Christina Giza

When did art become a pursuit for you?

When I discovered the true meaning and definition of bliss, as presented by Joseph Campbell, I embarked my own journey into the idea of bliss. Upon taking my first watercolor class at the Worcester Art Museum many years ago, I found my true calling. I immersed myself in this medium and decided to share it with the world. I am very fortunate to live this wonderful artistic life.

Are you self-taught or formally educated in visual art?

I am self-taught and have never taken any formal lessons. I started out at the local nightlife classes many, many years ago, and finally took that leap of faith and courage to pursue class after class at the Worcester Art Museum. Thereafter, my education was further enhanced by plein air painting, and traveling with many groups with great teachers in the United States and France.

How did you first become involved with ArtsWorcester?

I joined ArtsWorcester just a few years ago. I believe artists need community and a venue to bring their voice. Thankfully, ArtsWorcester has given many local artists that wonderful push to keep painting and creating in this community I call my own.

What medium do you currently work in, and how did you choose this medium?

Watercolor is my magic. It became clear to me when I stepped into my first class at the Worcester Art Museum and was witness to a student painting only one kernel of popped corn, which was larger than life! That’s when I decided I wanted to do this for life, and now I’ve been painting with watercolor for over 25 years. This is my magic looking glass, my magic garden, my Wonderland, but most of all my meditation. When the world looks dull, I make it come alive with my gift.

What is your creative process?

My visualization is my creative process. Even before I put paint on paper I already have the finished piece in my head. As the process moves along, the finished product sometimes becomes even better than what I had perceived it to be!

How do you choose your subject matter? Are there themes that recur throughout your work?

My subjects vary with each piece that I paint: portraits, landscapes and seascapes, florals, still lifes, animals, and the world. I once asked a teacher if I should only focus on one theme or subject and she answered, because I have been so very versatile with my subjects, to just continue on that path. Because I enjoy pushing myself, I have begun to experiment with a new project incorporating a single theme and I find that to be very exciting.

What living artists are you inspired by?

Winslow Homer is one of my favorites. Andrew Wyeth inspired one of my paintings, House on the Hill. I am also inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, having visited his asylum in Provence, France, where I came across those wonderful trees in the front yard. Monet is truly visionary with his bold use of color. I’ve also always been drawn to the Hudson River artists. Having lived in that area, I can understand where their inspiration came from. For my next project I would like to do a painting inspired by their panoramic views.

Do you own any art by other artists?

I give back to the art community whenever I see an inspirational piece or a piece that moves me. I invest in it, whether to give it as a gift or keep it myself. It amazes me how the artist is grateful that someone has seen their vision.

What other media or directions would you like to explore?

My interest has been tickling me towards sculpture. I am very moved by some of the pieces I have come across at various museums, my favorite being the Pieta and David by Michelangelo. Such beauty.

House on the Hill, watercolor, 19” x 13.5”