Collection: Christa Barnell


1. What do you do when you’re not making art? (Day job etc...).

Children’s portraiture is my day job. I spend a lot of time in rural Indiana with family and friends. I foster cats for the humane society, travel, listen to books, water my plants, send out snail-mail covered in art clippings.

2. Why do you make art?

I can bring my physical pain level down two or three notches while painting, in the zone, it’s very similar to meditating. It’s also a compulsion to catch perfect fleeting things, like trapping a gorgeous bug in a jar I guess. The 100 unfinished paintings I have planned out in my head just replay like a song on repeat.

3. What inspires you?

Water, to convey the unseen. Flora, fauna and the female form.

4. What/who are your influences?

Narratives. Growing up I made picture books and spent summers in Santa Fe, listening to story tellers at the folk art museum. As a teen I loved the illustrators of the Golden Age and pre-Raphaelites. And currently painters like Michael Bergt, Jaimie Wyeth, Armando Valero.

5. If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be?

I would be more interested in any animal encounter from a whale to a wombat. If I had to choose a Sapien, then maybe a mystic like Hildegard of Bingen.