Christine Polowyj – Artist

Christine Polowyj is represented by, Anthea Polson Art in Southport, Queensland Her website site is . Christine works in Acrylic, acrylic crayon, chinagraph pencil, ink and more recently, oils. She describes her work as Figurative Expressionism with psycho-social musings on truth and honesty with one’s self.


Artist’s statement…
The depths and highs of human emotion, uncomfortable situations and challenging human behaviours inspire me in embracing the awkward, the difficult, the strange, the vibrant and the irrational. Reflexively, this goes some way to accepting the self and becomes the main motivation for communicating such emotional display/acceptance on canvas.

If an artwork can inspire a viewer to contemplate challenging aspects of their own inner lives, the purpose of each work is further fulfilled.
Painting is the positive outcome in my adult life of a difficult adolescence. The eventual suicide by my mother was the catalyst for self-examination to healthily accept such a deep loss and desire to continue my interest in art on my own terms.

I have been more comfortable developing my art in tandem with the deeper understanding borne from experience and a lateral approach to practicing art and life: most recently, motherhood.


What are you currently working on?
Getting a studio built so I can have some room to work in! Then a solo show at Anthea Polson Art in May 2012.


What fascinates you?
More than anything right now, my daughter.


One word or statement to describe your current works?
In limbo.


Now give us a more descriptive outline on your current works.
Nothing is defined. I see flashes of shapes, colour and movement across the canvas in my mind. Big, bold shapes and bright contrasting colours; lots of energy. What will actually materialise on canvas in reality is something I’ll discover once I begin painting. Every painting unfolds in real time – so I don’t know the outcome until it gradually emerges from all the experiments and mistakes that take place on the canvas.


Why are you an artist?
To connect with and communicate my inner self, my actual thoughts and feelings, without fear to a wider audience, with the hope that others can find the courage to accept themselves. Charades can be toxic when we lose touch with our reality. I suppose I’m trying to diffuse the toxicity through my artwork.


Your art education was…?
Largely self-taught, but I did a Diploma of Graphic Design which I think helped a lot with my understanding of colour.


What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
Admin assistant, waitress, office cleaner, graphic designer, farm hand and now I work at a supermarket.


Is there any one thing that has given you a big buzz in your art career so far?
Winning a place at the Independent Artists Showcase at Art Sydney in 2007. Without that, I would not be with Anthea Polson Art. Without Anthea Polson Art, my work would not be in some major art collections in Australia.


What has been a turning point in your career thus far and why?
Becoming a mother has been a huge turning point: my time and room to paint have disappeared! The emotional energy I have available for artwork has changed also: there still is a charge of energy there, but it is coming from a different place now, which means that my work will change because of that. The time constraint will also influence my technique and the finished product. The experience I have will be the thread to my works pre-baby. I have no idea what it will look like. I’ll have to wait and see! I do feel calm and positive about the upcoming process of painting for my next show, which is a good sign.


What happens to works that “don’t work out”?
Every painting of mine contains at least one. I just paint over them – but usually not completely. There may be a part of that ‘layer’ that contributes to the final piece, or leads to the next ‘layer’.


Musical influences?
I enjoy music and my partner has a fantastic record collection. Sadly though, when I’m painting it’s not convenient to shift mental gears (and wash hands etc) and put on another record or CD. You may think, ‘what about an iPod?’, which is a valid point now that records all come with a free download. When my studio is built I may just have to organise that. Until then, it’s ABC Classic all the way, it’s wonderfully relaxing.


Is motivation to work an issue for you and how do you overcome it?
Yes, I find I become a social hermit. It’s a difficult thing to balance up because once I’m in work mode, I’m definitely not in social mode.


Do you have a challenge knowing when a work is finished?
No, I feel it pretty clearly. Usually towards the end of a painting, a resonant title will also emerge.

What about the role of titles with your work, some hate them others revel in them, what about you?
I find that the title is the cherry on the top of the work. It’s what ties the meaning of the painting to the initial inspiration of the painting – sort of like the afterbirth of my subconscious.

Is your art, “art for art sake…” or a matter of “art for commercial viability?”
It’s great to sell paintings, but I don’t make paintings to sell. I’ve had buyers ask if I will change part of the painting to suit them, but I don’t. I also don’t enjoy doing ‘second versions’ of popular works. The energy just isn’t the same.

Is your work process fast or slow?
Fast, I usually take a week to complete each work. Any longer than that and the impetus for that work has gone.

Otto Dix the German artist said (in part)… “All art is exorcism…” Is that the case for you? If so how…
There’s definitely a dredging of my subconscious in each work. Each work reveals a little more about what’s going on in my mind, and on further musing tells me more about myself. It’s a good opportunity to purge, but the purging doesn’t all have to be tragic and dramatic.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Ask yourself: would still create artwork if nobody else was interested in it? If you would, then anything that happens along the way is a bonus.

Want to see more Artist Interviews the day they are posted? Subscribe and we automatically send you the latest post via email, it’s easy… click here to subscribe.

Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2011+

Follow me on twitter!

Check out our other Art Site Loaded with creativity boosters, professional development strategies, investing/collecting art and activities for Artists and Students…