Christine Porter lives in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, working from her studio there, as well as in more remote areas of New South Wales and Queensland. She is a full time professional artist. Career highlights include a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Southern Cross University, the 2006 McGregor Fellowship for overseas travel, 150+ prizes, artwork in The National Gallery of Australia and more read her full cv here .
As a painter in watercolour, her artwork tells visual stories about rural Australia, specialising in a portrayal of the iconic Australian Shearing Shed. As a printmaker Christine continues her rural subjects, as well as more personal themes. She uses other mediums too, such as artist made boxes, when the inspiration strikes.
Feb - March 2022 Lismore Floods
Our town has always been known for its flooding.
Most summers the river rises, sometimes up to five times, from February up until early May. Easter is always wet. It’s what it does here.
By now you would have seen the photos of what happened on Feb 28, 2022. My place is out of flood water, but so many people in our town thought they were too. When the river came up this time, after a full seven days of the sort of solid “flood rain” that has long term locals checking their flood plan, it kept coming up. Past the levels of 1974 and 1954. Past Cyclone Debbie’s recent horror levels. 2.4 metres higher in fact. That’s the second story of all the shops downtown, that’s into the Lismore square, over the macca’s sign, into the cathedral, right through half a dozen schools.
Lismore is struggling to regain itself. The short sentence “lost everything” does not even begin to describe the losses, trauma and ongoing horror of this time. I’m ok, but there are many of my fellow artists who aren’t, who are rebuilding their practice whilst they are struggling to rebuild their homes. We will bounce back. The concerted effort of volunteers who saved lives as the flooding was happening, have also taken on the back-breaking and soul-destroying business of rebuilding homes and lives.
There are many ways you can help. Googling “help Lismore flood” gives many options. This is one via the Lismore City Council Contact me if you have an idea that could benefit. Coming into winter it’ll be rugs for the floors, and blankets. But the needs are ever-changing.
December 2021 - Artists supporting Artists
Raimond De Weerdt is a Lismore based photographer and artist. He uses photographic techniques to create cyanotypes and other light-based artforms. He also, in December, began documenting the artists in the northern rivers – offering a formal portrait sitting, not something we can do easily with what we have lying around the house, so to speak. I plucked up the courage, applied more lippy than usual and went along. What fun, and thanks Raimond.
October 2021 - Latest Shearing Shed Project Begins
Late October, with New South Wales and Queensland still Covid-sworn enemies, I wrote a three pages essay and crossed that border to create the base work for the next shearing shed project. It needed to be done now, because the recent rains had created a green wonderland where it’s normally brown – and will be again soon, once summer arrives. So for the second time this year I went off-grid, camping at the shearing shed to maximise my time there, and painted and drew to my heart’s content. Week’s like this are the very special part of my practice that I wouldn’t swap for anything.
August 5 /September 19 - Major Solo Exhibition Stanthorpe
On August 7, this exhibition was formally opened. My thanks to the staff and volunteer arts-workers who turned my time of hard work into a thing of beauty. The show continues until Sunday September 19 at 1pm. See gallery website for opening times. Because the Covid lockdowns meant so many couldn’t make it across borders etc, we may have a finishing party on that Sunday: a “finnissage”. Watch this space for details. For more photos of the work in the show look on this page.
No exhibition ever comes into existence alone. I am so grateful for all your help. All of you. Even if it’s just a little 👍 on a social media post. It makes such a lot of different to know you’re there.
Late July - not out of the woods yet
Once the family presentation was made, we needed to curate from the complete project for the major solo exhibition to be hung in Stanthorpe early August.
Painting in a tent is not conducive to dust free artwork. I had three weeks to flatten. sign, photograph and frame or reframe properly the work to be exhibited. Some works need finishing off. I’m still in Qld. I’m away from my normal framer, though I do have all my framing gear in the car along with everything else.
So I forgo the tent and stayed with a few different people. I set about turning guest rooms into framing studios: fortuitous timing as it turned very cold that fortnight. I sent work to framers in Moree, Toowoomba and Stanthorpe, and painting by painting turned a pile of painted sheets into proper gallery standard artworks. It’s luxurious time, with deadlines, but achievable, even as I juggle time and space. My thanks to Michael and Susan, and Jim and Karen for your hospitality and your guest rooms.
July 2o21 - Project finished . Now let's party.
One of the things I love most about what I do is the moment when I share what I’ve been working on for six months or a year, with the family who’ve lived there for a year, or a decade or a generation, or indeed, like this family: for nearly 5 generations. My thanks to the Tulloch family who have been so generous with their time and enthusiasm for this project. They threw a fabulous family-and-extended-family party so everyone got to see the finished project (and even found me a stool to stand on to speak).
It is a great honour to be part of the story of a place, and I am continually humbled by the reception my work receives. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. For your kind words, for your hospitality, and for sharing your home with me.
Late June/early July, 2021 - When Covid gives you Lemons...
Six weeks before my exhibition is due to open I realise that I may well be stuck on the wrong side of the border. So I did something about it. I packed my car with half finished paintings, all my camping gear, all my framing gear and just about all the warm clothes I own, and set off to complete the project on the road. A short photo essay that precedes the blog that will come soon.
May 2021 - Drawing awarded prize
My long term friends and followers know of my commitment to supporting the Aspects Art Show attached to the Goondiwindi P&A Show, held each May. This year I had no major works to send – 2020 being as it was. Instead I decided to send what I had been working on. A piece from my almost daily sketching habit that had grown from monthly in 2019, until by mid 2020 it had become a daily obsession.
This work from a trip to Toonumbar Dam near Kyogle last August, was made out in the kayak, with my buddies kayaking back towards me. (The video shows me doing this actual drawing).
I’m honoured that the judge gave it an award in the drawing prize, but mainly I want to recognise the committee of volunteers who run this excellent art show.
It has been the making of me.
All sorts of major milestones belong to this show – this year it was about sharing of what is normally my private art practice. Your volunteering has ramifications far beyond your own community. Thankyou.
Radio Silence =Studio Time
At this stage of a painting project there’s not much to see. On a Monday I start a few works, spending an hour at a time on each one. By that Friday, or the following, or three weeks later I have done enough. Then I leave them and start another mini-series. The more time I can leave before those finishing marks , the more effective it is. It keeps my eye fresh, I make fewer mistakes. So from now on I don’t think about the end- I think about the beginnings. It is a huge project – absolutely love this shed. In the back of my mind I know there’s still a lot to do. The finishing part take so much more time and energy than the beginning. But for now it’s paying attention to the painting in front of me.
2021 - Starting again with plans...
MAJOR SOLO EXHIBITION “Nundubbermere”
Stanthorpe Regional Gallery, Stanthorpe, Qld
August 5- Sept 19
Paintings about the historic shearing shed at “Nundubbermere” just outside Stanthorpe. Watercolours of the exterior, interior and other items in this working shed that was featured in the 2019 Radio National interview with Ed Ayers. Listen here.
The year has such a lot of promise.
As each workshop that had been planned – Cowper, Toowoomba, others, was due to happen, Covid got in the way. Maybe next year folks…
At some stage this year I’ll be releasing my 28 day on-line painting challenge “From Drawing to Painting with no drawing in between”. This has evolved from what I *thought* I’d create – and of course there’s more to it than first imagined.
Last year this combination worked well with a couple of students, so combined with an introductory face-to-face, or longer zoom, it means that I can tailor your learning experience to your exact needs.
DECEMBER 2020 - Holiday artwork : learning and respite.
It’s just a year since I was lucky enough to go to Norfolk Island with the amazing Harry Westera on a “Come Away with Us” tour run by Cowper Art Gallery. Since then I’ve played with plein air, on and off. This holidays I set myself the task of daily paintings, to fill a sketchbook, and to refine the tools and techniques I’d need to share this process with others. It was extremely rewarding. Soon I’ll be publishing a longer blog about why it’s important to be responsible for our own learning experiences, but for now I’ve chosen just a few from the thirty small paintings I made in that fortnight, that won’t ever be sold as individual works, though maybe one day I’ll create more work of this subject.
OCTOBER 2020 - Back in the Studio. Finally.
I have just loved getting back into the studio. Starting small, which is an excellent way to begin after so long, I started with this series of pencil and watercolour drawings of this small flock of Suffolk ewes that were amongst the sheep being shorn at Deepwater a year or so ago. For that series I concentrated on the Merino being shorn, keeping this series for another day.
Another day just arrived.
See the full series of fifteen small works here.
SEPTEMBER 2020 - NOW ON YOUTUBE
In another way to tell stories, the three month journey into this new medium has resulted in three bodies of work: The Artist’s Sketchbooks – a journey with Christine through various of her sketchbooks; Regionally Speaking – a series of conversations with rural and remote Australian artists, and Watercolour Basics – the beginning of a series of on-line painting education modules that will become available as they are completed. Visit Christine’s YouTube Channel
JULY 2020 - GRANT RECIPIENT
I’m thrilled to announce that , along with 12 other Northern Rivers arts practitioners, I have been awarded an Arts Northern Rivers micro grant. This grant of $1000 was created to go towards alleviating the impact of Covid.
My proposal was to develop a platform for teaching on-line – as you know all my face-to-face teaching has been cancelled this year. Going on-line has been on the list for a long time now. I found an email discussing it in 2013! It’s exciting to be working on it now. So I’ve bought a bit of gear, worked out a bit of a plan, and am now doggedly working through some practice videos. To make it easier to achieve, I’ve not set out to do it ALL. Instead I’m creating a digital product to understand HOW to do it. That achievable aim will, I hope, stop me sabotaging the plan completely. Obviously there’s elements that make this a huge project. So baby steps it is.
Read about my grant application on Arts Northern Rivers site.
Read my blog post about how this public forum will keep me accountable.
I’ll announce here when my you-tube channel has things for you to look at, and when I have a working on-line watercolour program. Until then I am still available for zoom lessons if you don’t want to wait that long.
MAY 2020 - NOT BEING IN ITALY
My calendar tells me that this last week I would have been in Italy, at the FabrianoInAcquarello international watercolour convention.
Last November, in Brisbane, I was honoured to have this painting chosen as Best In Show at the Australian Watercolour Muster – a national award that would see me being selected to travel to Italy in May 2020 as the Australian Representative Artist. I would be accompanied by other Australian artists, with in total 20 paintings from across Australia making the journey to be exhibited with hundreds of other paintings from artists worldwide. Read about the Muster weekend last November here.
Fabriano is a small city north east of Rome, where the famous Fabriano paper is made. I was looking forward to seeing these places and to take part in the conference.
There were talks and presentations planned, and paint-outs. Others who’ve been in the past have loved it. I booked my accomodation, and went to ACE to learn some conversational Italian.
When the virus happened, the conference went on-line. I stayed home, like the rest of the world, and watched it on the small screen. Their YouTube Channel and facebook page shows the diversity of this international watercolour community.
In the full catalogue my painting is on p70. Images from the rest of the Australian team are included as well. Thanks to Wyn Vogel for being the Australian team leader and organising the Australian component.
MARCH /APRIL 2020 - SOLO EXHIBITION GYMPIE
This exhibition of paintings and drawings describes the iconic Australian shearing shed at its busiest. As well as her familiar shearing shed imagery, chosen from several recent projects, the exhibition includes artwork about the shearers and shed-hands working those sheds. Women and men who, once or twice a year, turn these amazingly still and peaceful buildings into a feast of well-rehearsed activity.
Image: “Inside the Shed” 2019 watercolour on paper, 36x73cm
The official opening event was cancelled, with the gallery closing to the public shortly after. Gallery staff will however be working on site, and will be handling sales enquiries over the phone until Anzac Day 07) 54810733 . If for some reason this changes, and the gallery is uncontactable, phone or email Christine directly 0407170471
TO BUY ARTWORK
Many of the paintings on this website are available for purchase. This page has random paintings that are still available (a work in progress), this page has the current exhibition at the Gympie Regional Gallery, the shop pages have cards, etchings and giclee prints. Otherwise scroll through each painting project which will have indications about which are still available there, though this can change quickly.
Prices for paintings range from $300 – $4000 depending on their size, age, and framed state.
Prices for etchings range from $60 – $350
Cards begin at $3 each, Giclee Prints from $100
Prices for a commissioned painting or etching depends on the nature of the project.
Contact Christine directly for any information, price or to purchase an artwork.
ART CLASSES WITH CHRISTINE
WHERE TO SEE CHRISTINE'S ARTWORK
During the ongoing Covid situation, many galleries, including Christine’s studio/gallery have limited opening times. Please contact by phone or email to check
Studio Visit Christine’s studio/gallery in Lismore, open by appointment. Contact us to book a visit.
Stanthorpe Regional Gallery Qld. August 5- September 19 2021
Group Exhibitions Australian Watercolour Institute Annual Exhibition, Sydney Winter 2021
Gallery Representation – Red Hill Gallery Brisbane, PG Printmaker Gallery Melbourne, The Moree Gallery,Moree, Art Aspects Gallery Lismore, Coldstream Gallery Ulmarra, The Lodge on Hawthorne Blackall.
Regular Exhibitor – Toowoomba Grammar, Downlands, Goondiwindi Aspects Art Show, Blackall Heartland, others
Christine is on Twitter as ChrisPorterArt, Instagram as christineporterartist and YouTube as ChristinePorterArtist.
She has three FACEBOOK pages,
– Her official artist page: ChristinePorterArtist
– Her teaching page: Studio Door Art Workshop
– Her publishing pages with details of cards and prints Full Moon Publications