If a Southerner talks music, weaving symphonies of vibrant wordplay, Christy Kinard would like to think that she paints similarly, creating rich compositions with impressions of Southern life. The abundant flowers and unique cultural traditions of the South sing through me, into my hands and onto the materials that shape my visual song. I attempt to capture the joyful, layered character of the South, working from both childhood memories and life. Flowers are the main subject of my work, which reflects the bounty of colorful plant life both in and outside the homes of the South. In keeping with Southern tradition, there was almost always a fresh bouquet of flowers on the table of my childhood home. The boldness of my work can also be related to the Southern character. Beyond the well-kept exterior and femininity of a Southern woman, like my work, the women of the South can be strong, creative and playful.
I first started painting at a very early age. I was always creating something at the kitchen table, making sculptures out of colored homemade play dough. I loved playing with spin art and water colors. I used to put food coloring in my lemonade to sell at my lemonade stand. I loved playing with color!
I knew at a young age I would be an artist. The path had chosen me, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I was given the opportunity to attend the Governor’s Honors Program in high school, and carried more paint brushes in my backpack than pencils! I was also awarded a scholarship to SCAD and then went on to attend Atlanta College of Art. I sold my first paintings at age 18 to IBM – a huge milestone for me.
I have had the opportunity to live and paint in England for four years. I had my own studio and worked with other international artists. I was exposed to many museums and galleries. The Tate Modern and Saatchi galleries were among my favorites; I visited them frequently. The work there was edgy and helped me loosen up my own work. I started going to fabric stores and wonderful paper shops and it was there that I started really layering my work with these materials.
I am grateful every day that I have the opportunity to get up each morning, paint, and to make art my full time career.