Christine Olmstead

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Christine’s works are conceptual, abstract and mixed media. Her work focuses on movement, mood, and through the use of color, metallic, and reflective elements she conveys energy and story. It is through a deeply meditative practice, combined with music that she exercises her synesthesia and painting practice. Christine’s paintings are conceptual in nature focusing on healing, seeking peace, restoring painful memories and infusing light and beauty into the work. Her internal landscapes portray deep emotions and rich stories. “What could be more interesting than the entire universe of thought, emotion, and sensation that exists inside of another human being?” ~ Christine Olmstead

Will You Hold Me, 48"x72"
“Will You Hold Me,” 48″x72″ is mixed media, from the series "Touching & Other Illegal Things" an abstract series in progress during COVID-19 stay at home orders. This piece is centered around the little things I miss more than I knew. I miss hugging my mother and grandmother. I miss walking with my best friend to a local coffee shop chatting right next to each other. I miss sitting at a winery and swapping stories with groups of friends. I miss getting a wave of information about someone, simply based on the firmness of their handshake and the temperature of their skin. I miss the information and little delights of catching a whiff of someone’s cologne or shampoo when coming in for a hug. I miss the visceral, the sensory. This piece illustrates those feelings. The longings, the aching, the sweetness, the subtle. This piece is a visual representation of all the the physical human comforts no longer available to us. This came into clarity when I was talking to a friend who lives alone and has neither family nearby, nor any significant other in her life. Since shelter in place, she’s realized how much she relied on small touches to bring comfort throughout the day. Hugging a coworker, shaking a colleagues hand, a kiss shared with a date, a massage at a spa. All the touches add up. The void of their absence is palpable. "Will You Hold Me" illustrates this longing. In a ghostly background with thunderstorms in the distance, figure orange, and figure blue cradle each other amidst the storm. “Will You Hold Me” 48”x72” mixed media canvas.
Work Credit: 
Christine Olmstead
There Will Be More 48"x60"
“There Will Be More” emerged as an overwhelming sense of calm, peace, and joy overcame me in the midst of the pandemic. All of my work felt like it was for nothing while my shows had been canceled. Despite a season full of disappointments, hopes dashed, and the stress of daily bad news around us getting darker and heavier each day; a calm came over me and I heard clearly, “There Will Be More.” These works are a departure in palate from previous collections. The colors of these works are inspired by two things. Foremost it was imperative these works had a calming presence to them. Because this overwhelming sense of calm and peace came over me during a period that felt particularly dark, these works expressed themselves in pastel tones. These pieces are soft, light, and calm. Another element that was important for me to incorporate was a sense of play and pleasure. I firmly believe that no matter the situations we find ourselves in we must commit to practicing play. When things are stressful it is particularly important to deliberately build these play habits into our lives. This dedication to play can be seen in the use of a delightful lilac, she is dancing. It can also be witnessed in iridescent under layers that peek through layers of paint and gold, she is winking at you. There will be more of all the things we crave. There will be more of the things we felt we’ve missed out on. We can hope in them, but more importantly, we can create them.
Work Credit: 
Christine Olmstead

Christine Olmstead is a mixed media artist who has been painting and drawing several days a week since she was 18 months old. Her mother, an art historian, stressed the importance of art history from a young age. Her journey has taken her from impressionism in childhood, to realism in middle school through college mastering various mediums and finally to abstraction in her adult life and professional career. She was privately tutored in portraiture and still life for eight years. She’s currently pursuing an MFA in painting while running her studio practice full-time. After launching her career in 2015 Christine work has exploded gaining her international recognition. Her pieces are what she calls “internal landscapes.” With collectors and corporations, around the world seeking exclusive contracts and custom commissions, Christine currently sells worldwide. Christine resides and paints in Northern Virginia.

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