Christine Forest, M.D.
As a medical student and, later on, as a postgraduate psychiatry resident, there was never any time to devote to art—never until 2008 when I took my first trip to Japan. I visited many beautiful sites but had no idea that visiting Nijo Castle in Kyoto was going to change my life. I was swept away by the breathtaking beauty of Japanese brush painting masterpieces of the Edo period of the 1600s. I felt the deep, magical pull of Zen Buddhism, with its puzzling complex and sophisticated spiritual simplicity. It was then that I decided to try to learn Chinese and Japanese brush painting—my first art study.
I started my artistic journey at Santa Monica College learning the basics of Chinese brush painting. Soon I discovered additional Chinese artists to study under, especially Angela Hsin, a well known master in Ling-Nan style. My work was presented at a few exhibits, including the annual show of American Artists for Chinese Brush Painting, and it was well received.
After years of painting with ink on rice paper, I felt the urge to explore new mediums in search of more freedom of expression. This led me to abstract painting. I immediately fell in love with the endless possibilities of it and the versatility of acrylics paints along with the many acrylic mediums.
Experiencing art through experimentation, I found abstract painting giving me the artistic freedom I was looking for. Now I find myself deeply immersed in the study of color and in the expression not of the actual beauty of an object of inspiration, but the complexity of emotions triggered by it. Evolving from but incorporating my traditional skills learned in Brush Painting to the free strokes and flow of abstract painting, I am moving steadily away from clearly defined shapes to abstract ones, shifting the emphasis from shape to color, from pictorial to emotional.
I love my colors warm, bright and harmoniously blending together—a beautiful experience for the eye to embrace and an invitation for the mind to ponder upon it. Reflecting my work as a psychiatrist in my work as an artist, I try to convey my viewers the same message I give everyday to my patients: we can find comfort in the immense beauty residing in ourselves and in the powerful connections we have with everything that surrounds and unites us. I try to infuse in the viewer, just as I do with my patients, a state of hope, well-being, joy, uplifting energy and endless possibilities.