in there for for example, like the piece that is that the "Women Painting Women" group show at The Modern in Fort Worth. "Yayoi". I know the dots are associated with Kusama, but it's like those are kind of like, look, a lot like the dots that Baldessari always put over people's faces. Right. And and I know I think I saw some images that you had done a little bit further back where you were obscuring people's faces. And but can you kind of talk about how as an artist, you kind of pick and choose what becomes you? You gain instruction, you admire artists. And at the end of the day, it's kind of a supermarket of of things that resonate with you. How have you experienced that in terms of, at the end of the day, having something that I think really looks like yours and only yours?

Christiane: [00:14:51] That's a very good question. Yeah, I it's I feel it's taken me...I feel like my painting is always in my art. I'm represented by Meliksetian Briggs in Los Angeles and it's run by Anna Meliksetian and Michael Briggs. And Anna and I always had this discussion about she's like, I can tell you, because my work previous to this work, this series some people are confused that's to the jump from it was primarily about art history but it included images of women and and before that it was it was also more and then grad school is more about kind of pop culture and being in Los Angeles and had included figures and but she says I can tell she's like I can easily see through it and I don't know if other people can. And I mean, I can now and I look back at it and especially with certain pieces and how I was led to this point. And it makes a lot of sense to me and I'm just so grateful that I finally gotten to this point. But yes, I think when I went into grad school, right after I went to UC Berkeley for undergrad, and then I applied to grad school right after. I got accepted at UCLA and was like, okay, well, I got in, so I got to go. And so. I think I went and I went into it learning a lot there and but coming out not, you know, the work looks different. My work has matured since then. And I have solidified my ideas and I think I still have the voices of my professors in my head and the people that influence me when I'm in my studio.

Christiane: [00:17:10] I still have them asking their questions, but I don't. I feel like my work has gotten to that point where it is not as directly influenced by those words and it's more influenced by my words or in my thinking. And I think it happens quickly for some people, some artists and others. It takes some time, like me, I think. But I feel like I finally found a way that I want to express myself that's uniquely mine. I feel really strongly about and it's actually due to. I took a critique class with Laura Owens. I think it was my last semester in grad school. And I didn't I remembered at the time that I was working on other work and graduating. And I remember thinking, that's a great thing. And I was going through this hard time, I think, before I told you, before I came up with this work and she mentioned like, what would I paint if this was...she asked herself what would happen if this was my last day on earth? And I said, Well, that's intense, you know. And I got to the point, I was like, okay, I'm going to ask myself that. What would I paint if this is my last day on Earth? And yeah, I feel like this is what I would paint it. It combines all those things I love. It combines the female figure, it combines color and and art history. So and experimenting with what you can do with figurative painting in terms of the push and pull of abstraction and figuration. So I don't know if that answers your question or not, but if I rambled a little bit there.

Craig: [00:19:21] You know, the show is intended for you to ramble, not me. And so I apologize for the length of my questions, but...

Christiane: [00:19:27] That is okay. That was an intent. That was one that could lead to rambling, I think, on one's part because it was a long journey for me. I feel like to get to this point, but I feel like I'm in a good place now.

Craig: [00:19:43] So in your response there that that question of what would I paint if this were my last day, if this was my last painting? And I think, you know, I've talked to some artists and I feel like sometimes artists, you know, writers have writer's block. And I think sometimes artists can hit a similar sort of block if they feel the pressure to make the their next painting, their magnum opus instead of like instead of just making work. And it will come like putting the pressure on themselves that the next one needs to be my legacy. Do you ever feel that way?

Christiane: [00:20:27] Oh, I guess so, yeah. I mean, I probably when I was when I was younger and I think if it gets to the point where you just don't care anymore and because I need you you as an artist, because it's not like a I mean, there's so many professors, so many of my well, one in particular, it was like, if there's anything else you could possibly want to do in undergrad, then do that, you know, and it's it's not an easy profession to choose. And you go into it thinking that "it'll be fine", you know, and it's tough. And but the joy of painting, like for me, the joy of painting and experiencing the zones that I get into when I'm working, it makes it it just it's addictive. So I keep going back to it. And John once asked me if there's anything. He's like, If you've. Is there anything else that he's like, I'm not really a religious person. He's like, But if there's anything else that God has blessed you with, until that happens, stick with painting. And, and, and so, yeah, I feel like, I mean, he was meaning, you know, a higher power or whatever because he wasn't really a religious person, but. Yeah. It's. It's something I've always done. And now I'm rambling again. But I definitely, I think, had to get to that point where I was like, I'm making this work for myself. And if anybody cares, that's great. If anyone doesn't, I mean, I just keep making it because otherwise you just get too caught up in what the whole big art world. And I think it can influence your work and ways in which you may not want it to unintentionally.

Craig: [00:22:45] Sounds like you've always been an artist. When did you realize that was the case?

Christiane: [00:22:49] Probably in high school, actually. I had a great art history. I mean, a great art class or art drawing and painting teacher. She had us build our own stretchers and canvases. We could only use primary colors and black and white. And I became more serious about it then. So I knew when I went to college that I wanted to meet her art.

Craig: [00:23:17] You know, you mentioned earlier your gallerist, Anna. I met Anna at the Dallas Art Fair and there's the Dallas Art Fair. We were talking about your triptych of studies for "Yayoi". And tell me about that. Is the study is that something you use in your process all the time? And what information are you learning in your study as part of that process?

Christiane: [00:23:45] The way I work now, yes, I do my studies of usually everything before I start the final piece. And part of it is just to see if the figures flow together and are convincing of being human. And reading possibly as one figure. And also particularly for "Yayoi", because there is so much going on in that painting. I wanted to figure out a lot of...sometimes to figure out a lot of the colors beforehand. And I literally had boxes of paints that were specifically for certain areas of the paintings, like, say, for the dots and combinations that they used to make those colors. All that kind of research and trying to figure out color matching and everything. That's fun for me. I used to also paint for John Baldessari and so we had to that's probably where I learned the color matching the best. And it's a challenge sometimes. But I didn't I didn't start working with oil until college. So and I yeah, it's it's fun to research the oil colors, and I get kind of nerdy about it.

Craig: [00:25:17] No, no, I understand. I feel like color matching is easier with oil because I find that acrylic tends to dry a little bit darker.

Christiane: [00:25:28] Oh, yeah.

Craig: [00:25:29] And you think you're matching something just right? And when it's wet, it does. And then when it dries, you know, so you will make multiple studies in the course of doing that. 

Christiane: [00:25:41] Sometimes. Yeah. I mean with Yayoi that was the most formal one and that was the first time I experimented with doing a diptych-triptych "tych" situation, which I really enjoyed and want to explore more with either studies or actual paintings and. Um. I did. Sometimes it's just like to experiment to see how the paint looks when it's dry. So it's nothing that's been given to Ann and Michael. It's just in my studio. It's just for me.

Craig: [00:26:25] When I look at your work, I see, like, a delicate balance in the way you render your subjects. I mean, there are places where you give us more detail and places where your brushwork is more loose and maybe even an unpainted surface coming through. I mean, for example, this this painting "Yayoi" that we're talking about.

Christiane: [00:26:49] Mm hmm.

Craig: [00:26:49] It doesn't. It doesn't look like a Kehinde Wiley. How do you make those choices about how, because it is still figurative, how far you want to push realism versus having your painting be more painterly or showing more things that are implied? Again, that's really another really long question that I don't know if I think I'm the one rambling and so. Is that a question that sort of makes sense?

Christiane: [00:27:20] Yeah. Yeah, of course. It's important to my work actually. I use...I work ala prima so wet on wet so not letting layers dry underneath before applying more paint and I find that that gives off a more. Immediate approach or feeling about the work and lends itself to being more gestural and sometimes more abstract and lets me tap into my unconscious more and. I do the importance. I like to use areas where it's just the gesso or the original surface of the painting and combine that with the more rendered areas and then everything in between. To emphasize that, though it is a representational painting of someone and it's a subject, it's also still an object. So I like to play with that tension. And so whether it's either it's sometimes just instinctually comes out when I'm working, something will become more rendered than other parts. Or I'll have an idea that say, I know I can see in my head how I want to paint this and I want it to be more. And I often figure that out in my study in the studies as well too.

Craig: [00:29:08] Yeah, I know I've had some conversations with like classically trained portrait artists and they'll, they'll talk about a notion of found and lost lines, which is sort of a way of as an artist, you're directing the viewer's eye by providing more detail in the places where you want to, where you want them to look more closely. It's almost like you're providing more focus for them to guide their eye there versus versus other parts of the composition. And I just wonder, you know, I feel like for most figurative painters that that winds up being the eyes, right? Because the gaze winds up being focused. I mean, we're we're kind of drawn there anyway. And I feel like I see that in in your work that regardless of how loose the periphery is, things get a lot tighter the closer we get to the eyes. Is that just my impression or...?

Christiane: [00:30:14] I don't intend to do that? But it just happens because I usually like really fun to do. Right. But I hope, I hope that then by having other segments like particularly in the I like her dress is is just black oil her black and white dress the main dress in the front is just black oil paint and gesso canvas. And so it's really flat. And so then I hope that that comes forward just as much as the eyes do, if that makes sense.

Craig: [00:30:52] Sure.

Christiane: [00:30:53] And but the eyes are the most expressive part. And because I'm trying to make a figure that has a new subjectivity to them, I...I...That ends up being usually in the eyes and it happens usually unconsciously too, the expression. And then I know I'm like, "Oh yeah, there she is. There is Yayoi" I kind of welcome her.

Craig: [00:31:27] And I guess a lot of these paintings have have four eyeballs, right? And so there's lots, lots of opportunity to get there. Tell me about this group show that you're currently in at the Modern in Fort Worth. I recently had Andrea Karnes on the podcast to to talk about it. What seems really interesting, you know, I put myself in your shoes. I see all of these paintings and who who these paintings that you that you create are named after. You know, some of these same names are in this show that you're in.

Christiane: [00:32:06] I know. Yeah.

Craig: [00:32:08] And so it must that must really be a little surreal. How did Andrea Karnes reach out? Did did she reach out to you for a studio visit or a conversation, or had she known of your work? How did you first get contacted?

Christiane: [00:32:28] She met Anna and Michael. They represent the Bas Jan Ader Estate, which Bas Jan Ader was involved in a three person show, I believe, at Fort Worth. So they met her that way. And I think they just saw each other. And I think it was after the show and were reconnecting and talking about what they were doing. And she mentioned that she was painting, she was creating or curating the show on excuse me, on women, painting women. And as good gallery dealers should, they piped up and said, we represent two women that paint women and which is myself and Alex Heilbron, who's also in the show. And and Andrea, she ended up looking at images of our work. And she was actually on on her vacation. She managed to (with her two kids) she managed to squeeze in seeing some of my work in Los Angeles when they were visiting Los Angeles, because this is right after like everyone started being kind of able to go out after they'd been vaccinated initially or non-vaccinated or whatever you chose. People were leaving their houses and going on vacation and she then went up to San Francisco and I was able to meet with her for coffee, actually, and I showed her images.

Christiane: [00:34:10] So she had seen she had first thought about putting another painting of mine in the show that she saw in Los Angeles. And then she that was actually named after Maria Lassnig, who's in the show, which would have been kind of funny, actually. Right. And. We had coffee and I showed her what I was working on and immediately she was drawn to "Yayoi" and she had the faith in me to execute it from just seeing the maquette version of it. And I will always really deeply appreciate that about her and be grateful to her for that. And then to find out it was funny because when Anna initially told me about the show, it wasn't in reference to meaning she had just heard about it from an I wasn't in reference to my meeting Andrea. We kind of joked, Oh, like, wouldn't that be great if I could be in the show with Alice Neel and Maria Lassnig whom I'd named a painting after and all these people and all these great women artists. And then, yes, I was basically over the moon.

Craig: [00:35:39] I can only imagine. That's great. So you traveled to Fort Worth for the opening, right?

Christiane: [00:35:46] I did. As did Alex and Natalie Frank came to the opening and Apolonia Sokol came as well. And, yeah, it was it it was really wonderful. I had a great time. It was too short. Right.

Craig: [00:36:03] Did you have barbecue?

Christiane: [00:36:05] No, I didn't. I wasn't told I should.

Craig: [00:36:10] Did you have Mexican food?

Christiane: [00:36:12] Yes, I did.

Craig: [00:36:13] Oh, great. Great.

Christiane: [00:36:15] But, yeah, I and I got a lot of good pictures at the show, so. And I got to spend some time there the following day after the opening and just with the paintings. And yeah, it's a beautiful show. I think she really knocked it out of the ballpark, so to speak. That's awesome. And yeah, just and the way that she organized it categorically instead of chronologically, I think really and the pieces she chose, I just I think so smart to choose. And I just did the it kind of left me with this feeling of this really good, powerful feeling of empowerment. And it's kind of I describe it as a force sort of and I am a Star Wars fan, but and it's still resonating with me still. And I hope to go back before it closes so I can. Yeah.

Craig: [00:37:19] So you probably live near Skywalker Ranch, right?

Christiane: [00:37:24] Yeah. 

Craig: [00:37:26] You know,maybe the force is strong where you live.

Christiane: [00:37:29] Yeah.

Craig: [00:37:31] So tell me about the art scene in the Bay Area, because I've always been a little perplexed because I've I feel like all the ingredients are there for it to be a really artistic hot spot in terms of people who you think would be inclined to collect and people who are creative. But it you know, it seemed, you know, I lived outside San Francisco for five years. And it just it just seems like it it wasn't always bubbling up to the surface in terms of what people had on their plate there locally. What is it like from from your from your perception of of being an artist there in the Bay Area.

Christiane: [00:38:22] Well, I think a lot of people remember, you know, when they think about the Bay Area, they think about the Bay Area figurative artists, one of which is in the show Joan Brown who's very important. And. That. I don't. I mean, it's hard for me as I lived in Los Angeles for 11 years after I graduated. So I am connected to that, our world as well. And my gallery is there right now and. But all the professors I had at Berkeley were wonderful artists and were great professors. I was a squeak kamath. It was a pretty big famous Bay Area artist used to teach at Davis as well. Katherine Sherwood. And now I think. There's a lot of new galleries that are opening up that are getting a lot of great work, not just from the Bay Area but from the Bay Area as well. And the de Young also has a new...well, she's been here for a few years now. Claudia Schmuckli, who's bringing in contemporary work into the Young and the Legion of Honor and making, I think there's an effort to maybe grow on, hopefully build on. So people don't just think of, Oh, it's the Bay Area figurative artist, and then that was it. The hard thing is, is that it's so expensive to live here. So and but I mean, Los Angeles is getting that way is just as bad now. So it's I mean, in New York.

Craig: [00:40:27] Right.

Speaker2: [00:40:29] But luckily. I think I know there's a lot of artists that live out in Sebastopol or like near the wine country and they're making it work here. So. I think it's an exciting it's kind of an exciting place to be right now because it is growing and.

Craig: [00:40:56] Yeah, sure. Well, let me ask I mean, from from an artist perspective, what what what is important to you in terms of where you live? You know, from a marketability standpoint, you probably want your your gallerist to be somewhere where they get the most traffic of the right type of collectors. Right. But, you know, in the 2020s, can an artist live just about anywhere? You know, I think in the old days we would say, well, you really want your artist community. Is that becoming any more virtual? I mean, do you think so? Do you feel like you have an artist community in your area or do you feel like your community is more the folks that you went to UCLA with and they're in Southern California or New York or here or they're like, is our perception of community broader than, you know, geographically? Who lives down the street from me?

Christiane: [00:42:00] I think it's definitely broader. Yeah. Well, thing is Memphis, which John did and other artists, you know, trekking up the blocks in New York City with your work and and that's what people did. And and now, I mean, I have a community here where my studio is, which is in Sausalito and an old Liberty Ship building where they used to build Liberty ships during this been renovated into a bunch of different studios. It's been there forever. And so I have my community there and then. And then the friends I still keep in touch with in Los Angeles. And then just and then actually a lot of artists that I've met through online, virtually Instagram that I keep up with, that we have some connections or I met through some common people that we've started a dialog with. So yeah, I think it's really expanding and that's what's so great about it. I have become friends with artist Richard Wathen, who lives in Britain, and he used to show at the gallery that Michael Briggs was the director of in London. And if I have a painting question for him, I usually will send him a message and and we'll chat and he'll tell me about the work he's been seeing in London. And it's great, actually. I have a friend in New York that I do the same with. I talk to her on the phone all the time and she tells me about the show she's been seeing and vice versa. So. Yeah, I don't. Yeah, I think it's changing. But I also think it's nice to have that person that can come into your studio that's next door to you and then you're saying, okay, I'm working on this. Do you think this would work? Or, Hey, I found this great like oil color, like, have you tried this yet? Or this brush. And so there's I mean, there's benefits in both.

Craig: [00:44:17] So when you're in grad school, I mean, you you have endless opportunities to get feedback and people's critique. And obviously, you have to learn how to filter out the good information from the bad. But it sounds like you you have neighbors in your studio that can you can bounce things off of. And it's always nice when somebody gives you a tip on on a color or an artist or a brush and, you know, like, oh, hey, I need to check that out, right?

Christiane: [00:44:50] Yeah. The tools. That's important. The tools and all the. And I mean. Getting in. Some people get more into it, and I'm one of the ones that gets into what kind of oils they use. And so it's always interesting to find people that like to have that dialog and then going to the openings here and seeing the different shows. And San Francisco helps a lot as well because.

Craig: [00:45:19] I'm going to ask this question only because you said you heard out on on oil paints. So what do you get excited about?

Christiane: [00:45:26] Luckily, I paint family. And well, Michael Harding, I mean, you can't really do much better than I mean, you can. I mean, Williamsburg. Harding. Windsor and Newton. And the Amsterdam one I'm blanking out on that. Elizabeth Peyton. Yeah, she introduced that to me. Neutral tan is the main one I use from them. There's certain colors that I use from different makers and they're all different, like the academy and read from like going on about this. But the cadmium red from Michael Harding is totally different than the cadmium red. Both the academy and the reds, the lights are completely different shades and the Williamsburg one. And but Michael Harding, I mean, he has paints that he makes a lapis lazuli paint and an original Chinese crimson or vermillion paint. That's real. And he makes a real. There's this other color, too. It's not made anymore that he makes, but so that if you want to invest the money and you can. And what's funny is that like, you can't I guess in in in the United Kingdom, you can't use a paints that have lead in them. So he has to make alternatives because he makes a led white or different whites. And you can get them here, but you can't get them there, even though his paintings, his oil paints are made there. And so that's always a debate that Richard and I have, because he...not a debate, but he he's upset because he can't use their prominence. Right. So, yeah, yeah. There's my nerdy. Yeah, my my nerdy. I can go on.

Craig: [00:47:28] Well, I mean like, you know, I'll use Windsor Newtons and I'll like often choose the hue because the hue is they're, they're trying to match the color without the, the carcinogenic heavy metals, you know, or. Right.

Christiane: [00:47:45] Right.

Craig: [00:47:45] Because I can't trust myself then I'm not going to, you know, accidentally stick the end of my brush in my mouth at some point along the way.

Christiane: [00:47:55] Yeah, I guess you do what you do. Run into that. Yeah. Yeah. But you have to be careful. I think people are a lot more careful than they used to be with those kinds of things.

Craig: [00:48:05] So what's on the horizon? Do you feel like "Some Women"? Do you feel like there is enough variety in in that mix that you have years of of work ahead of you? Or do you already do you already you already foresee divergent paths? You know, because some artists wind up having multiple bodies of work that they can kind of rotate through. Well, how do you feel about where you are?

Christiane: [00:48:35] I feel really excited. I this so far, I don't see the end of the paintings that I'm going to make with these that where these animals are combined with the women. And then after that, I've already have an idea for a show as well or for a series that continues with this, that addresses actually addresses mental illness and how women have been perceived in our history, like Medusa and Ophelia and paintings like that, which will be fun to dove into when it gets to that point.

Craig: [00:49:27] Great. So, Christiane, if folks wanted to keep track of you and your your work and how things are progressing, where's the best place for someone to stay up on your your comings and goings?

Christiane: [00:49:44] Probably. Well, my website, which is my name dot com and then my gallery, Alex, Eddie and Briggs and then Instagram for things that are happening in my studio that are going on now. I usually post, I try, I try to keep up to date with Instagram. I'm getting better at it. Right. And yeah, that's, that's where I posts a lot of my studies too. And like I said, that's where I've met conveniently for all. There are some bad things about Instagram, but there are some good things about it because I've. Have a lot of nice artists and have started a lot of great dialogs that way too. So. 

Craig: [00:50:39] Awesome.

Christiane: [00:50:40] Yeah. And I always answer people back.

Craig: [00:50:43] Great. It's very courteous.

Christiane: [00:50:47] Well, it's a way to meet new people.

Craig: [00:50:48] Yeah. So, you know, I don't know if everyone's willing to meet new people. And so, you know, thank you for being willing. And thank you for being willing to talk to me.

Christiane: [00:50:59] Yeah. You always have to have curiosity about something. It makes life interesting.

Craig: [00:51:02] I'm very curious. And so, Christiane, I really appreciate your time today. And I thank you for answering my long-winded, prying questions. And, you know, I wish you all the best.

Christiane: [00:51:19] I thank you. And thanks for having me. It's been a real pleasure to speak with you, and it's always nice to have those questions to answer because I love talking about my work and particularly getting nerdy about oils and all that. And so it's it's a nice opportunity to be able to talk about it. So I appreciate you giving me access.

Craig: [00:51:48] That's all the time we have for this week. You've been listening to Art since you can find the show on Apple Podcast, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. If you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe. And while you're there, please rate the show and leave a quick review. Your feedback is the key to other folks finding us. And if you'd like to see images related to the conversation, read the transcript and find other bonus features, you can go to and click on the podcast tab. If you'd like to reach out to me, you can email me at Thanks for listening.

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