Christine Cansfield-Smith│Botanical Artist

Local Flavour; What inspires you most about about living and practicing as an artist in the Murray region?

I'm a Botanical artist so it is splendid to be living in the garden state of Australia
here in North East Victoria. Living around Beechworth is an added bonus, as the
countryside is so beautiful. My inspiration comes from the environment and also
the wonderful flora that grows within this region. The relaxed and stimulating
atmosphere is an added bonus that helps release creativity.

A Murray Experience; Does our Murray region find itself into your art? 

Yes, most definitely. This is such a unique region for many reasons – its beauty and
the rather special way that communities in this region appreciate and promote the arts in its many
forms. It has to be one of the easiest areas in which to be an artist. In terms
of Botanical art, most of the flora found here is also found elsewhere. However,
when I was working on the Florilegium a few years ago, at the Albury Botanic Gardens,
we discovered just how many plants studied and painted were endemic to the Murray
region.

The Art Life; What are you working on at the moment?
I am teaching at present, to adults wanting to learn the tools and techniques
of Botanical art. I enjoy teaching very much but sometimes find it difficult to get enough time to
paint for myself, with a Himalayan Blue Poppy on the drawing board crying out for attention.
I drew it on a trip to Butchard's Gardens in British Columbia and am only now getting around to
painting it several years later. This time from photographic reference.

Another project is textile painting. A colleague supplies me with the most
gorgeous cotton and linen fabrics that he weaves and dyes and I'm painting the fabric
both for quilting and for art pieces.

What themes do you explore in your art?
Mostly Botanical. I have to admit that I don't dabble very much into genres.
I guess this is from habit but also I know my creative limitations!

What would be your dream project?
I would love to have a large commission that is interior design related and perhaps uses my new textile painting skills.

Details of images