Waimea’s home of Hawaii regional cuisine, Merriman’s Restaurant, will exhibit a new collection of contemporary fine art by Christina Skaggs in a solo show from Oct. 21-Jan. 13.
“I am delighted and honored to have this opportunity to show my paintings at Merriman’s,” Skaggs said. “It is most gracious of Peter Merriman to share his bounty, not only with the farmers but with the island’s artists as well.”
“My process always begins with research. I am a sponge whose inspiration comes from cuisine, architecture, fashion, interiors and textiles,” said the Hilo-based artist.
“Much of my influence comes from carvings, weavings and the cultural gravity embedded in all ancient cultures. I have been beachcombing all my life, sifting sand for colors and patterns that mine the heart. I have a unique method of building up a surface in innumerable layers with glazes I mix myself. My process is complex, unforgiving and temperature-sensitive — a private puzzle with a million ways to go wrong. I find myself constantly inventing new techniques in the quest for unattainable perfection, a province known solely to God.”
The artist’s background is in camera work and set design for Hollywood films, television and special events and as a display director on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
While in Los Angeles, Skaggs had the opportunity to study privately with the late master painter Gilbert Batty. Batty had apprenticed with his father and grandfather, painting and gilding in the great halls of London at the turn of the last century.
“Mr. Batty taught me old-world skills, and, even more valuable, a comfort level with paint,” Skaggs said. “He said that if one could see your process, you had failed. Mr. Batty believed that a painter’s work was to create illusion and magic, and I think he would like this work of mine. He would not know how I did it, and that would delight him. Voltaire said that the secret of being a bore is to tell everything, and Mr. Batty would agree.”
Recently, Skaggs’ was commissioned for a painting representing Creek Indian tribal patterns for the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga.
The artist’s work can also be found at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii, Café Inyo and the penthouse suites at Trump Tower International Hotel, Kaiser Medical Center, Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu, The Marriott Resort on Kauai and The Ritz Carlton Kapalua on Maui, among others.
Raised in New York City, Skaggs has lived in upslope Hilo for the last 22 years. “My work is a family affair,” said Skaggs. “Randy, my husband, is a musician and band director who builds and photographs all of my paintings. Our dog, Big Millie, and our two cats, Bernardo and Siam, each happily donate the occasional strand of fur. My one-eyed chicken, Rooster Cogburn, has watched me paint every day for the last few years. They all add love. There’s love and there’s fear, and the intention of my work is to always choose love.”
Merriman’s Restaurant is located at 65-1227 Opelo Road in Kamuela, Hawaii. For more information and gallery listings, please visit: www.christinaskaggspaintngs.com.