Welcome to Watercolors by Christine

Watercolors by Christine Cordone

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 Christine’s mentor was renowned Key West watercolorist Sandford Birdsey.  Christine has painted in different mediums over the years but has always returned to her first love watercolors.  As a child she took lessons with a regional artist Richard Frizzell and watched him paint on the shores of the Great Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondacks, NY.  She loved the way he used the palette knife as his primary tool and pushed pure color into the movement of water and sky with oils and acrylics.

She majored in both Elementary Education and in Art Education. While a student at Oneonta State University, she studied with Jim Mullen.  Jim gave Christine a love for gesture drawing with Flairs and drawing anything and everywhere.  She was seldom without her sketchbook when she left the house.

She taught art for six years near Woodstock, NY There she took classes at the Woodstock School of Art, working with pastels. She had the opportunity to work with famed Catskills Artist Ralph Persons.  Ralph studied for 20 years with the remarkable John Pike (the inventor of the Pike's Palette) Christine painted mountains, lakes, barns and wonderful scenery reflective of the area. Christine has also studied with other watercolor notables, Frank Webb, and Alvaro Castanet at the Studios of Key West.

A big move came about for Christine in 1992 when her husband pianist Larry Smith moved to Key West.   As with any big move, Woodstock to Key West, she became more active in pursuing her musical career and establishing her career as a Kindergarten Teacher.

She frequently passed by the window of Sandford Birdsey on Simonton Street and admired her paintings that seemed alive and vibrant.  She studied for two years with Sanford who stressed the importance of color, composition and light.              A personal renaissance began and Christine has been painting ever since.

As painters, we are in a unique place of color and light.  Her palette is unique to Key West. Christine loves to create paintings that reflect the beautiful "day to day" life in Key West.


Latest studies and experiences

Christine Attended the Hudson Valley School of Art in the Catskill Mountains of NY during June.  She studied with Tony van Hassel, an outstanding plein air watercolor master.

Tony grew up in The Netherlands before settling in the US. He studied under Frank Reilly, and, while organizing and attending workshops, well known watercolorists such as John Pike, Edgar A. Whitney.

The highlight of the summer was a visit to the Brooklyn Museum to see a historic exhibit by American master John Singer Sargeant.

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. He painted worldwide and traveled from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation. 

His watercolors were monumental for the era and broke many preconceived ideas of the medium.

Christine hopes to bring her summer experiences by seeing Sargents work first hand and studying with Tony van Hasselt, new ideas and a fresh approach to light and shadows.

Christine’s paintings are sold exclusively at ART@8:30------830 Caroline Street, Key West, Florida





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