I first saw Chris Ambrose’s fun, colorful beach paintings online and new she would be a perfect fit for my whimsicalpaintings.com website which showcases 20 artists with a whimsical style of painting.
I’m a beach lover and often travel to Baja, also I love whimsy and color, so I was drawn to her lively beach imagery that enchants the playful, free spirit in me. I’m always curious what inspires other artists and how they work so I lined up an artist interview with Chris below. Hope you enjoy it!
1. Where are you from?
I reside in Garnet Valley, PA with my husband and two daughters.
2. How long have you been an artist?
I started to enjoy sketching and my original medium, chalk pastels, when I was around 13. I mostly created art back then for family members. I discovered watecolors many years later and never went back! I’m primarily self-taught, but have taken classes in the past at a local arts center. I’ve been freelancing for 8 years now. I sell my work in galleries, restaurants and online.
3. What did you do before or during becoming an artist?
I decided to stop working my 9 to 5 job to become a stay-at-home mom after my first daughter was born. I soon had another daughter, so I didn’t have lots of time to focus on painting. After my youngest daughter entered grade school, I couldn’t wait to paint again! Soon I was taking a few classes at a local community arts center. My instructor at the center was so inspirational, and taught me how to just have “fun” with art.
4. You have many beach and surf scenes in your paintings. Tell us about your connection to these visuals?
I noticed one day while visiting a few galleries that there weren’t many vibrant beach/surf paintings displayed. They were mostly traditional and I thought it would be fun to create something whimsical and outside the box. I’ve never surfed, but have always admired the surf culture’s laidback attitude, which is why surf scenes appealed to me. Also, the beach is my favorite place to be with family and friends!
5. Why have you chosen watercolor as your medium of choice?
Because it’s challenging but very rewarding. There’s many techniques for watercolor and I still like experimenting with them. I feel that I learn something new each time I paint.
6. How long did it take you to develop your own style?
Once I decided to paint my whimsical scenes, about a week or so. I love painting in a whimsical style, because I feel that I can be much more creative and authentic with my art. Anything goes and it’s all about color!
7. What’s the most challenging part of creating your art?
Knowing when to stop and not overworking a painting. There’s been a few paintings that ended up in the trash can that way! I’m sure a lot of other artists can relate!
8. What do you want to say with your art?
Enjoy every moment, have fun and think outside the box once in a while. You never know what will happen!
9. How important to you are the titles of your pieces?
Very important. The viewer has to not only relate to the painting, but to the title as well. I believe once the viewer looks at the title, it can totally change their mind about what the painting is all about.
10. Do you have an idea of what you will paint before starting or does come to you as you start creating?
I do a lot of doodling in my sketchbook and as I think of something I’ll jot it down in a notebook. Then when I’m ready to paint, I’ll refer to my doodles and notes. I also get ideas from just observing the surroundings, especially when I’m at the beach.
11. What’s your current or next art project?
Learning how to paint with acrylics on canvas. I’m actually working on my first and will hopefully complete it soon!
12. What has been a turning point in your art career and why?
When I started selling in a gallery and restaurant in Sea Isle City, a beach resort town in NJ. I will never forget that first sale! My beach art is very much a niche market, so I’m always researching beachside galleries.
13. Where do you see Chris Ambrose five years from now?
Having lots of fun with painting and hopefully, more experienced with acrylics!
14. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to thank Lindy for the opportunity to display my work on her whimsical paintings site and for this interview. She is such a talented artist!
Chris’s website: www.chrisambroseart.com
Greeting Cards by Chris: http://artist.greetingcarduniverse.com/cardsbychris
Shop for Chris Ambrose Art products: http://www.zazzle.com/lovecolor
Thanks Chris for a great artist interview and for your beautiful, fun art!