Thursday, February 11, 2016

in the studio with christina power

Christina Power has been obsessed with making pretty things as long as she can remember but still feels that claiming the title "artist" is an incredibly audacious move. She wears many hats and laughingly calls herself a Jill-of-all-trades because she just can't stop trying new ways of expressing herself. She shares a wild and wonderful life with her husband and four children in beautiful small-town Montana.

I love seeing how other artists set up their creative space. Can you tell us a little bit your studio?

My art studio is tucked into an odd little corner in our master suite. Measuring a mere 4 feet by 7 feet, it is tiny, but that doesn't change the fact that it is both functional and pretty. My desk is flanked with stacks of drawers that store a surprising amount of supplies. Large pads of paper and other flat items too big to fit in the drawers slip vertically between the drawers and the wall. Upcycled tea tins house my collection of pens, and a vintage suitcase decorated with doodles adds whimsy and even more storage space. I try to keep my color palette light and airy and add interest with textures and shape to avoid making my space feel overly crowded. The bunting is created from hand-stitched vintage hankies inherited from my great-grandmother, and the garlands were gifts from friends. My mobile is made from driftwood and lace-imprinted paper clay.

What inspires you? What motivates you to create?

I have two categories of inspiration: lofty inspiration and lowly inspiration. Lofty inspirations are things like majestic mountains, a stunning sunset, the vastness of the ocean, the deep hush of a forest, or spending hours lost in wonder at an art museum. Lowly inspirations include things like the way the light shines out the door and across the hall floor, the way sugar spilled over the counter, or even sometimes gross things like the squiggles of a hair stuck to the shower wall. All those details, those moments--both humble and magnificent--combine to make life magical. I hope to be able to capture and share some of the wonder I feel in my work.
How do you organize your creative schedule?

I try to make a list of my priorities/deadlines and work methodically down from the top. I always have a ton of tabs open in my browser, and I use a LOT of post-it-notes because it seems like no matter how hard I try to pin them down, the lists are always in flux.

What is a typical day like for you?

Oh, this makes me laugh. When you have four children seven and younger there is no "typical day." There is caffeine--definitely caffeine--a lot of action and noise, quite a bit of scrambling to try to make sure the house isn't unsanitary or unsafe, laughing, lots of food making, conflict resolution, and adventures with some creative time squeezed in early in the morning, late in the evening, or during their afternoon rest.

What are you working on right now?

Recently I've been mainly creating with watercolors. I lay down translucent layers of paint with found objects--things like bubble wrap, kids' craft foam, cardboard, scraps of styrofoam, old plastic doilies, toilet paper rolls, suction cups, hand made stamps...really almost anything that has a texture or can make a pattern. I've even incorporated rain into my process of creating the illusion of texture with watercolors! When I'm satisfied with my layered backgrounds, I doodle a whimsical illustration and/or hand letter an inspirational word or phrase on top . Many of the originals are available in a local store, and the prints are listed in my online shop. I'm also working on a line of cards incorporating my quirky watercolor techniques, and I'm just getting started on an all black-and-white collection of images merging the ordinary and fantastical for a local show. So many ideas, so little time...

You can find more of Christina:
Etsy Shop      Facebook     Instagram  

"In the Studio" is a feature here on the blog where I share a glimpse into friends and fellow artists and crafters spaces. If you are interested in submitting your studio to be featured, send me an email at


Terri Paulson-Sasaki said...

Thanks for sharing. I love your garlands.

suzyb said...

Your creative space is lovely and refreshing with the white curtains and garlands hanging. Very pretty, very you. Thank you for sharing a little bit of yourself with us. :)
Victoria, BC

Brig said...

Christina, I love your work, I love your work space. Thanks for sharing this with us Alisa.

Handyman Mark said...

The history of Christina's desk is interesting. I, Christina's Papa, purchased it for her when we lived in Manaus, Brazil some time between January 1993 and January 1997. When we moved back to the States we liked it so well, we chose to have it shipped to us with some of our other belongings. Christina's creativity started in her childhood at this desk and it gives me great pleasure to see her taking it to new levels each year. The desk and art supplies we purchased during her growing up years are some of the best investments we made. I am so blessed to see her still using the desk and growing as a person and artist. Yes, I am a thankful and proud papa who still has love notes from my daughter on my wall. Notes that were probably drawn at that desk in our humid home only a few miles from the Amazon River. Oh, the memories the photos of that desk brings back to this Papa.

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Pat S said...

Hi, I love your Grandma's hankies reinvented. I like that you didn't cut them up and what a great way to showcase them. Thanks Pat S

Pat S said...

Thanks for sharing the back story on her desk. Your love and pride for your daughter just shines. Pat S

studioGypsy said...

beautiful soothing space!! :D xo

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