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This week's Lansing City Pulse cover artist: Christine Beals

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Christine Beals is a 46-year-old Lansing-born folk painter who chooses to pull inspiration from the simple pleasures in life. The Art Council of Greater Lansing’s June artist prefers to be in her garden planting flowers, developing color schemes and geometric patterns for her next piece.

Beals’ featured painting, “Vivid Violets,” highlights her use of bold lines and vibrant colors on repurposed wood to add a statement piece to any room or barn wall.

Where were you when you decided to make “Vivid Violets”?

I was in my studio, and it was nearing spring. I have irises and violets in my garden and their colors inspire me. I paint flowers primarily around February each year, because I start getting anxious to see them bloom.

Is creating art your hobby or main job/focus?

I used to just make Christmas presents for my friends and family and I would watch YouTube videos to help me. Once my husband built our barn, we wanted to have something to go on the outside of it. That’s when I started making outdoor barn art. I thought it was just going to be crafts, but it certainly evolved.

What is your typical work setup/schedule?

I work in my studio, which is upstairs in my barn. I like to get up early and paint in the mornings, because it’s quiet. I try to paint every day. I don’t usually record how long it takes me to complete a piece, but if I’m working in the winter, it’ll usually take me a couple of weeks.

What is the weirdest thing to inspire you so far?

Rocket ships are the weirdest thing to inspire me. I really don’t know why, but I’ve already painted two of them. I have a Bernese mountain dog at home, and I painted her in the bubble window of a rocket ship. It’s one of my favorite paintings, and I brought it with me to ScrapFest this year. My husband and I have a 4-foot painting of her on our barn too.

Since you’re inspired by nature and animals, would you consider yourself eco-friendly?

Yes, I am absolutely eco-friendly. Most of what I paint on is upcycled or repurposed plywood. At home, my husband and I compost and recycle almost everything we can, and we rarely have more than one bag of trash by the end of the week.

How many pieces do you think you’ve completed in total? How has your work improved since you started? 

I think I’ve completed at least a couple of hundred, maybe 250. Every single one of my pieces is on Instagram; I use it as my portfolio for commissions. If you scroll from the bottom to the top, you’ll see how much they’ve really evolved in detail. My use of contrasting colors has gotten much better, and the complexity has grown; practice does make perfect.

Christine Beals’ portfolio can be viewed on her Instagram account @folkartbychristinebeals.

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