Christy Kinard’s art just makes you feel better. Focusing on floral still lifes that burst with color, Christy layers her work with fabric and paper and life. She shares with us the sources of her inspiration…travelling and living abroad, favorite artists, and a life well-lived.
Growing up in the south, I remember an abundance of colors that led to a great deal of inspiration. There was always a fresh bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table, providing each day with a new unique palette. Even the seasons in the south had an influence—from that distinctive yellow light that filters through the trees on a hot and humid summers day to the deep blue sky on a crisp January morning, colors were everywhere!
I first started painting at a very early age. I was always creating something at the kitchen table making sculptures out of colored homemade play dough, and I loved playing with spin art and water colors. I used to put food coloring in my lemonade to sell at my lemonade stand in the early ’80s. I believe the path of creating art chose me at a very young age.
As my enthusiasm for painting began to grow and grow, I started to look at other artists and really think about their process and what they were trying to say.
I loved Rauschenberg’s mixed media paintings using house paint and materials like burlap and other sculptural objects. I studied him very closely, especially his process of deleting and adding to the artwork.
I was also influenced by De Kooning, even though I wasn’t a fan of his figurative work. I loved his use of line and color, most notably the pink, and aggressiveness of the marks. I have to say, De Kooning was definitely an artist’s artist.
Probably my favorite artist of all time was Jean-Michel Basquiat. His freedom on the paint surface was amazing—nothing was left in reserve, everything came out onto the surface. I loved how he did not refrain himself in any way or form, his works stands alone in that regard. It was fresh and even childish in some regards. Although he claims every detail was planned out and coordinated it seems like it was more of a stream of his consciousness, which I love. I find him the most fascinating artist of our time. I recently saw an exhibition of his in Germany and wanted to go immerse my self in my own paintings for days.
Whenever I go to an art exhibition or museum, I am deeply inspired—I can’t wait to get back in to the studio and paint beyond my barriers. I love visiting MoMA, The Louvre, Tate Modern and especially the Saatchi Gallery. There are so many masters I love to explore. The list is long but here are few besides the ones I’ve mentioned already—Sean Scully, Frida Kahlo, Joan Brown, Andy Warhol, Peter Max and Jackson Pollock. Peter Max’s floral paintings have greatly influenced my work even though it’s all part of the subconscious mind which still comes out when I paint in my deconstructed way.
I also find material to use all around me—from newspapers, beautiful papers I’ve collected in London, fabric shops, garage sales, old diary papers when I was young, receipts, and even recipes. Perhaps the most interesting to me is taking pictures of my own studio floor and making it into collage paper. I will also take built-up paint from my palette and smudge it into a piece of art work. I was lucky to be exposed to great art at an early age. The paintings I saw, and even some of the lives of artist I studied, resonated deeply with me. I kept my own painting studio as young as the age of 14. I cannot remember a time I was not creating and inspired by either nature, the south or a famous master.
Find Christy’s work at the following galleries: Shain Gallery in Charlotte, Jules Place in Boston, Christopher Hill Gallery in St. Helena, California, Gallery 1401 in Chattanooga and Trager Contemporary in Charleston.