Meet Our Designing Artists – Christy Hartman
Christy is a Montana native, growing up and still living in the Bitterroot Valley, where the TV series “Yellowstone” is filmed. As far back as memory serves, she always felt a strong need to create. Her father, also an artist, saw her talent and encouraged her to develop it. Though her childhood dream of being a Disney animator did not come true, she has lived an art-centric life of continual learning, exploration, and teaching.
Christy earned a degree in Elementary Education and taught for 35 years, inspiring young students and artists. Outside of the classroom, Christy’s work has been published in print and online magazines, including two front covers. Publications, however, often require an artist to create a work that fits the editor’s calendars complete with deadlines and dictates of projects. For 25 years, Christy was able to bend her own aesthetic to the needs and deadlines of publications while raising a family and teaching. Though the publication work was gratifying, it left her feeling unfulfilled and stretched too thin.
Christy’s life as a designer dates back to her work creating designs for the decorative painting industry. Her patterns were sold through her website, www.charmandesigns.com, and used by customers to create home decor, holiday, craft fair, and gift-giving creations.
Leaving behind the demands of deadlines and controlled creations, Christy discovered the burgeoning world of mixed media art. As with all good art, good mixed media utilizes the foundations of art, color, and design theory, but frees the artist in terms of materials, techniques, and visions. To fuel her mixed media fire, Christy discovered gel plate print and the joy of creating her own papers. This freedom from commercially printed papers was in line with Christy’s lifelong desire to make her work recognizable and copyrighted.
Christy’s first use of the gel plate was to create portions of other work. During the pandemic lockdown, Christy expanded to creating stand-alone gel plate prints that could be framed as original works of art. Her discovery of PM artist Studio, finding their YouTube lives inspirational, educational, and entertaining. From there, she joined Makers of Mixed Media Art / Artists and has continued to be active in the group. Christy became a big fan of the PM Artist Studio’s stencils and has a “large collection” of them. Eventually, Christy’s original stencil designs became a part of that collection and are currently produced and sold exclusively through PM Artist Studio.
Now retired from teaching, Christy spends her time continuing to learn, grow and create art. Her current educational pursuit is studying art theory, color theory, and composition. She has always created intuitively but seeks to further understand the why for her intuition. Christy believes that “You can never say you are an expert in anything art related. There is so much to learn.” She encourages other artists to “Do what makes you happy and forget about being pigeonholed into one particular sort of art style.”
When not creating art in her home studio, spending time with her two grown children (a son and a daughter) and two grandchildren as well as traveling with her husband of 40 years.
Find Christy’s Designs here: Stencils & Masks
written by Anne Lawver