In the Studio with Christine Wardenburg-Skinner
I discovered I could draw the last semester of my senior year in high school. Our teacher posed a tall basketball player boy on a table, his arms over a shoulder pole, ala Praxiteles, and I captured him. This was in the spring of 1960. I have been involved with making art since that time, now over 60 years ago.
I suppose the answer, because I have to, is as fitting as any other. I work in clay, sculpture in clay, draw (almost daily), paint in oil, dabble in watercolor and have explored printmaking via woodcuts and monotypes. The practice of making art has been made emphasizing particular forms over many years. A need to make, to record what I see and feel, by way of exploring a variety of forms, affords a deep satisfaction.
As an artist, what is your most important tool?
My hands, my eyes, concentration.
My sketch book for reference. A good table and my easel. A rolling cart for my paints. Decent bristle brushes, good watercolor brushes, great bamboo brushes for glazing, and a good supply of rags. Of course paints and prepared paper, board or canvas. My wheel and a sturdy table for water and clay, a heavy rolling pin for slabs and an uncluttered work surface. All of these allow a clear preparation for what is ahead, a kind of calm before the storm of doing.
What is your favorite part of your process?
I love drawing outdoors on morning walks with my dog, which I do many times each week, using various papers, India ink, nibs, brushes, and occasionally watercolor or gouache. In the studio, it is the kind of magic, almost no-think of process that happens, and the joy if a piece, be it flat or 3-dimensional, when it speaks back to you.
What is your least favorite part?
Lack of clarity in the beginning and clean up at the end.