Monday, December 29, 2008

It's such a strange time of year, when some things are ending and others just beginning. Last night marked the end of Boston Handmade's one month holiday gallery in Downtown Crossing. It was so much fun, and a fitting end to a year in which my main goal was to become involved with other local artists, and get my work out in front of people. I'm so thankful to have joined Boston Handmade and the Salem Arts Association, and for the opportunities that presented themselves in 2008.

So now it's on to new goals for 2009. There are several juried art shows/festivals locally that I will apply to for the first time, and I plan on marketing myself online and with printed materials in a more frequent, consistent manner. But the three main goals I have for myself this year are to:
1. Work 5 days a week in the studio
2. See my work in three new galleries
3. License one or more of my designs

Are goals 2 and 3 at odds with each other? I don't know the answer to that yet. But I'm excited about new opportunities ahead, even during an economy that seems to be going further and further down the drain. The way I see it though, is that just being there is half the battle, and I'm there.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Suspended for the Season

With the kids on school vacation, and all of the holiday shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, and housecleaning to do, my creative life has come to a complete halt. Frozen for the season...much like the view from my front door. Christmas is nice, but is it selfish of me to want to sneak into my studio and just play for a few hours? Sigh.

I just realilzed this is a complete 180 from my last post. Guess I need my art fix more often than I thought!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It was a perfect day to decorate the tree today. Snow storm outside...not the kind of day to be driving anywhere...just right for staying in and doing Christmas things.

Tomorrow I will be at Boston Handmade Downtown once again. It's the last weekend we have for Christmas shopping, so head to the gallery in Downtown Crossing for the most unique gifts you'll find this season!

p.s. if you were wondering about Katie, she is doing fine :-)

Monday, December 08, 2008

So I normally try to blog about what sort of artwork I'm working on. I read other blogs where people describe what's happening in their lives, and while it's interesting, I usually don't do that. But tonight threw me a little.

This is my daughter Katie, who is 11. Earlier tonight she and her brother called me upstairs because of a "mess." The mess turned out to be blood from some sort of pillow fight. Yes, blood from a pillow fight. I am not sure how it happened, given that there was no blood on the actual pillow in question, but anyway...

I have just returned from a two hour emergency trip to the dentist during which Katie had her gums stitched back to the rest of her mouth. The dentist told me that in 35 years he has only seen one other case like hers, and that child had been hit by a car. Let me repeat, Katie wound up at the dentist because of a pillow fight.

They say most accidents happen closest to home. Last weekend our family drove home from Florida to Massachusetts in what turned out to be an excruciatingly long drive in constant rain and terrible driving conditions, and yet we made it through unscathed. Now this.

Katie is on two basketball teams, and sports is what she lives for. I am SO hoping that when we go back on Wednesday for a follow-up that she doesn't have to go in for surgery, and that she heals well in order to get back to what she loves.

Being a parent really sucks sometimes. Okay, end of my pity party.

And thanks so much to Dr. Zicherman :-)

Abstract Collage with Trees

Here's another digi-collage based on the gelatin prints that were so fun to make. This one incorporates a shot of trees taken last summer in Gloucester. I am loving working with these abstract images.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boston Handmade Downtown Crossing Gallery!

From November 28 through December 28, over 30 local artisans will be exhibiting our handmade arts, crafts and wares at our Downtown Crossing retail gallery at 505 Washington Street in Boston.

We're busy prepping and painting, and while I don't have any photos of the space, fellow BH members Nancy McCallum and Jessica Burko have some great photos at and

Be sure to come and shop handmade for the holidays!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Digital collages inspired by gelatin prints

So the digital girl in me has taken over this weekend. I had some minor surgery late last week (very minor, and mostly annoying) so I have been having a restful time photoshopping. You might remember the gelatin prints I made on fabric not too long ago. I had photographed them in various positions, so I decided to see what kind of digital collages I could make with them, and here are a couple. I added in a layer of trees from photos I took over the summer. I have several of these collages done, and am playing with some more.

Monday, November 03, 2008

TAG You're It!

OK, I've been tagged by fab photographer
Lucie Wicker.

The rules of tagging:
1. Link to tagger & display these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blog.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by commenting on their blogs.

7 Random & Weird Facts About Chris:
  1. I love to travel, but staying in Artimino (see the beautiful Tuscan hamlet above) was so stressful because it was at the top of a ridiculously steep hairpin turning hill, I cried every time we drove up or down. Would I go back? Most definitely...with a sedative.
  2. I don't eat fish.
  3. Two of my brothers are musicians and have performed with and for some very famous people.
  4. Although I prefer not to, I am not above drinking wine from a box.
  5. I married my childhood sweetheart.
  6. My miniature daschund "Little Bit" sleeps under her own little blanket on my bed.
  7. My favorite places to visit are places where there are ALL types of people, like New York City, London and Montreal.

Tagging the following:

Linda Branch Dunn
Sedie - Yarn Obsession
Marla - Sea Glass Things
Muchacha Katy
Jaye - Thirteenth Story
Betsy - Stonehouse Studio
Louise - The Whole Thing

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fun with Gelatin Printmaking

THIS was a ridiculous amount of fun. I haven't "played" lately as I've been doing shows, completing orders, hanging work, etc. So today I spent the morning trying techniques in Rayna Gillman's book, "Create your own printed cloth" -- and it was a blast. I didn't get too complex, just using bubble wrap, string, and some other items handy in my kitchen, along with a gelatin plate for printmaking. Simple stuff by any standard, but it was really fun, and I found a use for the extra fabric that I used to cover my dining room chairs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Inner Noise" Exhibit at Caladan Gallery

I am so pleased to be included in the online juried exhibit "Inner Noise" at Caladan Gallery. Here is the enticing write-up they had for my mixed media collage pieces:

It is with the layering of texture combined with the subject that this artist creates the visual representation of memory in its most elusive and typical form. She has created a model of consciousness, distant and intriguing, as in the tradition of the process of storing memory. From time to time one can pick out images, bring them to consciousness, and then turn and keep them locked in a box, ready for the next interlude of personal investigation. These images by Christine O'Brien remind us that our memories are available to us, if even momentarily.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Boston Handmade at SoWa was a blast!

We had such a fun time today in the South End at the SoWa Open Market. Our Boston Handmade group was out in full force -- artists, jewelers, crafters, clothing artisans and more -- with our very own row of tents.

I shared my tent with Sedie who made the most beautiful knitted neck warmers.

Can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Boston Handmade at SoWa THIS SUNDAY

UPDATE: I just found out we are going to have MUSIC for this show, from noon to 4pm. How awesome is that?!!

(and now back to my original blog post...)At the beginning of this year I joined a group called Boston Handmade, a collection of artisans who sell work on etsy. It's a fabulous group of talented crafters and artists from whom I have learned so much. This Sunday, a large number of Boston Handmade members will be exhibiting (including me!) at the Sowa Open Market on Harrison Avenue in Boston's South End.

Come down and visit!

Showing and selling handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, house wares, art, photography, toys, and sculpture. Boston Handmade promotes local independent businesses and individuals creating one-of-a-kind and limited edition handmade works in small studio environments, not factories. For more info about Boston Handmade visit:

Monday, October 06, 2008

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Baked Fresh, Sunday October 5 -- Don't Miss It!

This Sunday, October 5, I'll have a booth at Baked Fresh, which seems like it'll be the coolest indie-art festival in town!  Lots of art, music, good weather...come on down to the South End and check it out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Joi of Koi

During the summer we take the kids to a mini-golf course near our house and they have a great koi pond at the entrance. I took dozens and dozens of photos and played with them for a while to come up with these fairly abstract collages. I think they make a nice set.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Guilty Pleasure of Looking at Other Studio Spaces

Seth Apter over at The Altered Page always shares some great artistic information. This month he's got a super collection of studio shots that are so addicting to look at. One, because it's fun to see what materials other artists are using. And two, because it makes me feel better about how messy my own space is! (as evidenced above). If you have a few minutes to wander, it's worth a peek.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sowa Open Studios this weekend!

While I wonder how I'll survive doing a two-day show, you can enjoy the eye candy for this weekend's 21st Annual South End Open Studios! The most widely attended and most popular Open Studios event in Boston with over 300 Artists with their studio doors open to visitors. I will have my booth at the SOWA Open Market, Saturday & Sunday - 10 to 5 where there will be over 120 artist vendors. PLEASE COME VISIT!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"Thresholds" Exhibit at the Salem Arts Association Gallery

Lots of new events & upcoming shows to tell you about. The first is the "Thresholds" exhibit at the Salem Arts Association Gallery on Artists Row in Salem, MA. Exploring the theme "thresholds," the exhibit includes various 2-D and 3-D pieces (including mine...I also designed the marketing materials you see here), AND includes over 80 pieces of mezuzah. What is a mezuzah? It is a kind of holder of biblical scripture, affixed to the doorpost (or threshold) of a Jewish home. I am not Jewish, but I love the sentiment of crossing that threshold from outside life into your own sacred space. If you're on the North Shore, take a visit to Artists Row and check out the exhibit, or stop into Experimental Art Gallery & Studio, which is also very cool.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Collages

Working on a new series...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

How Rare is Your Personality?

This was a fun quiz...with results below that may (?) be accurate. I am somewhat introverted but try extremely hard not to be. The collage is a new digi-collage combining a photo of a spiral staircase I took at Leeds Castle. I like how the spiral looks kind of like a shell, so I opted for sea-like colors.

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New mixed media collages on etsy

I've had a little time to create and put some new items on my shop at etsy, with more to come. Here's one of the new items!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

It's not easy waiting to hear from someone who may or may not have been through a tornado. My husband and son are in Barnstead, NH right now (sleeping in tents at boy scout camp) and although I know they are OK, yesterday I wasn't so sure. A tornado went right through Barnstead and surrounding communities. At least one person died and there are several people who lost their homes. So I'm thankful that they were spared, and very sad for the people who are facing a struggle there now. This is a digital collage I did while waiting to hear whether Joey & Ken were okay.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Barcelona Digital Painting

Well I guess I've finally recup- erated from the Europe trip. It was SO interesting to see the highlights of the cities I visited (Barcelona image above is a digital painting I did from one of my photos). This is available as an 8x10 print on my etsy shop.

But back to reality.

My grandmother (step-grandmother actually, but she has been so good to me since I was 5 years old, the "step" part doesn't make much sense) was hit by a car the other day and has been in the hospital. Seems like it was a head-on collision and her arm is broken in four places. She is mending, but did you know the gasses in an airbag can burn your skin, like, off? I didn't. So that complicates things. And the fact that she is 90 doesn't help.

I have been whining to myself that I haven't had much time to create, and I think her accident puts things a bit more in perspective. So no more whining, and I'll be happy with the fragmented time that I can find to make new art.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Evening in Paris Digital Collages

I created these digital collages from several of the pictures I took while in Paris. I loved the textures of all the old buildings and walls, the posters for various concerts and happenings, the people, the lights, you name it. I wanted to capture the spice of life, and the hazy sort of memory one has of visiting a place (real or imagined).

I prepared textured substrates on which to print these collages (very carefully, over the course of two days) but when the prints hit the substrates everything worked out wrong and for some reason I just could not get them to play well together. So frustrating, considering it is the same method I have used on several other pieces in the past.

So this post is just for me, to remember not this failed art experiment, but to come and visit my hazy memory of Paris as I have imagined it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Queens in the Castle

Sometimes you're in the right place at the right time, and you don't even know it. During our Europe trip, we saw the changing of the guard, which was very formal, very British. Our tour guide informed us that the queen was in the castle that day (indicated by a flag raised over the palace) because they were hosting Nelson Mandela on his 90th birthday. "Neat," I thought. Well, last night I watched the concert for Nelson Mandela, which occurred while I was in London, and Queen (the band) played. Queen was the first concert I ever saw, with Freddie Mercury in all his glory. It would have been awesome to see them in London, but without Freddie it's not the same. But it sure looked like a good time!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Memories of Paris - Digital Collage

Just got back from 10 days in Europe, with a few days in Paris. The Louvre was massive, and I will have to go back to see the 90% that I missed this go-round. Made it to the Eiffel Tower and sipped champagne at the top. Tip-toed into the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Elysses. Purchased (and enjoyed) an aged bordeaux. Spoke exactly one word in French, once, upon which I was barraged with what was either joy that I spoke French, or disgust that I pronounced the word wrong (but "madame" seemed simple enough). Oh well. The architecture was beautiful, the atmosphere lovely, the nooks and crannies fantastic to explore.

Will discuss Barcelona and London in subsequent posts.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wakefield Festival by the Lake

Well, it took a few days but I have finally recuperated from the heat during last weekend's show in Wakefield. It was nearly 100 degrees, and it felt it. But the festival was so much fun...they had live music all day, nice vendors all around me, "great" visitors (the great dane in the photo is one of many dogs who stopped by my booth during the day), and decent sales. I hope to do this show again next year, and am crossing my fingers for a bit cooler weather.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rhodedendrons & Rust Collage

I have always disliked rhodedendrons even though they are the hardiest survivors of anything in my yard. I do not have a green thumb, but these things always thrive while the rest of the plants wither away. So yesterday I snapped some photos of my defiant rhodie's and worked them into a few collages. I must say I like them better in the collages than in real life! I am going to build some textured, collaged substrates on which to print these, and have them available at upcoming shows.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SOWA This Sunday, June 1 in the South End

Visit me at the South End Open Market THIS SUNDAY, June 1, 2008 or NEXT SUNDAY June 8. It's my first show in over two years and I'm so excited to see all the artists & other vendors there. Hope to see you! For more info check out the SOWA website.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

First Weekend for Artists Row

It's finally here! Kickoff weekend for Artists Row in Salem, MA is THIS weekend. I have some pieces in the Salem Arts Association Gallery, and will be submitting a few more to Experimental Art Gallery and Studio for their "Small Works" show. It's going to be an exciting summer on the Row, with lots of events planned. It's the coolest little spot in the city...make sure you stop by if you're visiting the North Shore!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mixed Media Collage - Serendipitous or Planned?

Recently I had a conversation with an artist who showed me sketches that resulted in an exhaustively planned, beautiful, composition. As I thought of my own techniques, which are never completely (or even remotely) planned from the beginning, I wondered if I should rethink my more "intuitive" way of doing things. -- Then I finished this collage today and remembered what I love so much about serendipity!

The collage has a background layer of vintage papers from magazines and playbooks. Over that is a collage of fine art paper treated with inkaid, with a digital collage (from flowering trees in my yard) printed on it. Because the fine art paper was torn and layered, some is thicker in places (more opaque) and lets the background wording show through, or not show through, accordingly.

The wording that actually showed through cracked me up. Now, I am a happily married mother of two, but when I saw the words "any man" and "tonight" and "drought tips" and "don't trust" it was too funny!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another "Dressy" Mixed Media Collage

I had so much fun making the dress collage the other day on gessobord that I made another one! This one with dresses for little girls is also on my etsy shop.

Friday, April 11, 2008

3 Dresses - Mixed Media Collage

I thought about calling this piece "Size 12, So What?" but figured 3 Dresses was a bit more clear. This is available now on my etsy shop.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A New Artist in the Family

My son Joey has always been interested in art, and now as a high school freshman, he is enrolled in a fine art program in his high school. Yesterday he brought some work home that I hadn't seen yet. This is one of my favorites. Next week the high school is having an art show with pieces from all of the students in the program. I can't wait to see what's there!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Brand Spankin New - Salem Arts Association Show

Today I dropped off a version of the red lotus piece I did, except this one is on gallery wrapped canvas. It's part of the "Brand Spankin New" show by the Salem Arts Association. The opening is Friday April 4 from 6pm to 9pm at the Art Corner in Salem, MA, and runs through the end of April. Stop by if you're in the area!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Collage Daily

Tomorrow is my last day at my full time job. I've been working as a graphic designer and communications professional for several years, and have finally given in to the fact that I can have it all, just not all at once. With two extremely active kids, and a hubby who practically lives at work, it's hard to accomplish everything I'd like to (including time in the studio creating). So starting Monday I'll be a full-time artist with mothers hours. It's a little sad because the company I work for is wonderful, but extremely exciting anticipating what's ahead!

Starting Monday I'll join the ranks of those who post collages each check out starting Monday! See you then :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pear collage

Just working on some new prototypes and ideas...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Easter Bunny Mixed Media Collage

My poor little Katie! Today was her basketball championship finals, which we have been anxiously looking forward to all week. My DH is the coach, and Katie is one of the top players, so we were expecting great things, and they did in fact win the championship, but...Katie wasn't feeling well and didn't get to play. She has a trophy to add to her collection though!

So while Katie rested on the couch all day, I was able to make this cute little easter bunny mixed media/fabric collage.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Finding You - Mixed Media Collage

What better way to spend an incredibly rainy Saturday than making mixed media collages? It seems a bit indulgent letting everything else wait, but oh well!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Christine Marie Art at the Speakeasy Boutique

I'm pleased to announce the opening of the SPEAKEASY BOUTIQUE, by Boston Handmade member Katy Brown (aka muchacha K studios). Muchacha K has been making handmade handbags, accessories, and bridal accessories, from gorgeous animal-free fabrics since 2005. The brand new studio shop, featuring must-have handmades from skilled artisans and fine artists, includes some of my prints and cards. The Speakeasy Boutique is in Concord, New Hamsphire. Stop by if you're in the area!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Working on some mixed media journals

Right now I'm working on a few mixed media journals for a swap and have been poking around for inspiration, as I'm still not that great at incorporating fabric. One person who always inspires me is Lesley Riley, without whom I would probably have never heard about inkjet transfers. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but just slight. I love keeping up with the inkjet transfer group online. Lesley also has a new book out, which I haven't read yet, but just ordered!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blue & Green Mixed Media Collage

Here's something I worked on this weekend. Like some of the recent digi-collages I've worked on, this was printed with ultrachrome inks onto a mixed media of clear emulsion and japanese washi paper treated with InkAid, then adhered to watercolor paper. It's on my etsy shop.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


So what's happening in my studio today? Not much of anything. Sammy slipped behind the curtain to peek out at the little birds in the tree, waiting, I'm sure, for the first opportunity to lunge at them in the spring. She's definitely a hunter.
Usually I'm productive on Sundays but I've spent most of the day trying one thing or another and nothing seems to be coming together. I did happen to find two more gorgeous artist sites who will become part of my weekly blog/web visits. They are:
Hope you're all having a more productive day than I...happy Sunday.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Red Lotus Mixed Media

I'm really loving these digital collaged printed onto Japanese Washi paper and clear emulsion. They are so thin and translucent. For now I am adhering them to 140 lb. Arches watercolor paper, but am thinking of other ways to use them.