An Artist’s Story: Part 2

I truly hope you are enjoying hearing from different artists and their process in telling story. I find it very fascinating that each person’s story is so different and that leads to such unique creations from equally unique people.  Let’s meet Christine.

SR: Thank you for taking the time to share! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are?

Artist: My name is Christine Tyler. I am a homeschooling mother of three boys. I work part time as an artist and an aerobics instructor at Stronghold Gym. I’ve been married to the same great man for 10 years and we are active in our church, Grace Presbyterian (Columbia, SC) .

SR: Why is art important to you? IMG_5042

Artist: Art has been my self-expression, stress reliever and self-esteem booster all at once. I am enthralled by what people can create and how incredibly talented some people are! Art covers such a multitudes of expression for people. A life without art would be so very incredibly boring. We wouldn’t have fashion, children’s illustrations in books, advertising or frankly anything fun.

SR:  What is the medium you work with the most and how did it become “your” medium?

Artist: Acrylic –  whenever I am in the mood to slather on the paint and use vibrant colors! It is a great quick fix for a day I just need to get some artwork done!! It is easy to clean up and dries fast.

But….my true baby is oil. All of my favorite pieces are done in oil. It can be so forgiving since you can go back in and rework a piece days after you have put on the paint. It also blends well. After several layers you can use a paintbrush and mix the paint or paint on top of other colors without the undertones completely bleeding through. The more important thing for me about oil is it forces me to slow down. You cannot slather on oil paint. The process of putting it on your canvas alone takes time and effort. Any amount of detail in oil will force you to chew on your cheeks (my personal bad habit) as you mull it over and rework it. Oil paintings can take months to complete while acrylic may be done that day or within the week.

SR: How do you express story through your medium?

IMG_5017Artist: Some of my works are more expressive than others. Often when you look at artwork it may hit you like a ton of bricks the meaning and pain the artist is expressing. When I became a Christian I created a piece that showed my mother weeping outside of my bedroom door on the floor while I was on the other side in chains. She used to pray outside my room at night for my salvation and those tears were not in vain.

Now, my work is a bit more subtle. I like to give my audience a feeling of calm and peace if it’s one of my more neutral oil paintings or just fun and vibrancy while looking at an acrylic piece. You may relate to my trees with feelings of bleakness if you are looking at works I did while struggling with depression. You may relate to my sorrow if you look at my work done of a lone owl on a bare tree branch after I miscarried our third child. Or you may laugh out loud while looking at my fluffy palmetto tree labeled “Bad Hair Day”. IMG_5014Though you may not know the whole story, you will be feeling, in some small way, my mood during the creation. So, looking at most of my work you should feel like you have had a glass of wine!

SR:  Just for fun and because this is what we talk about in The Story Realm:

Currently: What is your favorite:

a. book: The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers. It’s a heavy read and you may cry ugly tears. Just saying, but the book is incredible.

b. movie: While You Were Sleeping staring Sandra Bullock ’cause I’m a sucker for Sandra! (Except that one where she is in space…will never ever ever see that one. I have an irrational fear of space and suffocating up there without air…)

SR: Excellent movie choice!!! I’m pretty sure that I saw While You Were Sleeping multiple times at the theater – and that doesn’t even include the amount of times I watched it with my friends when it came out on video…or DVD…the movie and DVD’s may have come out at the same time! Clearly, 1995 was a good year.

As for Gravity, I feel your pain! I couldn’t even finish the movie because I was freaked out.  Kind of weird for a syfy nerd.

c. TV show: This one goes back and forth… right now it’s Longmire, a Netflix original, and Broadchurch. Both of these are detective like shows although one is a sheriff in the midwest and the other is a British detective by the who lives by the ocean. They are both thrilling and awesome and soooo suspenseful!


Christine has an art show coming up from May 1-June 12 at Cool Beans in downtown Columbia, SC.

Please stop by her facebook page Art by Christine Tyler to see more of her work.

An Artist’s Story: Part 1

Today is the first in a series of posts about artists and how they tell story through their work. This is a great project because it has given me a little window into their souls. Over the next few weeks I will post a different artist’s interview so that we can see how people who use different mediums celebrate story.

Come with me and let’s take a peek together!


SR: I’m so excited that you have taken the time to share! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are? Screenshot_2016-02-12-10-55-13

Artist: My name is Anna Napier-Hood and I am an Art Teacher and practicing artist in Charlotte, North Carolina. I also do quite a bit of hand carved block printing.

SR: Why is art important to you?

Artist: Art is important to me because it allows me to get in touch with a very primal place in the brain that helps me understand and sort the world around me.  It helps me form opinions and express emotions that need to be expressed.

SR: What is the medium you work with the most and how did it become “your” medium?

Artist: My degree is in printmaking and most of my work is either graphite drawings or block printing; although I sometimes paint or use water-soluble graphite.  Simple drawing became my media in my first years in school when I realized my weakest area was rendering images accurately (basically—I couldn’t draw).  So, I made it my major (drawing and printmaking go hand in hand and are combined into one major at most schools) at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and really found that I excelled within it. It became how I was able to best express myself.

SR: How do you express story through your medium?

Artist: Story in art is very different than story in film or literature.  While some forms of art, like illustration, can give the viewer a broader spectrum of information, most pieces of art are snap shots of single events or parts of stories.  For me, most of my art is a non-fiction story that expresses little moments in my life that have had an impact on me. For example: I had a very unique up bringing that included lots of different countries and cultures. In my adult life, I am drawn to these bits of my “story” and I like to make them real again through drawings.

Specifically, I have worked on a series of drawings of only African animals.  As a little kid living in different countries the things I remember the most are the crazy little moments like a baboon chillin’ on our back fence eating orange slices. daddy's rhino This animal imagery is still vivid in my mind 30 years later.  I can recount that old story simply through a drawing.  The action of making the drawing transports me back to the original event, and I can visit with the people who were a part of it.  I can relive the story just like it was a movie or book over the period of creating that piece.  The end product is an amazing flash of “story” every time I see it.


Beyond those cultural events, most of my art are mementos or souvenirs of little events that have stuck in my mind.  These events are either about my own life, or others lives I am watching around the world. They are markers of a giant connected plot line in our collective “story” as an entire population.  They may not be chronological or seem to have relevance to each other, but as a whole they will tell a biography of the time I have been on the earth, good or bad, interesting or dull, happy or sad.


SR: Just for fun, and because this is what we talk about in The Story Realm:

Currently: What is your favorite:
a. book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .  I read this book frequently as an art teacher because I feel like it keeps my mind close to the little guys that I try to teach every day.

b. movie: The Place Beyond the Pines by Derek Cianfrance.

c. TV show: Transgender. Though this show is full of controversial issues and very adult subject matter, at its core it is a story of adult children struggling with their own lives while taking care of aging parents.  It’s about multi-generational family problems that date back to before the 1st world war.  It’s about how your faith fits in with life choices others are making around you.  It’s about the different stages of life we will all go through.  It’s beautiful.  And the music in it tells its own story. (Rating: R for language, sexuality and adult situations)



HoodlumPrints -block printing stationary



(Please take the time to visit the link to Anna’s Etsy shop: HoodlumPrints and see her block print stationary. Those same salish orcaprints are available on different types of merchandise at RedBubble under the same shop name.)





I am so thankful to Anna for taking the time to share with us a glimpse of her artistic view and journey. What amazing things are the mind and creativity! How sadly grey our lives would be without the ability to engender story in so many ways. And how gloriously and miraculously unique each of us were created to be and that we are given the ability to reflect that in our own artistic creations. I hope you will check in next week to read about our next artist’s story.