April 16, 2021 Weekly Musings

Christine Alfery

Posted on April 16 2021

April 16, 2021 Weekly Musings

In Education

Posted on April 12 2021

Featured image: The Scale

In education a great deal of emphasis seems to be placed on the value of objectivity and acquiring the correct answer. There are specific methods that dictate how we learn and how we find the right answer. Take art education as an example. Art critiques are part of the curriculum, and a student needs to understand the elements and principles of art in order to participate in a critique. The student is left with the idea that the elements and principles determine what makes a “good” or “bad” work of art. Art teachers can purchase pre-printed charts explaining things like color, value, line, shape, texture, form, contrast, repetition and pattern, emphasis, movement, rhythm and unity. The value placed on these charts and the corresponding elements and principles of art is objective. It can be measured and evaluated.

What is often missing is creativity, thinking differently. The principals of art create a foundation but creativity balances these objective values. In art especially, we should value thinking differently. 

I am an excellent example of someone out of balance with traditional educational objectives and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Creatives, like me, struggle to function within the existing system. Creatives, like me, think differently and solve problems differently. When I was in school, there was no place for me, even when I went back to graduate school. Because of this, I struggled to defend my PhD. There was no balance. Even in art, there was logic, curriculum, and direction. I remember taking a multiple choice test and thinking, "Multiple choice in art? One right answer? But there are so many possibilities . . ."

As I creative, I just didn’t fit the box. I eventually realized not only was that ok, it was something that I valued. I did not want to become one of the many. I did not want to seek sameness.  I wanted balance – a symbiosis of subjective creativity and objective theory. 


The Scale, The Machine, The Natural by Christine Alfery

Our world cannot be defined solely by the objective. External values can be manipulated and controlled. The unique individual soul is lost when it's governed only by the external. Defining your "self" only by concrete, measurable, proven foundations of knowledge makes all of us monotone. It makes all of us the same. This “sameness” does not encourage difference. Difference exists. We must respect difference because it offers uniqueness, innovation, new ideas, objective and creativity. It offers balance.

For us artists, we realize that as a creative we are giving balance to our culture. We are showing the value of differences as we respect the concrete while also honoring the unique treasures within each one of us. We must not let the world lose this balance. Our culture cannot afford to lose creative individual souls.
I am a creative. I continue to create. I honor the treasures and jewels within me that are shouting to emerge and be present in today’s reality. I am a creative. I exist to bring balance to the world


Released - Five layers Before the Finished Work

Posted on April 13 2021

Blog: Released - Five layers Before the Finished Work

Featured image: Released

Sometimes we just don’t see things in our work until later. I was clearing my computer desktop and came across this image of a work I struggled with. The struggle was huge. I came to believe that for some reason, the struggle was more about me than the work itself.

When I came across this photo I took of the work along the way, I am convinced of that. See what you think.

"Released" - 5 layers before the finished work

The work is now called Released. This title was there before I even began the work. I knew what I wanted to create. It would be a bird cage with birds. Here is one version of it that I rejected. Wasn’t that silly? This image now lies under about 5 more layers of paint. But when I was cleaning up my desktop, there it was. It is gorgeous. The transparency, is amazing. Silly, silly me and my own personal judgement of the work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this version.

The Difference Is...

Posted on April 14 2021

The Difference Is...

Featured image:  Be Mine Say it With Flowers

Art and creating go hand in hand. But, what is the difference between creating a mailbox and creating a sculpture? Or creating a design on a wall and painting a painting? Or creating a cake from the box or creating a cake from scratch? We all know there is a difference, just like creating a painting from scratch or following the rules that define the shape of an object. The difference is that one is contrived, and the other is not. One is an imitation, and the other is real. One is imperfect, and the other is not. One is heartfelt, and the other is not. One is loved because it is real, and the other is not.

The difference is that with one, you let go of all control and with the other, you do not. The difference is that it is a real painting and is in sync and can dance with the self. And, at the same time, it is in sync with the whole and able to dance with the whole.

I was born without instructions attached

Posted on April 15 2021

I was born without instructions attached

Featured image: Checkered Vase

I can remember when the kids were smaller that we would be putting toys together on Christmas Eve into the weee hours.

I am a visual person. I can immediately see where the pieces will fit, which is perhaps why I find jig saw puzzles easy. Brad on the other hand is very objective and needs to read all the directions. He has enough faith in those who wrote the directions that he will follow them to a tee.

We are a perfect match for each other because the space which we live in is technicolor and full of life. I wonder often why others are unable to come to this space.




"Figuring It Out" Accepting Into Red River Watercolor Society Exhibition


Posted on April 13 2021

"Figuring It Out" Accepting Into Red River Watercolor Society Exhibition

"Figuring It Out" was invited by the juror Robbie Laird to be part of the 28th Annual Red River Watercolor Society National Juried Watermedia Exhibition. 

June 7th- Aug 7th, 2021

Hjemkomst Center, 202 1st Ave N, Moorhead, MN 56560



"Listen to the Music" Received 8th Place Award

Posted on April 13 2021

"Listen to the Music" Received 8th Place Award

"Listen to the Music" received 8th place in the Georgia Watercolor Societies Annual National Exhibition in which the juror, John Salmimen called the work, "brilliant."

With this win,  Christine was given signature status with the Georgia Watercolor Society.

Artist Statement:
The Georgia Watercolor Society was the very first national exhibition that I received a first place award. This win encouraged me to enter other national exhibitions. The first -  first place award was given to Black Birds and Tree Tops. I entered this work in other exhibitions and repeatedly it won awards. I am not sure why, but perhaps the comment by the juror for this award gave me some kind of clue. She said: “I have never seen anything like this – this is an outstanding work.”

The second award I received from the Georgia Watercolor Society was for Flowers From the Garden II

The third piece selected for the Georgia Watercolor Societies National Exhibition was Listen to the Music. And this honor gave me the honorary status of becoming a signature member.


New Works This Week:

Two Pears, 8x8

Strawberry, 8x8

Flowers Just For Her, 10x10

Wisdom, 60x20

Green Apples Wire Basket, 20x60


CLICK HERE to see the 2021 Collection

More Posts