Having a chance to take an art workshop is such a treat. I firmly believe that none of us ever graduate as painters. There’s always more to learn and every experience with another artist is a chance to broaden both technically and aesthetically. Recently, I had just such an opportunity with celebrated Connecticut pastelist Christine Ivers. I first meet Christine when she helped coordinate a workshop I was giving for the Connecticut Pastel Society in 2008. I’d been informed in advance of meeting her that she was an unfiltered, tell-it-like-she-sees-it kind of artist and that after meeting her, I would come to adore her as a person and once I saw her work, as an artist as well. It was true on both counts. Her paintings are described as vibrant and textural with dynamic lighting effects. They run the gamut between high contrast and quiet softness and often represent a quirky, introspective look at mankind’s urban existence. There is an Edward Hopper quality to many of her paintings and the longer you look, the more you see and feel. Christine, or Chris to everyone that gets to know her, is her artwork. They are synonymous.
A Career in the Making: Her artistic credentials are rooted in a BFA in painting from the Hartford Art School in Connecticut, which led to a 40-year stint in the advertising arena. She has operated her own agency since 1986 and has devoted much of her energies to working with artists to teach them ways to better promote themselves in the crossover world between fine art and digital photography.
Once her four daughters were raised, Christine returned to her true passion of painting with pastel and oil. She is a Signature Member and Past-President of the Connecticut Pastel Society, a Master Pastelist in the Pastel Society of America, an Elected Artist Member of Lyme Art Association, a member of the IAPS Master Circle, and she holds numerous other artist memberships. Her paintings have won many awards including the Art Spirit Foundation Silver Medal Award for Excellence in Pastel from the Salmagundi Club in NYC and hang in private collections throughout the United States. She has been published in Best of American Artists Pastel Edition, Practiqué des Arts (a French publication that features artists from around the world), American Art Collector magazine, and Pastel Journal (December 2012 issue, available at www.northlightshop.com).
The Art of Teaching: When she isn’t painting, she’s busy instructing, believing that it is part of her artistic calling to help hone other’s creative abilities. This desire to share has allowed her to travel nationally to teach workshops and to maintain a strong mentorship relationship with her local students, many of whom are today’s emerging pastel rock stars.
Painting the Night: Proficient in landscape, portraiture, and figurative work, Chris is best known for her nocturnal paintings that she refers to as “nightscapes.” Her surface of choice is created on Gator Board randomly coated with a black gritty pastel primer. This provides a contrast of tone as well as texture that gives her work its visual impact.
Working in this manner in her workshop definitely provided me with a much-needed challenge. While I may not become the next painter of the night, the learning experience was profound and I can already see the positive effects it has had on my work. Thanks, Chris, for a great experience. To see more of Christine Ivers work visit her website at www.christineivers.com.
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