Captivating colors and powerful brushstrokes energize the abstract paintings of artist Christina Sorace MacKinnon. Visit her website to enjoy more of her inspiring work.
I recall precisely when an abstract painting truly captivated me. Nearly fifteen years ago, on a trip to Chelsea with my color theory class, I stood in front of a towering, colorful, gestural Melissa Meyer painting and was instantaneously swept away. I mark that day as a transformative moment of my ever-evolving journey as an artist.
There is a perpetual freedom and exhilaration I find with creating abstract art. A blank canvas beckons to be converted, enlivened and morphed into a new entity. Painting abstractly not only makes the process more inviting for me, but it also urges me to let go of emotion without any contrived thought.
I usually, however, carve out a few minutes to read a short inspiring quote along with prayer or meditation before I begin. I am inspired and energized by my surroundings, but particularly by the need to express my own emotions, by people and by the phases of life in which we find ourselves. Our stories, the momentous junctures we stumble upon along the way, whether painful or beautiful, create different facets of ourselves.
I utilize the relationship and interaction of color as an integral part of how I capture the essence of these experiences. Though I started painting with oils, right now I work primarily in acrylic.
Whether working on paper or canvas, I love creating layers upon layers of color. The quick drying process of acrylic propels me to work spontaneously and in the moment, instead of falling prey to overthinking.
I also use an assortment of items I find lying around my studio to incorporate textural qualities and mark-making throughout my paintings.
I especially love how my painting process can redirect me at any moment, forcing me to experiment with new techniques by integrating different mediums and new applications of paint.
As in life, growth happens the most when we struggle, and it is the same with painting for me. When I am having a challenging time in the studio finding harmony within the painting, I often walk away. It can take hours or days, but eventually I will push through the roadblock and the painting suddenly emerges and quite often it is my favorite one!
Through my work, I am trying to convey that although abstract art is a proponent of freedom, it still has to manifest those elements of art that speak to a viewer. I want them to feel that there are deeply rooted emotions and connectedness in my paintings.
The beauty of abstraction is that it requires the artist and the viewer to find truth and meaning beyond something representational, beyond the recognizable.
Artist Christina Sorace MacKinnon invites you to follow her on Instagram.