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Spotlight for Inspiration-Christie Perkins Stockstill

Spotlight for Inspiration-Christie Perkins Stockstill

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Heather Arsement

         Hello Christie,

         Let’s start by talking about your life. Where do you live? Where do you work if you do something else besides photography? How old are you?

Christie Perkins Stockstill

        I live in Austin, Texas, a town full of artists and musicians.  I am a full-time photographer, focusing on portraiture to pay the bills and pursuing fine art as I am able to.  ...and I am, ahem, forty.

Heather Arsement

          Well I am your neighbor then. I live in Louisiana. I love Texas It’s full of culture.

Christie Perkins Stockstill

          My family is from Mississippi, so I travel through Louisiana regularly!

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Heather Arsement

          When did you first pick up a camera?

Christie Perkins Stockstill

          Hmm...first picked up a camera when I was a baby.  My dad is a very strong amateur photographer. Maybe the constant posing growing up is what drew me to the other side of the lens.

          ...but you probably want to know about the more professional side of things.  I began paying with film cameras at the end of the century (ha ha, but really.) Then I really played around with portraits and street photography for a while. After that I did no photography, taught high school for five years, became completely disenchanted by the education system and went running back to photography. I started my portrait business and haven't looked back. That was in mid 2008.

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Heather Arsement

What made you want to get into fine art portraiture?

Christie Perkins Stockstill

           I'm not sure exactly...  I have always loved art and literature. I began my business doing life-style-type photos and began to love the more romantic and creative portraits.  It fits better with the way my brain works, although I still feel very satisfied to capture a powerful moment as it is happening.

Heather Arsement

         I love your style.  You have very rich tones and colors in your work. What inspires you?

Christie Perkins Stockstill

         Aw...thanks so much.  I love to hear that someone likes my style because I struggle sometimes to sort of define what my style is. I find inspiration in so many places from real life to music to classic literature.  I think, visually, I have always appreciated the works of the old masters: Vermeer, Rembrandt, Raphael, Caravaggio, as well as Klimt. I am especially fond of John Singer Sargent.

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Heather Arsement

         You have had some awesome opportunities lately, like the behuman gallery show. Tell me about that experience

Christie Perkins Stockstill

         It was a last minute decision to enter, but I ended up submitting three images and they were all accepted. Then it was kind of a baptism under fire as I found a local printer, figured out the type of paper, the proper dimensions, how many images I would print, and for how much...  It was worth every penny I spent (er...charged) to go though that experience, though. I learned so much. The hardest part, but probably the most important, was writing my artist statement.

Heather Arsement

        What about the actual show? How did it feel?

Christie Perkins Stockstill

         It was surreal and exciting to have my work on the walls of a gallery. I have had my work on display before, but never in a gallery.  Plus, my boys got to see my work and so many other impressive artists.  That was the best. Also to meet many people I'd come to know on facebook.

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Heather Arsement

       I also saw on your blog, that after the be human show you went to Chicago, tell me about that...

Christie Perkins Stockstill

     Oh my God! That was the best time...  Where do I start?

Oh, actually... now that you ask me that, I know exactly how I got into fine art portraits!

Christie Perkins Stockstill

        So several years ago, I went to Imaging USA, saw Jennifer (then Hudson) speak and her work just blew me away.  It was so different from the cute family pics I was doing.  She mentioned that she counted Joyce Wilson as one of her  major influences.  The next day I found myself in the wrong place, far from the lecture I was trying to get to, but right in front of the room where Joyce Wilson was speaking, so I went on in!  Her images and her talk moved me to tears, and I pretty much felt like I never wanted to do another maternity or family session. I wanted to do the kind of creative and inspiring work she was doing.  I found her at the Canson Paper booth later, and she talked to me one-on-one for about 15 minutes.

         She asked me if I could go to Arch Cape, Oregon in the Fall because she was doing a creative workshop then. I said, I don't see how I can NOT be there, and long story, short, I went.

         I have done other workshops with Joyce since then, and now we are friends, and she is my mentor. She lives in Santa Barbara, and I went and stayed with her last summer for a week and we played with alternative printing processes, including Polymer Photogravure Etchings on her press.

         So, getting to your question, my friend Al DeValle was also in Santa Barbara and he went home (to Chicago) and promptly ordered himself a press. He invited Joyce and me and our friend Dorma out to play.

          Whew!  Sorry that was so long, but that really is when I figured out I wanted to do more than take cute pictures.

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Heather Arsement

        It's like the universe to pulling us in the right direction

Christie Perkins Stockstill

       I'm a BIG believer in the way the universe works for us.

      We just have to ask.

Heather Arsement

    I love the last photo you did with the paint overlay.

    How do you do this process and how do you like the results?

Christie Perkins Stockstill

         It relates to some work I did in Chicago actually…While we were there, we spent an afternoon learning to transfer images to a metal surface and I liked the look of it very much.  The guy who was teaching us, John Granata, casually mentioned that you could also just print on metallic paint. Joyce has always done these beautiful gold leaf prints, but they are very time consuming and difficult to master. Once we all got back home, we started emailing images to each other that we had printed over painted fine art papers. I also photographed my gold and copper painted papers and on a whim, decided to use one as an overlay. I am in love with how that turned out, and I'm excited to try more.  (I think I mentioned how I love Klimt.)

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Heather Arsement

     I love how it turned out.

Here is a link to Christie blog on how she does this process... http://christiestockstill.com/blog/?load/blog_detail/page/150219/item/1424/stages-of-a-composite-image----gilded     

Before I let you go…Is there anything you would like to add?

Christie Perkins Stockstill

         I guess I can just leave you with this thought, which I think has been so important for me to learn, and is still very tough advice to follow:  Try not to compare yourself to other artists/photographers. We are all on our own paths and can only benefit from supporting one another on our individual journeys.

         Thank you for choosing to interview me, Heather! It's been so nice chatting with you.

What Remains

Christie's 411:

WEBSITE http://www.christiestockstill.com

EMAIL cstockstillphoto@gmail.com

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/christie.stockstill.photography

Christies Gift of Inspiration:

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