Southern Artist Spotlight Series: Christina Baker

Christina Baker

Murfeesboro, Tennessee

Basket of Kisses

What is your training?
I'm self taught. I have been painting or creating something most of my life and it has indeed been such a challenging yet fulfilling journey.

What inspires you and your art?
It could be almost anything at all. The weather, the smells from a new hand soap in our kitchen, colors, simple compositions from every day life such as the way the light hits a glass bottle sitting on the side of the road. I have always been very drawn to really simple and raw scenes in life. Reflections in water puddles, weeds growing through an old car sort of things.

What is your favorite installation of your work or piece? 
I loved the install by designer Lee Shacklock for the Nashville Southern Living Showcase Home. I was commissioned to do the painting using her design board so all of our colors and mood really worked well together.

How has the south influenced your work?
I grew up on an island in north FL called Amelia Island. It was such a romantic and pristine place. The ocean colors of the coast are still showing up in my work. I currently live in Tennessee and am seriously in love with this state. I have seen more deer in a week than I have in a life time! The sunsets are even more beautiful than back home. Inspiration comes from so many sources here in TN. Hills, wildflowers and even the people. I have the most amazing & supportive artist friends and peers here as well as back home.

 What is your favorite restaurant in (your city)?
It's Julia's Bakery in Murfreesboro, TN. Not a traditional restaurant but it's my favorite eating destination. Every time I have visited NYC I am always looking for a wonderful bakery yet Julia's, here at home, is by far the best bakery I have ever experienced. They have this breakfast cupcake that is to die for! It is a vanilla cupcake with a strawberry filling, maple flavored icing and topped with real bacon crumbles. Their Oreo Bump is my favorite though! Can you tell I love sweets?

What is your favorite cocktail?

How do you balance personal life and work?
My husband laughed when I read this question out loud as I think there is yet another story that could be told by the spouse of an artist. It's not an easy balance but in a way it's actually the perfect mix. The past two years I have been known to work 5-7 days a week so I have had no choice but to make it work. I do have a morning routine: coffee, 10min workouts and breakfast. Then the computer stuff which usually inspires that much needed kick to actually pick up the paint brushes! It's so important to step away from your work while in production and come back to it with a fresh eye. Daily chores and family interaction give me those mini breaks needed for that very reason.
Dream trip?
I have a serious love affair with the city so obviously NYC and San Francisco are my favorite destinations in the states. I still think our trips to San Fran are my favorites as the weather is always so incredibly pleasant. We like to go in July which is considered their cool season. We then drive down the coast to Monterey and to Big Sur the next day, which is something everyone must see. When I actually day dream about a place I have never been, it would be Vienna or Barcelona. I would also love to see the sheep farms in Ireland.

Dream commission?
Honestly I don't think I have one. I'm just grateful for all that is on my plate though this past fall I had several commissions going at one time and it was a bit too much. I think I needed more then just a Pomegranate Martini that month.
Your favorite hostess gift?
I still lean towards the traditional bottle of red wine. Seven Daughters blended is my favorite.

Who is your style icon?
I love most all things simple and elegant so I would say someone like Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway or Natalie Portman.

Your favorite up and coming artist?
Someone I have recently discovered and love is Page Davis. Her work has so much wonderful energy and is just full of character.

What is your most treasured possession?
My husband gave me the most wonderful gift for our first anniversary. It was a handmade wooden locket inspired by the movie 
The Illusionist. It's sort of like a puzzle as the locket turns into a heart with a secret photo of my husband inside. I keep it in my nightstand drawer safe and sound.

What are you listening to these days?
I love love love music though I am still listening to the music I grew up with. A few days ago I had Fleetwood Mac and Boston playing while I was working. I am also a big fan of what's known as "downtempo" or "nu-Jazz" which is something you may hear in a lounge setting. DC based Thievery Corporation is still one of my favs from that genre.
Here are some new works by Christina. You can see her work on her website or through Gregg Irby Gallery in Atlanta. 
Classroom Love
Cotton Candy
Grape Martini
Miles Away
The Flowers in the Heart
Where Roses Grow

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  • April 19, 2013

    I first saw Christina's work at a school meeting, in a beautiful dining room of a home featured inTraditional Home. I am now the proud owner of two of her paintings, including Basket of Kisses (first painting on this post) as well as White Chocolate. 
    She is as gracious and kind as she is talented!

    • April 19, 2013

      Good for you! I am in love with Basket of Kisses. I even asked her about it. Sadly, it was sold.
      Take care-


  • April 19, 2013

    I just wanted to say thank you for all of your support of so many artists as well as Gregg Irby whom I've had the privilege of working with over the years.
    I love how art can bring people together! (Thank you Alexis Walter!) Just as an artist painting can inspire a designer we are also inspired by a designers eye/work. I would love to see the tables turned where the artist expresses how your work is an inspiration to us.
     Holly Street, I actually almost mentioned to Holly that you were the one who purchased Basket Of Kisses as I have always been so honored that you are fond of my work!
     Holly Phillips, thank you again for the honor to be featured on your blog. You really made this a fun and special interview. I am very much looking forward to following your work.

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