I have to admit, I have had an #ArtCrush on Chris Shands for quite some time now. I first met Chris about six years ago when I enlisted the help of a somewhat new store, Ruth and Ollie, to help decorate my condo. She totally got my style and was patient with me. I hate decorating and making home purchases, as I have mentioned before. After getting to know her, I learned working at the store was a part time gig to occupy her time now that her three beautiful girls were getting older. Chris was hiding a whole other creative side from me as an artist!
Chris has a fascinating background. She now considers herself a Richmonder after twenty-eight years of marriage and three children. While staying home to raise her daughters, Chris sought a creative outlet and found solace in art. Influenced by the rich colors of Bangkok, Thailand where she grew up, Chris first started her art journey in textile painting, and later was a ceramics artist for several years. These abstract paintings are Chris’ latest step as an artist striving to find her creative voice.
When I asked Chris about her recent push towards abstract work, she had the following to say: “I’ve been happily married and we are now empty nesters! YAY! Painting has helped tremendously in this transition. I thought my heart would break when my girls left; instead, I find myself free. It’s been an exhilarating experience! I’ve had to push myself to places where I felt uncomfortable – I’ve always played by the rules, painting within the lines, so to speak, but with abstract painting, I find that I’m able to stretch myself, paint ‘outside the lines’, and in turn, this has given me so much satisfaction and gratitude.”
I hope you will enjoy Chris Shands collection of work as much I do. You can catch it now at Frame Of Mind on Grove. Don’t miss it!
Photos Courtesy of Chris Shands