Christina Plichta

I am a plein air painter working on-site and in natural light as much as possible. Although I use photo reference for commission and illustration projects, most of my floral and landscape paintings are completed entirely without the use of photos. I begin by spending whatever time is available working from life, capturing the most essential details of a landscape, single tree, or flower. After my initial outdoor work, I finish each piece at home, brightening or clarifying colors, building thickness of paint, or using spattering or scumbling for visual texture. I paint with an unlimited color palette, and often experiment with paint types, colors, and methods of application. In an effort to delight my audience, I base my paintings on the most colorful scenes I can find. I seek to bring to my viewers the same visual and emotional impact that the original scene had for me.

To increase my effectiveness and efficiency, I often employ water-based, quick-drying casein paint in my work. In landscapes, I appreciate the contrast between chalky casein paint in the background and thick, glossy oil in the foreground. I apply the casein wet so that running, dripping, and pooling effects yield an interesting and softly inviting background. In my newest leaf and flower paintings I create abstract backgrounds with casein, separate from my outdoor work on the flower, and use final glazes of oil to unite the two elements. I also mix iridescent and florescent paint into traditional oils to emulate the dazzling effects of light in colorful flowers and autumn trees. Being available to paint outdoors, having the right equipment, being in the right place at the right time, and capturing the essence of a subject in the time available require careful planning. Yet spontaneity, serendipity, “going with the flow” of wind and weather, and making decisions from the heart are the ingredients most essential to creating my work.