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Photography by Tasha Tolliver



PH:  What do you enjoy the most about creating?

CS:  When I paint, time stands still. Even though music may be blasting in the background, I enter this ‘zone’ of quiet solitude, a place where I can truly be myself. It’s raw and emotional, there are highs and lows, but I am always left feeling like I’ve connected with something far greater than myself.

PH:  What is special about where you grew up?

CS:  I spent the first 9 years of my life in Bangkok, Thailand. My mother used to take me to the silk factories to pick out fabrics. I can still recall running my hands over all the brightly colored silk samples. Who knew there were so many shades of pink, orange, turquoise and green? I was sometimes allowed to take these samples home and I would create outfits for my dolls. I still collect fabrics today, looking for a creative way to use them in my home. I also believe this is where my fondness for gold leaf started. It was everywhere!

PH:  What is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?

CS:  ‘You remind me of your mother’

PH:  What’s your favorite way to start your day?  

CS:  A lovely cup of coffee and a long walk with my dog.

PH:  Do you have a favorite drink?

CS:  Manolo’s mojitos at Kuba Kuba Dos.  Delicious!

PH:  What is something you thought you would grow out of, but haven’t?

CS:  Trying to please everybody.

PH:  What do you wish you knew more about?

CS:  Gardening and Football. But I really don’t care about football. 

PH:  What are some personal rules that you never break?

CS:  ‘The Shands never give up’. It’s our family’s mantra. We have fallen and we have failed, but we never, ever give up.

PH:  What do you regret not starting when you were younger?  

CS:  Using sunscreen everyday. 

PH:  Who has impressed you the most with what they have accomplished?

CS:  Without a doubt, my family. My daughters are bright, beautiful and successful young women. I am in awe of them and they continue to amaze me everyday. My husband is the hardest working person I know who ALWAYS puts his family first.

PH:  What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

CS:  Reality TV. Total garbage!

PH: What’s the best thing you’ve received from your mother?

CS:  My mother was the epitome of grace. Among other things, she taught me the art of setting a beautiful dinner table.  She taught me to love chocolate; the good kind. I never once heard her gossip. Still working hard on that one. 

PH:  What do you believe everyone should do at least once in their lives?

CS:  Do something that scares you. Travel far from home, alone. Learn to speak a second language proficiently.

PH:  Beautiful Chris, thank you so much for sharing!  We can’t wait to see “The Space Between”.



The Space Between opens on October 2nd, 2017, 9:00am – featuring over 70 paintings by Chris Shands. Artist reception on October 5th. Join us!



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 paintings history.

I was a ceramic artist for 15 years before emerging as an abstract painter two 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 very grateful for the support of family and friends.

I am happily married and the mother of 3 beautiful daughters. Someone once told me: your work makes me feel good. I can’t think of a nicer compliment.



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