I generally do not approach a blank sheet of paper or canvas with a set notion of what my end result will be. I paint with a water based medium on canvas and paper. I paint with many different water based paints and use a very explosive gestural line in my work. I rarely use paint brushes and mainly paint with my hands. I have never forgot the wonder and textural feeling of finger painting in kindergarten If I were to place my work in a genre it would be contemporary expressionism as I have been deeply influenced by the work of the abstract expressionists. Hans Hofman, Mark Rothko, Elaine and William de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler and Twombly to name a few.
I have developed a definite personal style and that style is what I bring to a new work. My work has been described as playful, spiritual and happy. James Nelson from The Birmingham News in Alabama stated in his review of a solo exhibition I had at the Monty Stabler Gallery, that “Christine Alfery’s works are carefree, impulsive, vivacious, sometimes monochromatic, more often colorful, and always executed with a touch of humor. A stroll through the gallery is like walking in a English garden, a place where colorful plants turn space into a freewheeling exploration of nature. ”
General Sherman Tree- Sequoa National Park was awarded a merit award in the exhibition, “Alive in the Arts” at the Plymouth Arts Center in Plymouth Wisconsin. Juror Graeme Reid, Director of Collections and Exhibitions for the Museum of Wisconsin Art, made this statement about “General Sherman Tree:” Bold. Gestural painting with vigor and restraint simultaneously. The strength and nature of the tree comes across very well indeed.”
Kathryn Petke, MFA, stated that “Christine Alfery’s energetic brushstrokes, subtle colors and delicate line work metaphorically vibrates the life that exists and is growing in the Eagle’s Nest.”
Colored Leaves In The Grass “This large scale watercolor is an exceptional mix of spontaneity and expressiveness, combined with the ethereal beauty of a colorful garden. It seems simultaneously carefree and carefully composed, and the palette is both understated and lush.” Laura Fiser Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Paine Art Center – Oshkosh, WI.
End of The Day Best of Show Manito Art League, Manitowish Waters, WI. “One of the things I most admire about painters is the ability to develop a unique language to express something deeply felt but not apparent. In This work, the gestural marks work like calligraphy and refer to the Asian tradition and sensibility in which each touch of the hand describes a growth, a block, and decay. These marks perfectly pair with the subject matter, an old tree, and even though the tree isn’t represented form one point of view with the light falling on it, I feel its life cycle, its structure, its energy and its release into surrounding space. I like how some of the lines that seem to be shed branches contain little bits of energy ready to be released. This is a very encouraging and wise work that also display, like a very adroit dancer, a great sense of timing, an elegance of movement, and knowing mark-making that bravely delves into the medium’s fluidity and freedom, and yet hits the mark right on every time it meets the surface. ” Judge Diane Budde, MFA, University of Wisconsin Marathon County.
Winter Light: Downy’s and Birches won an Award Of Excellence at the 22nd Annual Midwest Seasons Exhibition. Denise Presneill-Weidner stated that “Winter Light, Downy’s and Birches is the kind of piece that just draws you into a different world. The layers of subtle color, along with the expressive, active line work results in a piece you can spend some time with.”
Scott Stullen from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota judged my work Summer Grasses as Best Of Show. He stated that, “Christine Alfery’s piece Summer Grasses is an expressive take on the traditional still life/landscape painting motif. Bright circles of color dance within deep black scrawls, while black and white stripes dart between drippy white washes. The aggressive marks create dense pockets of activity and then die out into the white void. The painting easily slips between abstraction and representation and then back, revealing new depths with each visit. The evidence of the artist’s hand is present throughout the piece, from frantic gestures to long finger swipes through the background. The personal scale of the piece creates a one-to-one relationship with the viewer, confronting you as you stand before it. I felt compelled to trace the artist’s hand, retracing the record of activity. The overall painting mixes a formal grace with direct application of the materials to create stunning and mature work. Summer Grasses is my choice for Best in Show for tackling a traditional subject and imbuing it with a skillfully- executed and fresh perspective.
Celebrate – Celebrate – Dance To The Music. “The combination of color and texture create a unified composition with both abstract and pictorial elements. There is an almost whimsical quality to the line work.” Brian Borchardt, Smith Scarabocchio Art Museum.
Christine’s work is “playful and has a nice energy.” Stephen Quiller, AWS. “So much energy.” Nate Wilson. Nicolete College, Rhinelander, WI.
Nancy Lamers, Professor of Art at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a juror judged two works for Best of Show. “This award was the most difficult to choose because I had to select from two marvelous pieces by the same artists. “Campfire” is equally compelling as a painting in a different medium. Campfire was given an honorable mention, but it could just have well been best of show. Ultimately, Fish’n was chosen for its playful use of the watercolor medium. Christine experiments successfully with a abroad array of media-handling techniques her assured gesture, use of line and color keep the viewer’s eyes actively moving across the surface, and contrast of transparent and opaque color masses resulted in a painting that both makes one think and is visually pleasurable.” Nancy Lamers stated that the “acrylic gesture, of Campfire united to give the impression of the campfire. Without a title to aid the viewer, the painting is just as fine. Mark making, dragging the tool energetically through paint, is a delightful kinesthetic experience for the viewer, surely as it was for the artist while creating. Light, dark contrast and textural changes, from barely noticeable to dynamic, add complexity.
Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber Of Commerce. “She works in a variety of paint mediums, including watercolor and acrylic and creates abstract floral images. Her images seem to grow organically across the canvas in a palette that can only be described as the happiest of colors. Alfery’s exhibit promises to be a patch of spring as we in the U.P. begin to eagerly await the end of winter.”
Gay Scheffen. News Of The North. Alfery does not possess the demons of her predecessors and, in fact, believes that her acrylic and watercolor paintings are divinely inspired. She says”there is something extremely beautiful and powerful within me that emerges when I paint.”She embraces it and treasures it. Her art is more about the emotional experience than the physical reality.
Julie Ganzer. University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Through the artist’s use of line, texture and bright color, simple “organisms” almost literally bounce and wriggle through a watery patch of sea green, gold, brick red and murky violet. The visual play is very entertaining.”
Viewer’s Choice Award Comment. The Blanche Ames National Juried Art Exhibition. “Lovely festive, like many songs of the heart.”
Christine “has the ability to use strong merging color from warm to cool The eye plays with the curved shapes. There is a nice use of linear components which blend with the background colors.’’ Rovert Stowers, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, WI.