Christine Olmstead is an abstract artist whose work has exploded since releasing her first collection in 2015. With collectors and corporations, including West Elm, Marriott Hotels, and tech companies in San Francisco seeking exclusive contracts and custom commissions, Christine sells originals and prints worldwide and is always excited to welcome new partnerships into her brand family.
Christine has been painting and drawing several days a week since she was 18 months old. Her journey has taken her from abstraction in childhood, to hyperrealism in middle school through college mastering various mediums, and back to abstraction in her adult life and professional career. She is inspired mostly by music, personal life events, and the pursuit of beauty and peace.
Christine’s goal with all her works is to bring balance and peace into the lives of her viewers. The goal is always to encourage the viewer to look for beauty in the ordinary. “Beauty is all around, peace is always present, choose them, seek them.”
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become an artist? Did the realization emerge slowly?
My Mother was an art historian and stressed the importance of the arts since I was a child. I've always loved painting and making, but I didn't see it as a viable career option for a woman. Most of the history books are filled with famous men and I didn't know any living female artists growing up. It wasn't until I graduated from college that I was desperate to not get an office job. I felt like I was suffocating at the idea of going to work for someone else in an environment I didn't control. I graduated from college and launched my own business as a professional full time artist without a roadmap. Painting was the only thing I've loved doing my whole life, and the only thing I felt I could do to add value to the world around me. I became an artist out of desperation and feeling it was the only thing left to do.
How did you evolve your style and favorite mediums?
Growing up my mother put us in private art lessons, charcoal and pencil portraits, oils for portraiture and landscapes. I appreciate the technique I learned and mastery of mediums, but portraits are boring and landscapes are too. I wanted to paint moods, ideas, sensations. These are exciting to me. The works that have always moved me the most are abstract in nature. Philosophical. Multidimensional. I didn't start in abstraction till I was in my twenties, leaving realism behind. My favorite medium is oil, but I work a lot in acrylics due to drying time and studio space. My works are primarily mixed media.
What are your time management techniques? Do you have regular working hours...or favorite times to work?
I do have working hours. I work from 9a.m. till about 10:30p.m. Computer work, meetings, and administrative work are best done for me in the morning. I find that I do my best painting in the afternoon and evenings with the music loud.
Do you work on more than one piece at a time, or primarily just on one?
In general, I am working on anywhere from five to twenty-five works at once. It just depends on what my pipeline looks like in terms of personal projects as well as commissions.
What would you say is your biggest influence--that which keeps you working, regardless of all else, your most steadfast motivation?
I know I cannot be all things to all people. What keeps me going is knowing that I am blessing people. That I am bringing beauty and light into the lives of those who connect with my message. Blessing people is what motivates me, this is the best way I know how to do that.
Does trying something new and not knowing the rules -- the boundary pushing -- create anxiety or excitement in you? (Or both?)
In general I try and learn "the rules" before I do anything. But boundary pushing is something that is always scary for me and it does not come naturally to me. I am, by nature, a hell-bent rule follower. Boundary pushing is only exciting for me if it is successful. If it fails it's very tempting to
Do you enjoy having the "duality of both chaos and control" or are you happiest with a set plan?
I'm comfortable with duality. I enjoy letting works breathe on their own and letting them direct me. You can't force a work of art, it has to choose you and it will only be a success if the two of us struggle a little bit. I have to hear the painting out and it must tell me what is most important to be expressed. I am merely an instrument for the message to come through. Of course, there are some parameters, size, quantity of works etc... but when it comes down to me and the canvas in front of me, it is a conversation.
Do you have any projects or events forthcoming?
I'm getting ready to release a new series which will hopefully be out by the time this article is released. I'm also working on a few upcoming show, but I can't say more right now, you'll have to follow along for those announcements.
More information contact the artist
Don't Stop Healing
Don't Stop Making Mistakes
Don't Stop Seeking The Light
Don't Stop But Slow Down