CG Wisconsin Summer

Wisconsin Summer


Chris Graebner

As a child I moved around a lot – in fact, I attended seven different schools between 1st and 12th grades. But after my husband, Brooks, and I moved to North Carolina in 1973 we put down roots and we have lived here ever since. Other than visiting family we didn’t do much traveling. However, we seem to have entered a new phase in our lives. Our son moved abroad four years ago and so we dusted off our passports and have begun to stir our stumps a bit more.

The longer I paint, the more I look at the world in terms of painting. Painting is my way of sharing what I find most interesting. When I travel I’m constantly considering how I could paint whatever I see – technically. I make paintings in my mind, deciding how to mix certain colors, how to lay down the paint, what surface to use – canvas, linen, wood, clayboard – what to edit out and what to make a focal point.

I take loads of photos when I travel, pictures from cars, from trains, from planes – usually with my phone. They are not great pictures but they return me to the time and place where they were taken and show me see things I might have missed or forgotten. I go through my photos repeatedly and look for interesting angles or bits and pieces that speak to me. However, I’ve noticed that the places I’m painting are generally from trips taken several years earlier – not the most recent one. Somehow, I’m not ready to paint what I’ve just seen. It takes a while to find which images stay with me and come to represent that place.

The paintings in this show are from a number of trips and many different places: Spain in 2011, Hong Kong in 2013, Wisconsin in 2011, Bois Blanc Island in 2012, Louisiana in 2009 and, of course, Hillsborough. Brooks and I went to Portugal in February of this year – so expect to see paintings drawn from that trip in 2016!

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