Local artists finds relaxation in creating art

A painting of pelicans soaring over the ocean waves is entitled Soaring and Christine said that is her favorite and that it broke her heart when it was sold.

I met fine arts artist Christine Crosby a year ago in Marion Square at the juried outdoor art exhibition of the annual Piccolo Spoleto festival and am now finally profiling her work.

A talented creative, Crosby lives in Summerville and has been painting for several years now. Her art gallery is in downtown Charleston. She has won a lot of awards through the years—just check out her website page: https://christinecrosbyfineart.com/other1.

She said on painting that she sold captured pelicans soaring over ocean waves. She said it was a fun painting to create and challenging to get the subject matter. She took photos while sitting on her boogie board out in the surf and then combined them to get the composition that she had in mind.

She also loves painting little turtles.

Regan: Tell us how you began as an artist? You had a health scare years ago?

Crosby: I did. I had a heart attack at the age of 34. After that, I knew I had to make some positive changes in my life. I have enjoyed drawing and painting since I was a small child. Painting helps me to relax and reach my “happy place.” Turning it into a new career was more accidental than anything. I joined the local artist guilds and began competing in art shows. My paintings began to sell from the shows and, before I knew it, I was painting professionally.

R: You work in oil? Any other? What do you like about working with oil? Is it hard?

C: I love working in oil, although I am proficient in watercolor as well. I have also worked in acrylics, charcoal, and pastels. I began painting in oils at the age of 12 and it remains my favorite medium though I did work in watercolors exclusively for many years. I do not find oils hard at all. They are most forgiving and, as long as you follow the rules, oil paintings last a very long time.

R: Are you self-taught? Of all the things you paint—landscapes, marine life, birds, fruit, flowers, etc.—what is your favorite subject or scene to paint and why?

C: I am predominately self-taught. I took drawing 101 at The College of Charleston and, early in my career, I took lessons with several other artists to learn to be more proficient in the different mediums. I love my lowcountry landscapes the most. I have lived here my entire life and I never tire of our beautiful waterways and marshes. They are ever changing. Then again, I absolutely love to paint underwater scenes and marine life, too.

R: Is there a certain artist you look up to? Who did you learn from? Is there any award you’ve won which stands out?

C: My first painting teacher was Jim Booth when I was 15 years old. My parents met him at Charles Towne Landing, and they talked him into giving me a few lessons. I didn’t take many lessons from him because he moved away that summer, but I learned my oil painting method from him. As far as awards go, I am always thrilled when I receive a People’s Choice Award. Other awards are nice, but they are the opinion of one person, and so the People’s Choice Award is special.

R: You teach art class at the Faith Sellers Senior Center? Anywhere else?

C: Yes, and I also teach workshops periodically for the Summerville Artist Guild.

R: What is it about painting which you love so much aside from being creative? Is it just plain relaxing? Does it ever stress you out (i.e., have you ever started to paint something and wanted to erase and start again?)

C: Painting and drawing are as natural to me as breathing. I was born with a love of it. I see something I want to paint at every turn. Since painting has become my career, there is a certain amount of stress involved especially when I am preparing for a large show. However, for the most part, I love it. I never erase and start again. Sometimes I feel like things aren’t going the way I planned, but I know that if I keep going, it will come together.

Mary E. Regan, Columnist, is a Publicist with her ProPublicist consultancy. Story ideas? Email: Mary@ProPublicist.com.

R: Any special art events or seminars coming up this year?

C: No, I have been having more heart health issues this year, so I have slowed down on my shows quite a bit. My next scheduled show is October 26 and 27 at Bluffton, SC. My paintings are always available at Studio 151 located at 175 Church Street in downtown Charleston which is open until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings.