“GIFTING ART” WITH CHRIS SHANDS
PH: What is heartwarming gift you have received?
CS: Although I had been working with textiles and clay for many years, I always wanted to try my hand at oil painting. A former coworker, who was immensely talented, and I used to discuss art during our lunch breaks. One day, he presented me with an enormous canvas he had stretched himself, and simply said, “Paint.” Thank you, Thomas, for this gift. Your faith in me has made all the difference.
PH: What is your medium and what you enjoy most about creating?
CS: I enjoy painting with oils primarily. The slow drying time allows me to push and pull the paint across the surface, enabling me to explore it’s infinite possibilities.
PH: What is one of your favorite holiday traditions?
CS: I’ve been hosting my side of the family on Christmas Eve for over 20 years. We prepare everyone’s favorite dishes, incorporating foods that represent my heritage; Gravet Laks, my dad’s favorite, beef tenderloin, a Buche de Noel, as well as cheese grits made with gruyere cheese, to please the southerners. My dad entertains us with ridiculous song parodies that leave us in hysterics!
CHRIS SHANDS ARTIST BIO
I am drawn to color and texture. I usually begin my paintings by laying down bold and random brush work. It’s at this time that my work is raw and makes me a little uncomfortable. I try not to think too hard about what will happen, but instead, focus on the process of painting. It’s a bit like meditation; letting go and trusting. I have to remind myself not to be afraid of ruining a piece, as I know in time, it can be rescued. A lot of editing takes place; layers are added and then scraped off, revealing a little bit of the paintings history.
I was a ceramic artist for 15 years before emerging as an abstract painter two years ago. I had always wanted to paint but found plenty of excuses not to. A health scare and an empty nest was what I needed to pick up a brush and begin. It’s been such a wonderful journey and I’m very grateful for the support of family and friends.
I am happily married and the mother of 3 beautiful daughters. Someone once told me: your work makes me feel good. I can’t think of a nicer compliment.
FOR THE LOVE OF ART!