Hello! My name is Christina. Thank you for stopping by.
I paint portraits of people and animals in “Modern Gongbi” style. I paint the eyes first. It is a certain indefinable quality of light in the eye that inspires me from beginning to end. A likeness is not good enough. That does not mean every hair in place or every feather in place. I am looking for an elusive deeper connection.
I refer to my work as "Modern Gongbi". Let me explain the term by answering 4 questions.
What is Gongbi?
Gongbi is a realist painting created with a highly refined technique traced back to the Chinese Han Dynasty (200 BC), during a time when royal families placed a high value on portraits and narrative art. The paintings began with a highly detailed draftsman like drawing, usually on xuan paper. INK was meticulously applied in layers with Chinese brushes. Then and today, Gongbi is considered one of the oldest and highest forms of art.
What is Modern Gongbi?
Modern Gongbi is the same concept, with 2 exceptions. I use watercolor paper and I paint pure portraiture without a surrounding story.
Why is Gongbi rare?
Gongbi is mostly painted by East Asian artists. Gongbi requires meticulous drawings and brush strokes. Each stroke is permanent. A misplaced stroke or drop of ink could ruin hundreds of hours of work. One small painting could take a week to a month to complete. Gongbi is rare even in East Asia.
Why do I paint Gongbi?
I have Asian heritage and Asian temperament. I fell in love with INK and Chinese brush the moment I put the brush to paper. I enjoy the slow pace and deep attention to detail.
In Charleston, South Carolina, I painted "oil portraits" before receiving my art degree. In 2011, at the College of Charleston, I fell in love with "INK and Chinese Brush". Six months later, I attended Charleston's Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Later that year, I attended Georgia's Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival. I attended both prestigious shows for the next three years. While I was displaying my work in a Charleston interior design gallery, I received national exposure in HGTV's Kiawah Dream Home. That exposure created a demand for my Modern Gongbi animal portraits. After painting many animal portraits, I became interested in painting humans. In 2015, I moved to Boston to paint human portrait commissions.
I live and work in Boston. I am painting humans and animals. I have added abstracts to my collections. For me, abstracts are a playful respite from my portraits. Please feel free to contact me with questions and comments. You can buy my art 3 ways: Commission me to paint your vision, select a piece from one of my collections (originals/limited editions), or select a licensed product from Redbubble.
Commissions: Start with my Testimonials and Commissions page. Contact me with any concerns.
Collections: Each Collection contains new Modern Gongbi originals, abstract originals, and products bearing my designs.