As soon as I begin chatting to Chrissie, it is clear she is both an artist and appreciator of art in all its forms. She is also super personable and friendly and, in no time at all, we are chatting away like two old friends sharing a love of art.
Chrissie’s journey as an artist began at just ten years old, when her neighbor and occasional babysitter taught her how to use oils to paint and she has loved the medium ever since: “I’ve always loved oils from the influence of that neighbor, I love the way it works and that the oils keep moving with you – it's just been the most natural for me”, Chrissie comments.
After university, Chrissie took a break from art and went into fashion and retail as a career, working for a young Costarella exploring different aspects of her creativity. It wasn’t until much later that she picked up the brush again.
“When I got married my husband suggested I start painting again, and that’s when it started to grow again and I had a few exhibitions. After my kids got a bit older ,I started painting more regularly, and in the last four years ,it’s become my job.”
Her style has evolved but her bowls, with their interesting use of colour and depth, (pcitured above), have become synonomous with her work/
“I have this thing for vessels, so painting bowls and vessels is very natural, and then mixing it up with still life and flowers, which is a great way to keep my hand at realistic art. You can get a bit complacent with what you do easily, so every now and then I like to go back and do something a bit more technical.”
On some of her memorable experiences as an artist, Chrissie cites her selection to paint a Mobilia chair that was auctioned off in order to raise funds for Autism WA – “I loved the chair because it was so different after such a long time of working on canvas.”
What is fascinating about talking to Chrissie is listening to her passion and philosophy on art: “art is for everyone, and it should be affordable, and you should help people get it on their walls so they’re not intimidated by it, or intimidated by buying it”.
Chrissie’s home, where she has her studio, is a prime example. Light filled and perfectly balanced between modern and classical, it’s a work of art in itself and her eye for art can be found on every wall of every room. As we take a wander through the house, Chrissie shares the stories of the pieces of art she has collected from artists of all styles and mediums.
Chrissie's take on art is refreshing and inspiring. She’s not intimidated by change and wants to embrace the age we live in.
“Social media is making art more accessible, it's good. In this day and age, I love the way you can cross your mediums, and I love the concept of not being pigeonholed.”
On future plans and aspirations, Chrissie talks about the changing nature of galleries, and her passion for making art more accessible.
“I think there’s room for an art gallery to have a different model. I’d love to find a way to make a gallery work in this modern, social media based art environment. I think there’s room for it, but you have to make it approachable, something that an 18 year old would come into and an 80 year old would be happy to walk into as well”.
I came away from our chat feeling energised and excited about art all over again. Who knows, I might even pull out my own paint and pencils for one last crack at the canvas.
Check out Chrissie’s website for more of her work http://www.chrissiehoganart.com or find her on instagram at @chrissiehogan