“If not now, when?” asks artist Carol Christie of the perfect time to shift gears in one’s career and artistic sensibilities. It’s a question the Atlanta-based artist, who is best known for her exuberant florals, began asking herself as she approached her 65th birthday in September. “I have always wanted to paint more abstract work,” she says. So as this monumental date came closer, Christie decided it was time for action.
“I used to define myself by how others wanted to define me and my work,” admits Christie. “Now I’m pushing forward and feeling freer than I’ve ever felt. I’m happiest now when I’m painting an abstract. Painting subjectively does not allow that kind of freedom and expression.”
Christie’s renewed enthusiasm is contagious. Her expressionist landscape, Down the Road A Ways, was recently selected for inclusion in the design of new Atlanta hotspot Southern Art & Bourbon Bar. The restaurant, owned by Top Chef Master (and Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef of 10 years) Art Smith, is opening new doors in Christie’s career. “Knowing that celebrities and people from all over the world will see a sample of my work is very exciting,” she says. “I hope that the exposure will lead to more commercial opportunities.”
Though she has been painting for six decades, Christie “would have never anticipated the career that I have had and often feel like I’m just beginning… There will be lean years and there will be great years. If I never made another dollar, I would still have to paint. It is in my soul. It is who I am.”
Christie’s advice for fellow artists? “Stay involved. Stay active in your community. Get your work out there. Donate work to charity. You never know who might see it.”
Read more about Christie at http://www.carolchristie.com.