Interview with Contemporary Artist Chris Brandell
I’m excited and delighted to introduce Artist Chris Brandell as the first artist to be interviewed on my website’s blog.
Chris’s art has sold both locally and abroad, and she has private clients as far away as Singapore.
Her work has been featured by Saatchi Art the world’s leading on-line art gallery and by Christopher Michael Galleries LLC in their Artist Directory.
Chris Brandell was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York. In the 70′s, her family moved to Virginia where she has resided ever since. Chris is an abstract artist painting in oil and acrylic. She began exhibiting her paintings in 2012 after being inspired by her interior designer and friend, Joanna Abizaid of Cline Rose Interior Design.
She is an executive in the Washington DC Metropolitan area government contracting industry. She holds the position of Chief Operating Officer for Trowbridge & Trowbridge, LLC where she has worked since 2010.
When did you start painting?
I didn't actually start painting in a way that I would want anyone to know about until 2012.
Art school or self taught?
I didn't go to art school although I wish I had. Being self taught has allowed me unlimited creativity, but I always appreciate being able to apply the structure of what I learn so I sometimes think that I will enroll in a college program at some point to gain new perspective in my work.
Tell us about your studio:
My studio is currently in my home. I have a large wide open room that is 30 x 13' that is very sunny. I have white walls and a rustic wood floor, both of which are covered with paint splatters from many hours of messy painting. I like to paint my canvas on the floor and also taped to the wall. I don't use an easel because I move around too much while I am painting. I love having the ability to paint any time of the day or night when in the mood strikes me and so I will probably always have a studio at home.
What is your painting schedule like?
I paint every minute I get the chance. But my routine schedule typically is a couple of late nights during the week and a lot of hours on the weekend.
You are an abstract artist, so how would you describe abstract style to someone unfamiliar with it?
My style is all about the color. In my oil work and there are layers and depth of intensity. While in my acrylic work I go for more of an ethereal, simple almost watercolor like affect. I love the fact that the different mediums can allow me to express my color passion differently.
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good abstract piece?
Passion and patience are two elements that are critical in my work. First, I have to feel the color-the color has to make me want to keep going-my passion for it has to be tangible. Second, I have to be patient because sometimes the piece doesn't develop right away. I may have to put it down and come back to it or I may have to just keep adding more even though it doesn't seem to make sense.
What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
Perhaps my love of color and how I express it consistently across many canvasses. I sometimes think that I need to specifically create a body of work - a series of 10 or 12 paintings that work together - and then I step back and I realize I have already created one because of how my pieces work together in the first place.
You work with oils and acrylics. What are the best parts about working with each of these mediums?
I love the open time of oils because I can keep playing and keep building in my wet-on-wet process which is perfect for my small pieces. With that said I love working large-format pieces in acrylic because they dry quickly and I can create lots of layers. I love the painting over old large pieces to create something new.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Keep painting, no matter what happens. Paint, paint, paint.
What’s your advice to young artists?
Paint as much as you can-the old adage practice makes perfect really works in art. The more you can develop your style through active painting, the better you will be and your confidence will grow as you develop. Balance that with networking and social media to get as much exposure as possible.
Any upcoming exhibits we should know about?
I have a number of exhibits coming up in 2015 which I'll be revealing later in the year on my blog. For now, I have a group exhibit starting in New York on November 13 at the N.A.W.A. Gallery.
Where can my readers find your work?
On my personal website: chrisbrandell.com
On my FaceBook page
On my Instagram account
On my Twitter account
On my page on Saachi Art