Her recent trip to Cuba with its focus on art, music, and dance inspired Chris’ recent solo show of landscapes in oil at the Minneapolis Club. Influences were the past and present, the urban and natural environments.
Lately she has also been drawn to sea and sky landscapes, including the Turneresque Laguna/Catalina work, which was commissioned for the international art market. She has also finished “Forbidden Flowers” and is currently working on “Pairissiene Dreams – an Ülric triptych work – also scheduled for the international art market..
Chris was a director of Art Workshop International in Assisi, Italy, for nine summers, working with award-winning artists and writers. Art masterpieces and the Italian history and culture with roots back to Etruscan and Roman eras sparked her artistic vision. Her time in Italy was captured in the solo show at the Womans Club in Minneapolis, Visions of Italy. Included were landscapes of walled streets, vistas of the Umbrian valley, groves of ancient olive trees, buildings illuminated at night.
Personal connection and the emotional responses they elicit underlie all of Chriss paintings. The goal is to make a strong visual statement that transcends language to communicate beyond the mere representation of images using oil pigments on canvas or board. Her painting process involves an evolution of the image and often a painting may be lost and found several times as she works on it. Colors may be layered for a pentimento effect.
The message of the artwork may be beauty, love of nature, or an interesting structure. Her paintings often land somewhere between realistic and impressionist and use a light and bright palette. Her process is to use a sketch or a photograph as a jumping off point. She likes to let a painting evolve and see where it takes her.
Over the last 16 years, mentors who influenced her are New York City artists Bea Kreloff and Edith Isaac-Rose, Michelle Rogers in Rome, and Andrea Lawson in Seattle. Chris has also studied at the Minnetonka Art Center, Edina Art Center, and the studio of Sally Brown.
She has won awards at Minnetonka Arts Center, Robbin Gallery, and Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. Her artwork is in private collections in the U.S., England, and Germany. Some of her earlier artwork may be seen at www.mnartists.org (under Chris Spencer). A new commission from Globien, Forbidden Flowers, was recently completed for the international market, using the Richter model.
Chris is a co-producer for Walking Path Entertainment LLC, which is raising production funds to bring the original play Exit Strategy, written by Minnesota playwrights Bill Semans and Roy Close to Broadway. Acclaimed director Sir Michael Lindsay-Hogg has signed on, calling it the best three-hander (three actors) hes seen since Agnes of God, which played on Broadway 2 years, won the Tony Award for best actress, and was made into a film.
A retired vice president, investments, at Morgan Stanley, Chris is currently on the board of Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts and the investment committee, AAUW. She lives in Minneapolis and Bainbridge Island, WA with her black cat, Charlie Ferrari.
– Chris Spencer