I am sitting on the tarmac at BWI, and I am positively giddy. I mean butterlies-in-my-stomach giddy. Until a few months ago, I worked at a busy interior design firm, not far from Baltimore, Maryland. I had spent the past few years helping a friend build the business of her dreams—a high end design studio housed in a beautiful old restored Church. However, a series of “holy crap” moments throughout the summer 0f 2017 got me thinking again about my own dreams.
Since forever, or at least since I was a kid, I have dreamed of traveling and making paintings, and having a little studio at home. When I was a plucky 4 year old, my parents stood me up on a picnic table in the basement and let me slap bright paint on the walls—it was the sixties, and I was doing my own “modern art” before I even started kindergarten. I was too young to remember, but I have seen the home movies; I was a mess, and loved every minute.
As an adult, I’ve been very fortunate to travel a bit, paint a lot, and keep an easel set up wherever I made my home. Before the project with my friend, I worked as a decorative painter for almost 20 years, creating murals, commissioned artwork and custom wall finishes for clients, and painting little landscapes and still life vignettes in my free time. My recent interior design stint had its perks, to be sure, (like a steady paycheck) but I am a painter at heart—and I have been thinking a lot about what that means these past few months.
Today, it means that I am flying to Mexico to paint in a little fishing village with a number of kindred spirits, and one of my painting heroes, Jim McVicker. For the next seven days, I intend to make paintings, talk with artists and dream about painting—bliss. I am back up to speed with my old/new decorative painting business, Chris Vaught Studios, and now have the time, flexibility and resources to really focus on my other painting as well.
2017 turned out to be a big year for me; I gained a husband, lost my father, changed my name and changed my professional trajectory, traveled, painted and meditated on what the next chapter of my life should look like. So, far in 2018, I have created a new website for Chris Rapa Fine Art—the old/new me, traveled a little, painted more, and entered competitive painting events for the upcoming summer. Life is full of surprises, challenges, disappointments and happiness, but woven throughout I believe, is beauty. In my painting, I want to share the beauty I see in nearly every aspect of ordinary life, and zero in on those special moments we tend to overlook. In this blog, I’ll share my insights and observations, about painting and life, along with the things that drive me crazy, and useful tips, as I venture further into plein air and studio painting.
My next post will be written with my head in the clouds and my toes in the sand.