christina m plichta

I am a painter specializing in plein air landscapes and florals, portraits, and illustrations. I have a natural gift for portraiture, including people, pets, and homes. I use my floral paintings to create surface pattern designs. I digitally print these designs onto silk scarves, and I digitally print my leaf and flower paintings onto garden flags.

I paint well in all traditional mediums, and digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator. I often favor oils for my plein air work, sometimes including iridescent paint. In my recent series of autumn trees, I have used casein to paint the background, and oil to paint the trees. I love the contrast in texture between the casein paint, which dries to a matte, almost chalky finish, and the oil, which maintains a more glossy finish when dry. I create additional textural contrast by using brushes and lots of water to apply the casein paint, while using primarily palette knife to apply the oil. These trees have a thick, impasto finish.

My current work also includes series of floral paintings. Irises, sunflowers, and dahlias have been especially well loved. These paintings focus on one single flower head, or a grouping flower heads, filling the composition. They may be highly detailed, but they are not photo-realistic. I use photos as needed to complete illustrations or commissioned work, but I do not use them in my plein air work. Therefore I work as efficiently as possible to capture the colors and forms of a living flower or tree before the petals, blossoms, or leaves fall. I often begin my floral paintings using a brush, and then switch to a palette knife to help clarify shapes and colors quickly. The character of these paintings includes more precision detail and a smoother texture that my autumn tree paintings.

I love to paint organic subjects of all kinds, including people, animals, trees, leaves, flowers, stonework, and water. My painting style has been heavily influenced by impressionism, expressionism, and naturalism. I seek to balance realistic representation with movement and expression to create paintings that are filled with color and life.