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Spill it! Introductions, please!

Hi! I am Caroline Chriss, artist and owner of Caroline Chriss Fine Art. I am a Baltimore native who lives in New York City, but whose heart was stolen by Nantucket a long time ago ☺ . I am an artist of seascapes, landscapes and most recently, children’s portraiture. I work mostly in acrylics and would classify my style as airy and serene. The beach is my muse, and inspires a vast majority of work. 

Have you always had a passion for art? What age did you begin experimenting with paint?

Yes! My mom actually still has preschool papers where I say I want to be an artist when I grow up. I have been painting ever since I can remember. Art has always been a therapeutic release for me. While I took classes and always played around with paint as a kid, it was not until my early twenties, when I started to discover my own style and creative process. I found that taking my headspace to a place by the sea was where I found the most joy while painting. 

How would you describe your aesthetic? 

I like to think of my style as a modern coastal twist on Impressionism. I use color as my greatest tool to evoke emotion in the portrayed space. I love to bring the viewer in close with smaller details, while possessing a sense of tranquility from afar.

How do you find your inspiration for each piece you paint? 

My sources of inspiration often change, but they always seem to be rooted in memories that I want to transport my mind back to. My painting process is very intuitive. I don’t usually start my seascapes with too much of a plan in mind. I use color fed by my emotions to lead me through the painting. A lot of my work is based on instinct and memory. For me, this is the most free and creative way to paint.

Do you have an “all-time” favorite painting that you’ve worked on?

It constantly changes as I create new pieces! I recently created a new series of work for Well and Wonder titled the “Promise of Spring”. I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit with these pieces and used bolder strokes than I am used to. Out of this collection came one of my new favorite pieces, “Soul Full of Sunshine”. I love the mixture of colors, texture, and small details that emerge the closer you look the painting. 

How long does it typically take to complete one of your art pieces? Do you have a certain type of music or podcast you like to listen to while working? 

This is a hard question because every piece is different! Sometimes I sit down to paint and everything clicks into place. When this happens, I can create a piece within 4 or 5 hours. Other times (which is a majority of the time), I start a piece and continue to go back and work on it for a couple weeks. I always find it helpful to sit with a piece for a while and work on a few pieces simultaneously. 

Music is a huge part of my process! I always have music on when I paint. My favorite band right now is Caamp- I love folk/ alternative tunes with deep and meaningful lyrics that make you think!

Spill it! What’s in your bag? 

My recent obsession is Milk’s Electric Glossy Lip Plumper in the color Charge- it is so good!  I also always have a little Muji notebook that I sketch and write sporadic ideas in. And of course, Airpods... music feeds my soul!

Shop Caroline's Hand Painted Pieces on Well + Wonder
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