I wake up, get up and walk through the day trying to keep my eyes open. Sometimes I get obsessed with places and stories and I fall in love with them as if they had a soul which I think they do. I like to take my walks in the unknown cities without having a map. And when the twilight comes, everything feels possible and nothing is quite certain. To me twilight is a perfect time to look for something special that was once lost on one of the darker streets of my life. Perhaps you have been to some of these streets too. Then if you look at my paintings, they will speak to you.
I like to work with oils and I’m trying to work with the texture in a way that at times the oil feels like watercolor… This is how I’m trying to put more air into my painting. And if there is enough air, there is a chance of flying which is a part of most of my dreams.
Hi, Christina! It’s a great pleasure to talk to you about your work. First, tell us a little bit more about you. Who is Christina and what she does?
Christina is also in the process of finding this answer, who Christina is…I think this is also a part of the living process – to search for the understanding of who we are and what we are here for. But I what I can say for sure already is that Christina is a dreamer, and a traveller. And I’m trying to live my dreams, and paint my dreams and dream my paintings, and see how I can reflect this vision of the world around me and see if this vision makes a meaning for someone else. I love painting and writing, because paintings and words are a perfect way of talking; you can speak to a stranger in the language of pictures and words and be understood fast.
Do you consider your style as Impressionism? Nowadays, how difficult is it not to follow the abstract imperative style?
People say I paint in a post-impressionistic manner, but when I started painting I did not know much about styles. I tried to search for the way of expressing what I had in mind and as I was doing it, somehow it just felt natural to paint in the way that I do now. So the meaning came first, and the form somehow came as a result. Because of that, I almost never use the brushes, ever. I only use for painting the palette knives and my fingers and somehow it feels right. And it doesn’t feel difficult to choose your own way and follow it. Now the world offers so many possibilities to express yourself in any possible way without having to follow a certain strict path and you can do what you like in terms of artistic expression. It is another thing whether your audience will like it too or not, but that is already another question.
Explain us a little bit all the process of painting: from the idea to the final product.
There is always a problem with the final product for me. You know it is like this, it never seems final to me, I paint and paint, and find little details and in the end of the day someone has to drag me away from the painting and tell me “stop, it’s over now!” I’m just a person of extremes and sometimes it is important to have a balance and know the ending point. Perhaps it’s because I never like to see the painting finished because it is almost like putting an end to something beautiful. To me it is most beautiful when it is in process, but also the beginning, when you stand in front of the canvas and its white and you make a first move. There is usually an idea, and sometimes it comes because I have seen something on the street which touched me, or it can be the music and the images that sometimes build in my head from listening to singers like Sade, Melody Gardot, Painochocolate, some electro tango or classic tango, or singers like Leonard Cohen and many others. It can be story that I heard somewhere and it touched me so much I want to put this energy into a painting. And in the process the idea sometimes changes and I paint something that I didn’t plan in the beginning, so in the end I don’t always know the result. Sometimes my paintings surprise me in the end, sometimes not.
If London is a watercolour and New York an oil painting, what would Seville be like?
Seville would be a mix of the richest colors that would help me paint the heat, the longing that is present when you walk down the narrow streets, the stories that are hidden there behind each corner. I would use the transparent colors to encode in the painting the smell of the orange trees and the flamenco music, the sadness, the emotion. I love Seville. I have been only there for 4 days but these were very intense days of my life, when I walked around Triana and felt the strong energy of this city that I’m going to try and paint one time.
Have you got a favourite artwork among all your production?
Yes, some works mean more to me and I don’t sell them. In the beginning when my works was just starting to be successful and people wanted to buy I would agree just because I wanted to share my work, but now when I try to paint some of my earlier works and I understand that for me it is not possible to replicate my work, because each work has a particular energy that is characteristic for that particular timing of painting. I have decided that I don’t sell my favorite artwork, at least for now.
One of my favorite artworks is My Secret Place, the other one is The New Day of my Life.
My favorite one is Waiting for the Summer, could you tell us the story of this amazing canvas?
Yes, I like this painting a lot too. In fact, it has just been selected as part of a Saatchi Gallery collection, called Spring Fever. But in fact, even though it is called Waiting for the Summer, this work actually portrays autumn, or at least I had autumn in mind as I was painting it. As a matter of fact this was my reflection on the autumn in Miami, although in Miami you don’t really feel the seasons so much. But I was once in Miami in the late autumn and there was this feeling in the air, of something being lost. And this painting was my reflection of it. Miami is a very special place to me, I used to love it since the time I was an exchange student in the US and this place was my childhood representation of the little warm paradise where love is always in the air and dreams always come true.
In fact I still think that dreams always come true if they are so strong in your head that you can paint them with your eyes closed and make them a reality. For the artist it is a bit easier, as artists paint their own reality and as they share this world of dreams with others, this world becomes more real.
Thank you so much Christina for your time it was a pleasure to get to know you better.