Christine was born in Syracuse NY, and lived in NJ until entering Arizona State University as a painting major, where she received a B.F.A in Graphic Design.
Christine is now the Creative Director and owner of Maximo Branding, a branding agency in Scottsdale, AZ. Her work has been recognized and published in national and international design publications and has received over 80 awards through the years.
In 2017 Christine and her husband Joe started OMGPetArt, an online e-commerce gallery of Custom Pet Portraits, Pet Angels and other gifts for pet lovers. After raising two sons, she started painting again. She loves dogs and paints them in bright colors. Most of the dogs she paints are older or have passed over the Rainbow Bridge and their owners want something that reminds them of their best friend. She began painting dogs in acrylic paint, but it would take months to complete one painting. Now she paints digitally, with a stylus and tablet on the computer. This allows her to make quick changes that don’t require waiting for the paint to dry. This keeps her other hand free for a glass of wine!
“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we
have the eyes to see them.” -John Ruskin
“Thus the minuscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire world…. Miniature is
one of the refuges of greatness. “ – Gaston Bachelard
I draw inspirations from nature, which has created an inexhaustible wealth of
wondrous forms, particularly at the microscopic level. Viewing the world through the
microscope lens fascinates me. It is amazing to observe the spectacular diversity of
the tiny hidden world. Most micro life forms are too small to be seen by the naked eye,
and yet their distinctive existence and beauty is grand.
I reinterpret scientific phenomena into art forms. Working primarily with porcelain
paper clay, I hand build structures with slabs and coils from the inside out. I build
vastness with thin structures to let the intricacy of nature speak for itself. The skeletal
lines of structures create harmonious volume within an intimate scale form, providing
a sense of ethereality, fragility, and preciousness.
Experimenting with various glazes, either allowing the glaze to run, to drip through or
to connect to other parts becomes an integral part of the whole structure, or over
spraying the glaze on the surface so that it organically forms a soft layer of skin.
The more closely we look at the world around us, the more we can appreciate and
understand our own place in the complex web of life.
I spent over 60 years organizing and controlling my life. From a young age, I was an explorer and adventurer. I approached life with a decidedly left-brain approach as demonstrated by a number of years spent as a computer systems analyst and programmer.
For me deciding to “retire” was not a decision to retire from being active but to free myself from a perceived need to earn an income and also to explore my right-brain. Retiring freed me from the need to define success in a materialistic manner. Self-expression and discovery seemed like a natural direction for me and art seemed like the perfect vehicle. I love working with my hands and pottery felt like a good choice.
My point is that I come to ceramic art with a non-traditional approach. I want to explore. I am not driven by financial success or a need for recognition – I certainly do not object to these and recognize that they can be useful.
I have now been doing ceramic art for almost 8 years and rather than building a consistent body of work (many have told me I need to do this), I continue to explore and experiment. I have a very full lifetime of diverse experiences to bring to my self-expression. It could be said that adventure is my consistent theme.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Chris Czaja makes paintings, drawings, and prints. He earned his BFA in Drawing from Arizona State University in 2015 and received the Good ‘n Plenty Artist Award from SMoCA in October 2015. He co-founded Blushing Soup Press, which specializes in producing small-run artist’s books and other unnecessary ephemera. In addition to maintaining a dedicated studio practice, Czaja teaches visual arts to 4th-8th grade students.
Czaja uses art to play at the absurdity of everyday life, saturating common images with bad jokes. His playful approach to color and structure engage beauty in a purposefully clumsy manner. Czaja draws inspiration from visual artists like Katherine Bradford to kooky songwriters like Jonathan Richman. Recently, his paintings have been a window into the unfortunate incidents of his characters. These incongruent narratives make Chris laugh, and he hopes that you do too.
My work expresses an interest in the creation of space through color relationships and linear design. Using these minimal tools my work accomplishes an illusion of space, utilizing basic patterns in geometry, color, and line. The interest in creating spacial depth has been around since the beginning of painting; however, in the contemporary era, these kinds of spacial illusions can be more easily rendered digitally. I choose to paint in order to express an interest in manually creating a calculated illusion. By emphasizing the depth of the space through working with simple geometry and a careful application of graduated colors, new shapes begin to emerge. In most recent works, the illusions created by color gradations and linear perspective lead the viewer through an imaginary minimal space into a life-like destination.
My interest in studying modern and contemporary art history has led me to various art sites and museums in the United States and Europe, creating an enthusiasm for adapting minimalistic methods into my work. The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas remains to be my greatest source of inspiration for its utilization of clean lines, simplistic design, color, and light.
I am a seamstress, painter, and tattoo artist. My art “day job” is doing custom tattoos and 3-D nipple restoration, the rest of the time you’ll find me painting or sewing/dying fabric. I enjoy sculptural fiber work and sew mostly by hand these days, often using older recycled materials. As for painting, I work mostly with acrylics and will paint on just about anything using as much color as possible! My job requires I create a very precise finished product and so in my “off time” art I find that the process itself is much more important than the finished piece; I just want to have fun doing it. Lately, I’ve been playing with and exploring digital art and hope to do more with that in the future.
I strongly believe that artistic ability is not limited to those who refer to themselves as
“artists”. All of us are born with intense creativity deep within us and simply need that
little spark to ignite the flame. I found my little spark at the Institute of American Indian
Arts in Santa Fe, NM where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. I work with glass, clay and various natural materials to create pieces both large and small. I recently began making glass beads with cremation ashes encasedinside; this is by far the most meaningful and rewarding type of art I create. Last summer I went diving in the Australian Great Barrier Reef and brought alonga string of glass beads made with the ashes of 6 different people, including my brother. I placed the beads at the bottom of the reef where they will float with the coral and sea creatures for thousands of years. I absolutely love the thought of that.