The way imagination happens...and, a new painting / by Christina Rosalie

15" x 30" mixed media collage.

Here are some up-close shots.


Of course, the good ideas always hit at the least convenient times: in the shower maybe, when I’m out on a run, or just drifting off to sleep—any place far from pen and paper. I know why this happens. My mind will start to dislocate then, slipping out of the present and into the luminous space between what is real and what is imagined.

Then, images like bright sun spots start to dance across my internal page. Sometimes I’ll see an entire picture, as though the bulb on a slide projector were suddenly flipped on and the scene dances towards me on the particles of light. Other times I get only a slight inkling. A whisper of theme or color, wending it’s way into the chinks of my busy mind, catching my attention the way the tiny rainbows do, that scatter out about a café, refracting light from the diamond on a lady’s finger as she raises her cup to sip café au lait.

For days after I get an idea, I’ll carry it around in my mind like a pocket full of sea glass, carelessly fingering each smooth shard a hundred times. Then in an evening after the house is quiet and my baby is asleep, I’ll pick out a canvas, and begin, smudging the page with dark blues or pale ochres and white. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know the colors of the rainbow—nor can I remember not knowing how colors blend: my young fingers holding stubby beeswax crayons already understood that bright yellow mixed with emerald would make the chartreuse hue perfect for drawing new foliage.

Color always comes first, for me, followed by shape and the juxtaposition of realistic sketches and collage. It is rare that I am able to put into words what I will paint before I do. Even when I think I know exactly what I want to draw, I also know it will be different from what I’ve imagined when I’m through. This is the secret I am always learning: painting is about the unexpected, the crazy, haphazard, willy-nilly, process of imagination, and it cannot be defined or controlled.

Each time I come to the canvass with my brushes, my pallet thick with paint, and my heart wide open. Then I follow with bold marks the wild flight of my imagination through some internal landscape of wonder.


PS--I've added this one to my gallery.