Please help us welcome our newest Well + Wonder artist – Caroline Chriss! We’ve been eyeing Caroline’s serene seascapes for a while now and are so happy to finally announce that this young artist has joined the Well + Wonder team! Caroline uses art for what she believes is one of it’s greatest strengths; the capability to take our minds to those moments, those scenes, and those feelings, that we may never want to forget. For her, that is the beach. Caroline’s seascapes explore the relationship between sea and sky, and how these two vast elements affect each other. She organically trickles in the man-made elements of boats and houses, and occasionally man himself, to build that remarkable moment where all parts of life, ever so big and ever so small, collide on that one special beach, creating a snapshot of beauty just waiting to be captured. A Baltimore native, Caroline earned her BFA in Communication Design from Parsons The New School for Design. She currently lives and works out of her home studio in Chicago. Illinois. We recently snuck inside Caroline’s Chicago studio and had a lot of fun asking her our rapid-fire Pardon Me questions; learn a little bit more in Caroline’s answers below!
What is currently on your nightstand?
Fresh Flowers! I always love having flowers by my bed, as the fresh smell and natural sight is an inspiring way to wake up every day. I also have a few books. One book that always remains on my nightstand is “Steal like an Artist.” My IPad is also on my nightstand, as I love sketching on It before I go to bed, followed by a little bit of “Friends” every night!
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
I have always looked up to Sally King Benedict. Her unique style, playful use of colors, and spontaneity in her work is greatly inspiring. Sally’s free spirit and fearless creativity greatly shine through each of her pieces, which is something I strive to accomplish in my own work.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
My most fond memories growing up are our annual summer trips to the magical Island of Nantucket. In fact, this is what inspires and drives a majority of my work! Stepping off the ferry onto the island for the first time of the season, taking that first deep breath and smelling that fresh salty air… those are the memories that make my heart sing!
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
A large cup of water to dip my brushes in! I love mixing different amounts of water with my paints to create a lighter wash feeling in certain areas.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
My studio! It is an absolute creative mess! There is paint EVERYWHERE (in and out of the tube), a plethora of canvases, and art hung on every square inch of the walls. No matter how messy it gets though, there is always a wave of happiness that goes through me when I walk in knowing that this is my very own creative space!
What is your biggest score online?
To be honest, I am not much of an online shopper! I love being able to try on the things I am going to buy, and I always seem to miss the return deadline when I order online :/ So with that said, I think I get the most excited when I can find good flight deals online!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
As an artist, it is hard to find your niche sometimes. Collectives give artists a community, which is so important to have. To be a part of a larger group of talented artists gives a sense of community over competition. It is so fun to feed off of the creativity of fellow artists!
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
After living In NYC for 6 years, I think I would have to say the MOMA. I think museums can be a bit overwhelming at times, but because I visited the MOMA so often as an art student at Parsons, there is a familiarity that comes with the MOMA now.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
The Gramercy Park Hotel In NYC. Not only do I love the décor ( a mix of bohemian and baroque), but I also love the fact that they showcase a rotating collection of contemporary works by very well-known artist.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
I think I would be a nude pink. I always like to make a statement with jewelry when I dress up rather than bold makeup!
I can never get on a plane without….
Wearing comfy clothes! I hate getting on a plane in jeans and restricting clothes! Yoga pants and a sweatshirt are a must for me on a plane.
How did you get into the world of art?
I grew up with an incredibly creative Mom. When I was young she was an interior designer, and then started her own business as a handbag designer. I always knew that I had gotten the creative bug from her and wanted to be involved in the artistic world. In my early high school years, I discovered that painting was a very therapeutic exercise for me, and I began doing it on my own time more and more. I truly loved it! This lead me to attend Parsons the New School for Design, which was a huge jump start for me into the world of art.
What do you do to relax?
Whenever I find myself feeling a bit stressed, I take a stroll outside to relax. There is something about getting out in nature that helps remind you that the world is a much bigger place than that silly thing that may be weighing you down in the moment. Another guilty thing I do to relax is shop!!
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
There are a lot of things that give me surges of inspiration! Music is definitely a big one. I often find myself stroking my brush to the beat of the song that is playing in the background. Emotions are another source of inspiration for me. I am always inspired to paint when I feel the need to transport my mind into the seascapes I paint.
Prediction for the Color of 2019?
My prediction would either be a dark grey (maybe “Granite Grey”) or “Raspberry Wine”
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
I love a combination of a nice dinner followed by some dancing. I am a huge fan of jazz and blues and love going to a jazz club for some dancing with my boyfriend!
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
This is such a hard question because it constantly changes as I create new work! The one piece of mine that I hold closest to me and one that I will never sell is “Summer Sky and Sea”. As a young child, I always knew I loved to paint, but it took me a while to find my own unique style that I felt was solely mine. I dabbled in a lot of mediums, subject matters, and styles. I always found myself trying to paint like an artist I admired or a piece that I loved. “Summer Sky and Sea” was the first piece I created where I felt like it was all me; I had found my own style and I loved it!
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Buying art does not have to be a scary process! I think something to remember when looking at art is to choose it because of a feeling and not because of the name that is on it or where it might be going. Art is such a powerful tool that can evoke memorable emotions. It has the power to take your mind to a memory, or a feeling that you may not want to forget. Put art in your home that makes you feel!!
share this post