Christine Mercer Kraft obtained a BFA in illustration from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Since graduating, she has been a commercial graphic artist for over 30 years. Although she has intermittently pursued various forms of art while holding a full time job; printmaking, drawing, paper making, sculpting and painting, recently as a freelance artist, she has begun painting in earnest, inspired by the summers she has spent in Creede, Colorado. She exhibits her work in Abbey Lane Gallery, Creede, Colorado and on her website.
“For years, I’ve composed, contemplated, ruminated and dreamt about the art I’ve wanted to create while working full time as a commercial artist, designing magazines, books, and advertising. I’ve since become a freelance graphic artist instead of working full time and with the new-found flexibility of my schedule I’ve been able to pursue painting and sculpting.
Creede, it’s landscapes, flora and fauna are the subject matter of my recent work. In this series, I interpret in gouache the patterns on the side of a freshly caught trout; rainbow, brown and brooks. I love capturing a snippet of the instant changes on them as the light of day and changing weather effects their colors in the stream. They practically and delightfully compose themselves, and their colors are so captivating and rich as to be unbelievable. In a carefully thought out, yet spontaneously composed painting, I try to bring these visions to paper.
My paintings are done in my favorite water-based medium, gouache and often on watercolor or cold pressed paper. I love the chalky quality of the paint, the crisp, clear colors I can achieve with it and how the edges can be softened and blended like oil or appear graphic and hard. Quickly composing, interpreting subject matter, mixing and manipulating the paint and teasing it into doing what I want is the way most of these paintings were executed and is the thing I enjoy most about creating these works of art—watching a blank piece of paper unfold into a piece of art.”