S P I R I T O F A S T U D I O
Photos by C. Whitney-Ward
Christina & Louie
Christina Chalmers is an alchemist. She turns dried sea-things, beeswax, metal, found objects, mesh - whatever catches her visual fancy - into magical semi-abstract, wildly- wonderful mixed-media. On top of all that, she is a painter, sculptor, photographer, and makes layered, lyrical videos. And, she and her talented rock-star daughters - CocoRosie - have performed at Carnegie Hall (Christina is a songwriter and singer). Really! A long-time New Mexico resident, Christina has a wonderful studio/loft space filled with her work and her eclectic aesthetic.
A seahorse & a paintbrush...wonderful...
"Migration from the Sea"
Hand-sewn mixed media "chandelier"
And her latest work - "The Birds and the Bees" - is off to Santa Fe's Selby Fleetwood Gallery where no doubt it will be snapped up by an eager collector.
I couldn't resist snapping the details...
Christina's first studio was in Santa Barbara. "I was so determined," she remembers, I simply manifested it. I went to the old mission, looked up and saw what I thought was an empty space, and approached one of the monks with a proposal to turn it into a studio." It happened! She began collecting stuff that she hauled out of the sea and other organic materials and her art evolved. In addition to her studio/loft in Santa Fe, Christina has a studio in Provence and another in Mendocino, CA.
She collects French beeswax and honeycombs.
Her technique of using wax and layering and embedding have evolved over the years and after you've taken in the whole, you can stand in front of one of her creations and 'drink' in all the diminutive details and playful inclusions and nuances. Each time you return, your eye finds something new.
"My work routine is constant," says Christina, who says that she doesn't go anywhere that doesn't inspire her. "I've made my art my life. You have to be 200% committed to it. That's when you see your soul emerge into your art."
600 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM