CHRISTINA SMITH
FOCUSED STUDIES OF NATURE IN A UNIQUE COMBINATION OF GOUACHE & PENCIL
Hello

MY BIOGRAPHY

Thank you for visiting!  You've probably seen me at an art show in your hometown and taken a business card home with you.  I'm glad you enjoyed my work enough to check out the website.  Nature has always been my subject and I imagine it is also an interest of yours. 
Perhaps you will find something here that can add beauty and pleasure to your life.
 

I grew  up in Kansas City, Missouri and started college as an art major but marriage and family interrupted and I am actually self-taught.  I started exhibiting at art fairs in 1977.  My rule has been "anywhere east of the Rockies" and that has given me many happy adventures and a few challenging ones.  It's an unusual gypsy lifestyle and I love it!

I work in a combination of gouache and pencil.  Gouache is an opaque watercolor similar to tempera.  It gives me the strong color I want and flows well enough from the brush to produce fine detail.  Many artists tell me they've had trouble working with gouache but I'm used to it now and know it's ways.  Generally, I paint my subject and use a black colored pencil to render the foliage or landscape.  I like the contrast between the two mediums and enjoy working with both.  Pencil will, of course, smear if you lay your hand on it so I  paint my subject first and then do the pencil work.  Ideas come in various ways.  Sometimes it's a bird I've wanted to portray for a long time and sometimes it's a branch that's caught my attention.  We live in a wooded area a few miles from town and there is always something out there.
 
I fell in love with the Ozark Mountains the moment I saw them and they are my home.  Northwest Arkansas is truly beautiful and I've hiked a lot of the trails here and floated the famed Buffalo River many times.  I lived in Eureka Springs for several years and it's one of my favorite places.  Eureka is a remarkable place with a facinating past and quirky present.  Quicksilver - The Nature Gallery in Eureka Springs handles my work.  If you are ever in our neck of the woods, Eureka Springs should be on your "to do" list as well as the new American art museum Crystal Bridges in Bentonville.
 
I married another artist, David Curles, in 2003 and because he had more stuff and a bigger house I moved from Arkansas to Georgia.  Years passed and ten grandkids popped up in Arkansas!  We were missing out on the joy of family.  Also, an Atlanta suburb just couldn't hold me like a home in the Ozark mountains.  In 2011, we pulled up stakes and bought a house in the woods just west of Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I now have a nature library for a backyard and established trails to explore.  When the grandkids come, they disappear down our trails and later reappear for food and fun with Grampa.  David teaches them art stuff and boy scout skills like slingshots, tying knots and calling in barred owls.  We specialize in sleepovers, campfires, and s'mores!
 
This is good and I am so grateful.