Artist of the Month: Christine Peloquin
Women, drawn or painted on fabric and paper collage, inspire the creative life of Artist Christine Peloquin, an Artist whose major goal is to make people happy.
Christine Peloquin by Randall Smith
Christine Peloquin is a mixed media artist with subjects ranging from faces of women and children to landscapes, nature scenes and abstracts. All the pieces begin with (mostly antique) fabric and papers arranged, sewn and adhered to wood panels. Over the collages, drawings are done in charcoal, and the work is painted with acrylics and mediums.
“My intention,” she says, “is to weave an autobiographical tapestry addressing universal issues such as spirituality, sexuality, motherhood and self-awareness. I have been proud to call myself an artist since the age of three and have been selling my work for well over 20 years. I am so grateful for all the people who have collected my work through the years. They are testaments to the power of Art that the creative life that brings me so much joy continues to ripple through the world making people feel happy.”
Recently, in her blog, she wrote, “I ordered a mystery box of old papers and got a box full of play money. These tough economic times have brought many artists I know to their knees and I, for one, would love to once again hear that phrase "the check's in the mail." So what an ironic gift to get a box of play money! What a perfect time to paint about money fears and to dig up my old copy of Simple Abundance. "Transforming every 'what will I do?' into 'what can I do?' fuels your fiscal creativity, restoring a sense of peace as you pursue prosperity," says the brilliant Sarah Ban Breathnach.
Christine lives and works in Mount Dora, Florida with her husband and their two sons. She is currently the featured Artist in an exhibiti at Arts On Douglas in New Smyrna, Florida through March 31. Call 386.428.1133 or visit artsondouglas.net.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started?
I was 3 years old when I first declared that I was going to be an artist. I was 4 when my Mom said that I drew a floor plan of our house. As a kid, I took classes at Rhode Island School of Design Junior School from seniors majoring in art education. Being educated and allowed to take nude figure drawing as a 7th grader really kindled the passion for drawing that I already had.
Please use your own words to describe your art...
With antique cloths, school books, architectural plans, papers, lace, found objects, and more, I weave an autobiographical tapestry in my works that invoke and address universal issues. My images range from faces and figures of women and children to landscapes, nature scenes and abstracts. Most of the titles come from appropriate words found in the collage and originate from messages of philosophy, spirituality, sexuality, motherhood and self-awareness. All the pieces begin with fabric and paper collage arranged, sewn and adhered to wood panels. Over the collages, the drawings are done in charcoal and the work is painted with acrylics and mediums. Art -- and life -- is about becoming more conscious, more aware, and more of yourself. The joy in my process of collaging, drawing and painting is the instinctual choices of rendering and harmonizing what I will cover up and what I will leave to be revealed.
When/What happened to first make you think of yourself as an artist?
My parents encouraged me as long as I can remember. My Mom and grandmother and many women in my family painted and worked with quilting, needlepoint, hooked rugs and crafts. My first art sale (to someoneout side of my family!) happened in high school. My Dad brought home an illustration that he bought for work and I told him he got ripped off. So he said "draw me one". I DID. The President of the company picked mine, and the ad agency paid me for it. (My Dad didn't tell them until I had deposited the check that I was 17.)
What inspires you NOW?
I love the work of Julie Speed, Lance Letscher, Chuck Close, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keeffe, Elizabeth Peyton and Nick Bantock. However, journaling, listening to music, and time to myself are my greatest inspirations right now!
Where is your favorite place to create art? What do you enjoy about the act of creating?
My studio at my house is a great room filled with fabric and papers and loud music and my garden outside the sliding door. I always say that any day in the studio is a great day! Painting and drawing for me are my therapy and my religion. The act of creating keeps my body, mind and spirit conscious, growing, and grateful.
Describe the “perfect” YOU painting. Have you achieved it yet?
Yes! Many times! And then I change so the ‘perfect me’ painting needs to be changed too. That's why I call my current show at Arts on Douglas Show "Part of the Process." It’s always about evolution.
Painting takes a lot of creative energy. How do you “re-charge” your batteries?
Gardening, Yoga, walking, cooking, reading, seeing other art and traveling when I can always fills me up. The challenge for me now is finding time to make all that happen with the 4 and 6 year old loves of my life running around.
What’s your fondest hope for the future of your career?
After going part time for a few years to be with my children, I'm ready to get back at it more full time and expand my galleries across the country like before. I would love to continue being included in permanent collections and to continue selling my work to the fabulous people who love looking at it as much as I love making it!
How can readers find and purchase your art?
I have an extensive collection of work on my website and small works for sale on my Etsy Shop. I write about my pieces on my blog called Nothing You Can See That Isn't Shown at christinepeloquin-art.blogspot.com. I have a solo show called Part of the Process at Arts On Douglas Gallery in New Smyrna through the end of March. My work can also be seen year round at Arts On Douglas Gallery in New Smyrna, Studio E Gallery in Palm Beach Gardens and the Orlando Museum of Art Gift Shop. I have work at The Biennial Six show at Florida Museum in Deland through mid March and a solo show called Deliberately Uncertain: Paintings by Christine Peloquin at The Mount Dora Center for the Arts in August and September 2012.
All photos courtesy and copyright Christine Peloquin