Chrisinda Grant and the art of pysanky
Tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Chrisinda Grant; I am 34-years-old. I live with my fiancé Luther Frederick and my two children. We have two dogs and two horses. I work at the Pooch Parlor by day and am kept pretty busy by kids, animals, building a cabin, gardening, art and life in general. I make Ukrainian pysanky eggs, also called batik eggs. Most of the eggs I make are Christmas ornaments; I end up making about 200 ornaments a year, sometimes more, sometimes less. I attend several holiday art shows in the area. I do make pysansky eggs other than the ornament variety also. They usually have an art nouveau feel to them. I've done custom orders too. Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes mostly from colors I like, either a certain shade or a combination of colors. Nature, certain quotations, lyrics, and other artwork I have seen also inspire me. It helps gets the gears moving. There are not a whole lot of batik egg artists out there, so it can be hard to find influence in this particular art for. There are several chat groups that help beginners to learn this art. There's also some amazing work out there by fellow artists So Jeo LeBlond, Lorrie Popow, and Helen Badulak. When did you know you were an artist/maker? I have always felt I was an artist. It is just a part of me, like it's hard wired and feels natural to be creating things constantly, even in my grooming job, there's a bit of a creative process that goes into shaping a dogs coat. How would you describe your creative process? When I usually start a pysanky, it's started on an already blown out and prepared egg. You sketch in the dividing lines in light pencil and then start drawing in the beeswax. I am usually inspired first by colors I want to incorporate on the egg and let the colors and divisions guide me to a design. Beeswax is applied using an electric kistka, then alternating dye baths and waxing until the egg is completed. I then have to melt the beeswax off the egg to reveal the design underneath. The last step is to put a UV protective finish on it to strengthen the shell and protect the colors from fading. If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? If I could peak into an artist’s studio, I would have a hard time picking one particular artist. I love the whole art nouveau moment, so maybe Alphonse Mucha. Or if it was to be a present day artist, probably Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. The way she paints so much detail in her watercolors, the stories she incorporates, and the colors. *Read the full interview in the 6-20-2012 edition of the Statesman-Examiner!