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Beautiful life reflected in paint by Clinton artist
FREELAND — Artist Danielle Christian, who is eight months pregnant, was just about to bite into a large egg-and-sausage sandwich when she was interrupted.
It was time for a chat about her artwork.
The nourishment that is necessary to the health of her December baby, is equal to the inspiration she has in her art and, being fairly new to the island, her instincts to nest deeply into the artistic community were already honed.
“I come from a family of artists,” Christian said.
“I grew up with lots of materials around me, and an enjoyment for art.”
Both her parents loved art, and encouraged the same in their children. Her mother painted and drew, and her father could play any instrument he touched, and worked often in the theater designing sets.
“My father gave me a sketchpad every year, which I loved,” she said.
But, although Christian had artistic influences at home and a great art teacher in high school, whom she said was inspiring without being overbearing, she actually ended up studying music in college. Once graduated, she found herself learning American Sign Language and became a teacher, working in the world of the deaf, which was, she said, sort of odd for a music major.
One day, she rediscovered her paintbrush and began painting with oils.
Her work developed, and she created landscapes, falling in love with color and developing an impressionistic style.
“I opened up to the beautiful things that I saw,” Christian said.
Indeed, one look at Christian’s oeuvre and the color, the strokes, the romantic impressions of a girl in a field of lavender, a contented sleepy child, a very pretty cow, all speak to a painter who is endlessly inspired by the happiness in the world around her.
After they arrived on the island in May, she and her husband James set up shop designing jewelry and parts for other designers and jewelers, which they sell exclusively online at AunaliArtisanmetal.etsy.com. That’s the couple’s bread and butter, but Christian said she has been painting the bucolic scenes of the island nonstop, and is eager to get to know the other artists and art lovers on the island. She is an accomplished portrait artist, having done previous commissions for friends and acquaintances near her former California home.
“I miss that,” Christian said of doing portraits, something she is keen to do for people here.
“I do a portrait and capture that look on someone’s face, and they love it. It’s not cool to do a painting and have it sitting in your house. What good is that?”
Christian’s work is currently on display at Art in the Café at Sweet Mona’s in Langley through November. That show also contains a series of mini-paintings framed with her husband’s hand-carved frames.
“Developing my style has taken many years, but it’s not merely about training,” she said.
“As artists already know — this is just who I am. What we really want now is to meet others and have the wonderful experience of artists working together in a community,” Christian said.
To see more, visit Christian’s webpage by clicking here.