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MEET ARTIST CHRIS SHANDS | EXHIBIT MAY 2024

Chris Shands/Palette 2024

CHRIS SHANDS

How has your art process changed in comparison to when you were a new artist?
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I gain confidence each year and rely more on intuition when I'm painting now. Letting go and trusting myself is the hardest part; I am a little bit, ok, very much of a perfectionist and the voices of doubt can sometimes interrupt the flow that I need to develop a piece. I am fortunate to have gained a new space to paint, much bigger than before. We built a studio in our backyard which has allowed me to have a space that belongs only to me. I can lose myself in this beautiful place and shut out the world around me, walk away from it when I need to. It has made all the difference!
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Which piece in this collection was the most difficult to complete?
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Without a doubt, "Free Your Mind!" It's also my favorite! I wrestled with this one for 2 months, put it away for awhile and finished the others in this grouping. In the end, I had nothing to lose so I just went for it, exploring marks I hadn't before and voila! It just came together in the most pleasing way!
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Which mediums do you prefer and why?
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Oils! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them honestly. I love how the colors stay true and how easily they blend. I enjoy carving out the layers when they are thick with paint, but the drying time drives me mad! I'm too impatient to get to the next phase.
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If you had to choose another career besides being an artist, what would you choose?
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Interior design! I'm crazy for it! I'm always moving things around in my own home and love helping friends and family design their personal spaces. If I'm not painting or tending to my garden, you can find me pouring over magazines and Instagram, looking for fresh ideas!
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What is the one thing you are most proud of? 
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My family. I am so proud of how close we are and how kind, strong and accomplished my daughters are. My husband is my biggest supporter and fan. I am truly blessed.
If you could own any work of art in existence, which would it be?
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I'll never forget the first time I spotted a Wolf Kahn landscape. I couldn't stop staring at it and thinking about it and immediately had to learn all about him and his work. The man was a genius and his use of color strikes a chord in me everytime. Yea, wish I owned one of his beautiful pieces...
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Which movie do you wish you could experience again for the first time?
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Pride and Prejudice. I've watched it a dozen times and never tire of it. My daughters think it's silly but I adore a good romance and period piece. 
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Thank you, Chris! We can't wait for everyone to see your beautiful works starting May 2nd.
Chris Shands/Palette 2024

BIO

I am drawn to color and texture. I usually begin my paintings by laying down bold and random brush work. It's at this time that my work is raw and makes me a little uncomfortable.I try not to think too hard about what will happen, but instead, focus on the process of painting. It's a bit like meditation; letting go and trusting. I have to remind myself not to be afraid of ruining a piece, as I know in time, it can be rescued. A lot of editing takes place; layers are added and then scraped off, revealing a little bit of the painting's history. There are highs and lows, but I am always left feeling like I've connected with something far greater than myself.

I was a ceramic artist for 15 years before emerging as an abstract painter 7 years ago. I had always wanted to paint but found plenty of excuses not to. A health scare and an empty nest was what I needed to pick up a brush and begin. It's been such a wonderful journey and I'm grateful for the support of family and friends.

Someone once told me: your work makes me feel good. I can't think of a nicer compliment.

- Chris Shands

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