Maria-Cristina Gardiner

Maria-Cristina Gardiner — Painter

I am very happy to be part of Worcestershire Open Studios and it’s artist community.

I grew up in Florence where I studied art, but qualified as an architect in the UK where I have practised for 40 years and most recently the conservation of historic buildings. I have been sketching and drawing all my life but recently I have been able to devote more time to this. I paint as an emotional response to the landscapes I see everyday and the way I think about them. My representational sketching is now less so and tends toward abstraction depending on how I feel and see something.

My art practice is mainly concerned with the manmade landscape and here I find most interest in the ordinary and often unglamorous and anonymous structures we all encounter daily. These utilitarian, often brutal buildings intrigue me as I consider the passing of time and man’s attempt to modify and utilise the natural landscape. I make quick sketches of these places to capture the memory and fleeting sensation they give me but then choose to process and explore this narrative purely in the studio.

Paintings emerge slowly, adding my own reality to that observed. This time and reinvention aim to give restitution to the ordinary scenes I depict, by obscuring these buildings with elements of surrealism and abstraction I hope to offer the viewer an ambiguity they can consider and resolve themselves.

I sketch paint withy different mediums, oil or acrylic, pastels or inks. I also really enjoy print-work and the use of different techniques from ‘reduction linocuts’ to drypoint with stencils or ‘chine colle`’ and etching.