It's Monday and we are starting this week strong welcoming the latest Well + Wonder artist Christie Younger! We have long admired Christie's pallette knife sculpted oil paintings with texture and depth that is out of this world! Originally from Chapel Hill and now based in Raliegh, North Carolin, Christie's Younger's paintings are something to covet. Her diverse background and education in fine art along with biological science along with her love of the outdoors and travel brings to life her unique artistic perspective which ultimately is intended to convey light, beauty, and simplicity while simultaneously expressing the complexities within a subject finding a balance between contradictions. We are just thrilled to introduce this artist and her fabulous paintings into the Well + Wonder Collection. As we prepared for Christie to join the W+W team we wanted to get to know her more professionally and personally. So, on the eve of her Well + Wonder release, we sat down with Christie to chat and learn a little more about this talented artist…
What is currently on your nightstand?
A jewelry tray I got from the glassblowers in Murano, Italy; two of my grandmother’s empty antique perfume bottles; an eye mask for sleeping; Bible; a lamp and a couple of little set-abouts.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
My style is a mix of old and new. I rely on a lot of my own experiences for inspiration. My love of art was cultivated from the beginning and my parents kept me engaged in some sort of artistic and creative activity throughout my childhood. I think it gave me the confidence to trust my inner voice. Some more well-known influences are Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, Morandi, Rothko, and Georgia O’Keefe.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
I have so many wonderful memories it’s almost impossible to choose just one. I’ll try to sum it up... I grew up in Chapel Hill, NC. We were on the outskirts of town just enough to say that we lived in the country. There were farms everywhere and plenty of room to roam. I spent most of it outside in the woods exploring creeks, climbing along with fallen trees, and swinging on grapevines. We lived near a huge horse and cow farm. I was an avid horseman, owning, training, and showing horses, but my favorite thing to do was gallop through the open pastures, exploring it on horseback while taking in all the natural surroundings. My love of exploring was fueled by my parent’s love of adventure. We also spent a lot of time on sailboats exploring the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia as well as most of the Caribbean. We traveled quite a bit as a family which has carried over into my adult life. I love exploring new places, trying new activities, and meeting new cultures. Being out in the environment is a lot more fun to me than being cooped up at a resort.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
My go to tool is a palette knife. I use it to make everything!! It’s definitely an extension of my hand and I love being able to sculpt the paint with it in various ways.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
My kitchen is my favorite room. There are large windows that peer into my backyard and let in the most natural light. The decor is a mix of natural stone and wood. It’s not terribly rustic but just enough to make me comfortable. There are two large walls on which most of my art is rotated as I finish paintings. We get to enjoy them while they dry before I send them onto galleries. The kitchen is also our central gathering area where we all come together. So the overall feel is comfortable, warm, and welcoming.
What is your biggest score online?
I bought a big beautiful Persian rug recently online but sadly did not fit quite properly in my space so I’m on the hunt again!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
Buying art through a collective is a great way to find up and coming artists as well as many established artists from all over in one place. There is literally something for everyone. It also allows one the ability to comfortably explore works of art in a very low key and nonintimidating way, making it a great place for the first time buyer to transition to a seasoned collector. My advice for new collectors is to start small and build up the confidence to recognize what it is you appreciate in a work of art.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
I went to Rome, Florence, and Venice when I was 18. We hit most of the major museums and other sites of artistic value. I’d love to go back and spend a day (or a week) revisiting them with a greater appreciation. I’ve also never been to the Musée du Louvre in Paris so I’d love to go there as well.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
My husband and I love the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. It has so much history and gorgeous rustic yet elegant architecture. It has a massive stone fireplace that we love to sit in front of eating chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. They also have an AMAZING spa which is such a treat. We love it and can’t wait to go again the next time we visit Asheville which is one of my favorite cities.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear, and why?
Probably clear. I prefer to blend in rather than stand out and feel happiest when I’m my own natural self.
I can never get on a plane without…
An activity or a good book to read.
How did you get into the world of art?
I started staying home with my three children in 2016. About two years in I decided to give it a whirl in attempts to find purpose outside of motherhood. I haven’t stopped for a second since. I never thought I’d be doing this professionally 5 years ago but count my blessings every day that this is the path I’m on!
What do you do to relax?
Paint!! And I actually love to work in my garden. I just expanded my vegetable garden and love working and gardening around my yard. I also love going for walks, hikes, or bike rides with my family. Anything outside really!
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
Usually, when I’ve had some quiet time to myself... before the virus it was during the time my youngest, who is 3, was at preschool for a couple of mornings a week. Nowadays with my entire family around it’s been in the evenings when my husband puts the kids to bed. Unfortunately, there are moments of inspiration when I’m trying to sleep! I get a thought in my head and can’t wait to get it out the next morning.
Prediction for the Color of 2021?
Either a chartreuse color or deep turquoise.
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Definitely dinner and a movie. We love checking out new restaurants while frequenting a few favorites regularly. We also like to combine dinner and a movie and go to a very nice dine-in theater near our house. There are times when we like to hear live music though as well!
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
One of the first peonies paintings I did with a palette knife is my favorite. It was a backlit arrangement of pink peonies. It gave me confidence in my abilities and helped me realize my potential for growth. Every time I try something new I discover something about myself and it allows me to grow and grow. This painting reminds me of my potential as an artist.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
There is really only one rule you need to worry about..buy what speaks to you. I truly think art is an experience and should be felt emotionally. If you can’t connect to it then maybe it’s not for you. If you do then hold onto that feeling, buy that work of art, and you’ll find the perfect place for it in your home. You’ll never regret it if you love it!