December Artist Interview – Christine Goldbeck

Future Perfect Tense ©Christine Goldbeck photograph, made with a Holga camera
I met mixed media artist/photographer Christine Goldbeck through the internet and the PA Guild of Craftsmen.  She is a really positive person who is full of energy and her work combines many elements to create dreamlike visions.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

Back in the pre-digital era, I was a full-time photojournalist who dabbled in painting. When I went to graduate school, I married my three loves: creative writing, photography and painting to study digital humanities. I love making digital art and I still love traditional methods of art making, such as making photographic prints, painting on traditional substrates, including canvas, and the tactility of paints on a palette.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Nature always influences my work. Flowers, trees, reflections in streams and ponds are some of my favorite subjects in photography and painting. I read widely, so things such as novels, news articles and features about art techniques play into what I am making. Lately, encaustic painting is motivating me. I love the capabilities of wax media and using it with oil paints. Most of my work, whether I am writing, photographing or painting, is built in layers. Layers and encaustics are just sublime together!

Fantasy Garden II ©Christine Goldbeck mixed media

Overall, though, I am such a big kid. I always ask “I wonder what would happen if I …”  and I don’t fear making a mistake because I approach a project as an exercise in problem-solving.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

I adore the encaustic work of Dora Ficher and Elaine Brady Smith. Although my style and palette differs significantly from theirs, I enjoy studying their art to observe what they do with the wax. I am enthused by the abstract paintings of Linda Benton-McCloskey and the photographs of Paul Grecian. You know, in addition to their work, the personal and professional attitudes of each of these artists inspires me.

The master Impressionists also have a lot to do with what I make. I see this in my photography and in my painting, and I think, even in my writing style.

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

I’ll give you a nice story instead of the funny one I tell about a photograph I sold despite that the purchaser’s son swore she could make the same photograph in her back yard. Recently, I completed a painting commission for an Allentown, PA couple and delivered it to their home. We had met at a show I was doing and they loved my work with layers and texture, but nothing in my booth matched the colors of their new bathroom. So, I had to go beyond my typical palettes to do the commission.

Untitled from Farm Window series ©Christine Goldbeck

Even though they responded enthusiastically to my frequent photographic updates from the studio, I still worried that the actual paintings would come up short of their expectations. BUT, when I unwrapped the paintings and we took them into the bathroom, they just beamed and thanked me for working with them and for stretching beyond my usual color choices. The following morning, I received the loveliest email from them. I think the moral of the story for artists is that you should accept the challenge of stretching beyond your comfort zone.

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own? 

My Linda Billet free-form, glass bowl. It is green. It is not your usual bowl. I own it through a barter. We exchanged knowledge for art. I think we both came out winners!

You can find Christine at a variety of locations online: Christine Goldbeck website, Christine Goldbeck’s Blog, At her gallery, Arts on Union, on Twitter as @cgoldie, or at Christine’s Facebook Page.

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