Lorraine Christie's paintings display her range of talents.
On one wall of the Quinlan Visual Art Center's Jack and Sandra Bailey Gallery hangs a perfect still life, with a glowing bowl of fruit overflowing with bounty. On the opposite side hangs an image of a warm, misty European city, its inhabitants out walking the streets in orange raincoats and umbrellas.
Christie, who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, said she enjoys painting using her classical roots, while she expands with new ideas and images with more modern urban landscapes. She has lived in the United States for the past 14 years, and has been exhibiting her work in the Atlanta area and living in Roswell for the past four.
"I was trained classically, so that is something that very much is a part of me, and from time to time I very much enjoy creating more of that thing," Christie said. "But I think what's been really nice is I've had a lot of success of late with Huff Harrington Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta ... and it's great because it's granted me a license to have a little more fun with the paint, and tell stories with the paint and paint of things, rather than just things."
This license translates to bright swatches of red and yellow on the canvas, placed with a palette knife, that help define the final image. In her urban landscapes, often glowing despite the rainy day they depict, she said she starts with an idea for a title, and then lets the paint fall where it may.
"The process of making it is very much involved with your base color, and what I tend to do is apply the orange and reds and yellows with a palette knife first," she said. "That goes down before anything goes down, so I'll kind of squint at it and imagine where I want these colors to be, and that's the premise for everything else."
The result makes the painting feel more "familiar," said Quinlan Assistant Director Amanda Kroll. Many of the images are reminiscent of Paris, London or even New York, and Christie said she spends a lot of time traveling through Europe and taking photos, which become images that later spring to life on her canvas.
Christie said she works the bright colors into the surroundings as she paints, keeping a title she dreamt for the piece in mind but never fully knowing where the image will take her.
"So, if you imagine in the color spectrum you've got orange, and what makes orange pop would be cold opposite, which is that kind of greenish bluish color. ... and I want to keep it warm; I don't want it to be like a black and white photograph that has no warmth to it," she added.
"I really don't necessarily plan it as much, it just sort of evolves and happens."