Impressed by the enormity of the Rocky mountain landscape, intrigued by its’ shapes and layers, intimidated by the beauty and danger of this natural artefact Christas’ images are absorbed in depth and curves. The work generally starts with a brief sketch, the planning out of a general outline, in balance. Then the inner line work develops naturally, a flow of organic lines, an unprecedented rhythm. Through a black and white colour palette the attention is on how simple lines, shapes, and tools can create intricate patterns that can play visual tricks.
Who influences you graphically? How important/influential were the works of artists as Bridget Riley and/or Kusama?
I grew up with MC Escher and Vincent van Gogh’s work. I like Escher’s clever transitions, mathematical precision, colour scheme. I like how Van Gogh played around with skies, how he sometimes made them unnecessarily busy. The seemingly effortless detail.
With art not being something I paid much attention to for so many years, I wasn’t familiar with artists like Yayoi Kusama until after I started drawing on a daily basis.
You mostly draw from photographs, why so? To what extent would drawing on site alter and impact the image and act itself?
I don’t draw from photographs that much actually. Photographs are helpful sometimes, but most landscapes I draw are imaginary. I feel like drawing on site would change the whole game. Being part of a landscape is a totally different feeling from seeing a snapshot of it. Movement becomes more important, emotion, weather. In the end, I spend quite a lot of time on one piece, so I prefer to do my work indoors.
What is your take on colour? What is the effect and purpose of the black ink on paper?
I like colour, and it is something I’d like to experiment with at some point. But I’m not there yet. Right now I’m still very excited about black and white and all the beautiful greys it can make you think you see. I feel like the black and white balances out the amount of detail. I like the simplicity and the timelessness of it.
Have you ever thought of exploring the potential of post production through computer programs as photoshop amongst others?
I use Photoshop to get prints ready, mostly to bring the contrast up a bit and to fix little mistakes, but I don’t want to make Photoshop an integral part of the creating process. With Photoshop the possibilities seem endless, but for me it doesn’t sit well. The feeling of creating something manually is such a different sensation to me than working with a computer program. I find it more enjoyable.
Did you ever think of playing around and challenging scale? From the notebook to a maxi size?
To be able to do a mural would be a dream. I find this idea very exciting even though I feel I’m not ready yet.
Do you think you will keep on portraying and revealing the landscape around you? Are you interested in depicting a more urban scenario?
Right now I love letting lines and curves happen as I draw. I feel like there are not many rules to the work I produce, so it makes creating very liberating. I sometimes add geometric lines and shapes into my drawings, but I think mostly because I like the contrast of hard and soft. However, I believe that my mind can change at any moment, and my possible excitement for another subject could lead me elsewhere. As I get to travel more, I almost expect that my focus will shift onto different sights.
Christa grew up on a Dutch dairy farm drawing at the kitchen table. From early on, she loved spending most of my time creating new realities. At the age of eighteen Christa applied to art school, and didn’t get in. She wouldn’t touch any art supplies for years after that and studied literature whilst travelling because of her modelling job. In 2015 Christa decided to leave her life in Europe behind and move to a small town in British Columbia, Canada. The hustle and bustle was replaced by the beauty and stillness of the scenery: the mountains. It was something she had never experienced before.
Not long after the move she started drawing again. Only after she started realizing how much ‘I had missed it. And I couldn’t help but try to capture the colossal beauty I would see on a daily basis.’