The Hero’s Journey of Christopher Reid

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I get to create – to add something positive to the world that did not previously exist. Art can enhance someone’s life. I also get the pleasure of seeing the world through the eyes of an artist, which means that I get to concentrate on the beauty of light, forms, and color in our world rather than all the ugliness.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness is somewhere between painting en plein air on a beautiful day with dramatic lighting and the taste of delicious chocolate still on my tongue and taking a nap with my wife and cat on a winter day.

What is my greatest fear?

I fear that I am forgetting something important and will run out of time in life before I get it done. There is so much I want to do in life and so many paintings I will never get time to paint. Even more important are the people in my life. I try to counter my fear by letting the people close to me know I love them and don’t leave anything unsaid.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Because of my training to critique and self-critique, I tend to focus on things that could be improved and altered. I think that I am sometimes too critical of others in everyday life and not as open with praise as I could be. I try and be more compassionate, but I have a long way to go.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

There are so many amazing artists living today and I am grateful to be able to connect with so many with modern technology. David Kassan, Casey Baugh, James Gurney, Anthony Waichulis, Cesar Santos, and many others are inspirations.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Food. I love to cook and I love to eat. My spice collection is the size of some people’s pantry.

On what occasion would I lie?

I would lie when it would be more compassionate than hurting someone’s feelings and later revelation of the truth would do less harm.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I want to work much larger. I have room in my studio, but can only fit panels up to a certain size in my car. I guess I need to start having them delivered or buy a truck.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Every time I paint, I am a different artist – hopefully a better one. As I see progression in my work I enjoy it even more. I guess I am happiest in my work now and I hope to be even happier in the future 🙂

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would change parts of my past. I wasted a lot of time when I was younger on things that didn’t matter and I wish I had focused more on my art back then so that I would be even farther along my path than I am now.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

There are many achievements I am proud of. My greatest would have to be teaching others to draw and paint. It is thrilling to have a hand in igniting the passion for art in a student. The joy I get from art shared is multiplied.

Where would I most like to live?

I am very fortunate to live in Hermanus, in the Western Cape of South Africa. We have ideal climate, stunning views, whales in the bay, and wonderful people. I am grateful to live where I do.

What is my most treasured possession?

I would say that my cat, Moose, is my most treasured possession, but, as any cat owner will tell you, I don’t own him. I tried to think of something that I possess, but possessions just aren’t that important to me. The people in my life are what I treasure most. Possessions are most useful to me when they help me connect with loved ones. So my cellphone and laptop would be important to save if the house was on fire because they help me stay in touch through email and calls.

What is my most marked characteristic?

My sponge-brain. Even when I was a child I was hungry to learn and have read thousands of books. I recall a lot of trivia from a very broad range of subjects.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

My garden. It is definitely a work in progress, but there is nothing like having my hands in the dirt. Like my painting, it is meditative. Time in the garden gives me time to think and daydream, which leads to better painting.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

The old harbour of Hermanus has a path down the rocky cliffs to the tidepools where there is a restaurant, called Bientang’s Cave, built out of what used to be an ancient strandloper’s cave. It has a view that must be experienced. I have watched whales frolicking in the waves only a dozen meters away while eating lunch.

What books influenced my life and how?

I have read so many that it would be hard to trace the influences in a linear or chronlogical fashion. Watership Down was one of my earliest books and remains a favorite. James Gurney’s “Color & Light”, Janson’s “History Of Art”, Jim Lee’s work on X-Men in the 90’s, and Harley Brown’s “Eternal Truths for Every Artist” have all influenced my art.

Who are my favorite writers?

James Clavell and James Michener fueled my love of travel. Pat Conroy made me love language. Books by authors like Malcolm Gladwell allow me to view something from a totally different perspective than my own.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

My wife, Kim, singing.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Superman.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My Ouma.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art, life, and work are all the same thing. I don’t really have a separation. Most of my friends are artists, my work is art, and my travels are because of art. I guess my art sometimes also influences my cooking.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Without a doubt, my wife, Kim. I couldn’t do it without her. She is supportive, patient, helps me stay organised, and is the sweetest person I know.

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

I am looking forward to plein air painting in places I have never been before. Mexico and France are upcoming adventures which I hope will generate lots of inspiration. I am also looking forward to completing the book on pastel painting that I have been working on.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?

I exhibit all over. I try and keep my ReidsArt.com website up-to-date with upcoming exhibitions and galleries where my work can be viewed and also post photos of my paintings online. My newsletter, The Artificate, features brand new paintings, news, and upcoming events. Anyone can join by emailing a request to info@reidsart.com.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I feel that if you are passionate about something, you would do it even if you didn’t get paid or if nobody would see it. The word “retire” comes from a French word meaning to withdraw to a place of safety. The place of safety for most artists is where they are while in the act of creation. There is no reason for retirement for an artist.

How can you contact me?

ReidsArt.com, or email chris@reidsart.com, or #reidsart on social media.

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