Observing nature throughout the fields and trails of Colorado provides inspiration for my paintings and “hits close to home”—where I live and who I am. Native Colorado plants often represent a message or story reflecting my life, my philosophy on life or a snapshot of life itself. Adding symbolism and recognition to otherwise overlooked parts of nature intrigues me. Although the subject matter that I paint is often made up of the ordinary, it certainly challenges me to find a deeper meaning and this is what drives me to make a statement. My attraction to the loose and fluid nature of acrylics on raw wood makes sense as it relates to my expressive and explorative nature.
Christa MacFarlane is attracted to the loose and fluid nature of acrylics on raw wood, as she paints native grasses, seeds, pods and weeds along with other unnoticed elements of nature. When she stops to admire these underappreciated Colorado gems, her medium and subject matter makes sense to her. She is reminded of her childhood memories—running through the wide-open spaces of Kansas cattle fields blanketed in flowing wild grasses. While listening to the whistling chorus of crickets cutting through the summer breeze, she would often pause to release the seeds of a dandelion, notice the shimmering light through the dancing leaves and feel the fluidity of the cool stream water rushing through her fingertips. These experiences provided her with the freedom and opportunity to dream, explore and nurture her creativity—much like the process of her painting today. MacFarlane’s strong illustrative skills, honed from a young age, loosely depict her subject matter in her contemporary botanical paintings.
Once she obtained her BFA degree, MacFarlane established over twenty-five years combined experience as an interior designer, graphic artist and art instructor. Eventually she yearned to take time for personal creative reflection. While on a sabbatical in Europe she will never forget the emotional and spiritual impact of some of the greatest masters’ works. It was then that she resolved to transition into a career as a professional artist. This time period of travel and experimenting gave way to new expressive qualities in her artwork.
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