1)Hello, Presenting me - Christine Shields.
2)Do you think of yourself as an artist,or what?
2)Yes, I think of myself as an artist, also as a musician, and daydreamer.
3)What is creativity?
3)To me creativity is allowing something greater than yourself to come through the unique filter of yourself, and be born into the world as an object, sound or thought.
4)Does your environment influence your art,either in style/format orinterference?
4)My environment absolutely influences my output. I am a big psychic sponge, and absorb what is around me, so I must be careful, or major interference occurs; but also it is a positive force if I am taking in helpful information.
5)What are some of your influences and inspirations?
5)I am very inspired by the Dream or Spirit world(s), by all kinds of art from different time periods, by music, by many interesting characters I see walking through my crazy neighbourhood, by psychology, human behaviour, and spirituality, and by the ways of animals, trees, water, sky, etc...
6)What's your favourite mediums(pen,charcoal,paint,canvas,etc.)to workin/on?
6)I like to paint on paper or smooth wood, or plaster walls.
7)Who are some of your favourite painters/artists?
7)Some favorites are Henry Darger, Chris Johanson, Cathe Kollowitz, Georganne Deen, Gerhardt Richter, Josef Bueys, Frida Khalo, Dianne Arbus, Sue Coe, Alice Neel, Andy Warhol, Rebecca Horn, Margaret Kilgallen, Tony Millionaire, James Kelly Marshall, some unknown cave painters, lots of "native" art from all over the place, hand made signs for beauty parlors, and grocery stores, by unknown artists, Grandma Prisbee, Creativity Explored( a collective), Le Dernier Cree (ditto), Brian Chippendale... many many more artist that I love who's names are hidden away in the crevices of my mind.
8)How long does it normally take you to complete a piece of your artwork?
8)From an hour to a month.
9)What else are you interested in besides visual arts?
9)Music, Love, my amazing friends, animals, swimming, dreaming, riding a bike, movies, living, learning, books. Also, I like to eat blackberries quite a bit.
10)Got any new projects planned?
10)I am putting a group show together about the Spirit World, that will be seen in Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, and maybe some other places. I have a band called SteepleChase, that is playing out and getting ready to record some songs. I am making books that a fabulous place called Booklyn is selling for me. More paintings, songs and books!
11)How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
11)Dreamy, full of color, and layers of perception. Some are portraits of people I have known, and some are of my interior world of ghosts, forests, animals, and feelings.
12)What other talent would most like to have?
12)I would like to be able to play the fiddle, and I think it would be really fun to surf. Of course, I wish I could fly.
13)What are your most beloved items?
13)I have some wooden toy animals that were my grandfather's. Also, my Martin baritone ukelele, and my small collection of art.
14)The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino, The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, My Home is Far Away by Dawn Powell...there are so many, but I can't think of them right now.
15)Do you remember the first draw you made?
15)The first thing I remember drawing, and I drew it over and over, was an A-Frame house for Bears. In between each floor were many jars of honey, lined up. I was obsessed with bears. I brought my mother a rock. I said "Please bake this rock in the oven. This is what Bears eat."
16)What kind of music do you like and do you listen.And is the musicimportant for your art.?
16)I like a lot of music. Off the top of my head: the Velvet Underground, Bach, P.I.L., the Carter Family, Gillian Welsh, Lungfish, Cat Power, the Sun City Girls, Devendra, Johnny Cash, Quintron, Will Oldham, Can, ther Boredoms, Jim O'Rourke, OOIOO, Joanna Newsome,Os Mutantes, John Fahey, the Stooges, X, the Gun Club, Bright Black, Vetiver, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Nina Simone, the Staple Family Singers, The Slits, The Raincoats, ...there is so much more...Music is such a big inspiration for me. I need to listen to it a lot. Also the way of music, the way it comes out of you, or brings things out of you is very important for me in art. It is easy in this world to get inside of your brain too much, to become too rational. This can be poison for the creative process. I find that playing or listening to music brings me back into a way of being that is natural for me, and promotes creativity.
17)Any advice do you have for artists?
17)Be your own biggest advocate, Do whatever it takes to love yourself and believe in yourself. Learn to hear your own voice and trust it, instead of worrying what others might think. What makes you unique is what you have to share with the world. Don't forget why you started making art ( because it is fun, and makes you feel good, for example). Reach out for what you want!
18)My website is http://christineshields.com. Also you can check out me band at: www.myspace.com/steeplechasefolk