10 Questions with Christine Romanell
I have known this lovely lady since the 1st grade. I am honored to say I knew her then and even more blessed to say I know her now.
Contemporary artist, Christine Romanell, is not only a talented artist but her work is truly unique as it incorporates art, math and science. Like many of us, balancing her passion with everything else hasn’t always been easy, but she is steadfast in one thing - happiness comes first. Over the years, we’ve talked about the importance of following our dreams and this 10 questions interview gives you a peek into that conversation as it continues here.
I think Christine’s love of art is best summarized when she said, “Life would be unbearably dull without art.”
Tell me a little about yourself.
I was born in Paterson, NJ. My art focuses on non-repeating patterns referencing math, science and non Euclidean geometry. I set up systems of interference that generate new forms, mixing interactions such as diffracted light, orthographic string projections, and rhombic tiling in sculpture, installation and painting.
1. What is your career/passion?
I love making art. My obsession is working with patterns that don’t repeat such as the Penrose pattern discovered by mathematician Dr. Roger Penrose. Reading about math and science fuels my imagination and is a rich source material. Making is a way to teach myself about the complex concepts that I read about.
2. Were there other careers that you considered or had? If so, how did you balance both?
I have had a twenty year career as a graphic designer. For a long time, I resisted mixing my design sensibilities with my art. After realizing that art and design are complementary, I made more progress. I have a wealth of skill and experience to draw from that adds more tools to make art with. Allowing art and design to form a symbiotic relationship made all the difference.
3. At what age did you realize that you loved art?
I don’t think there was a specific moment. Nothing else has ever interested me. It’s more of who I am than a realization. There is no better feeling than making progress in the studio.
4. In one word, how do you feel when going to your studio to work on one of your creations?
5. You obviously have a good support system to get where you are today. Who is your biggest supporter?
My husband is a true partner. He has my back and that gives me the freedom to spend time in the studio without worrying about what’s going on at home while I’m there. He is my chief art installer, my most honest critic, proof reader, art packer, engineer and best friend. I couldn’t do what I do without him.
6. Going after your dreams isn't always easy. What was the most difficult part of following your passion?
Fear. Making art requires a huge investment of time and finances. This can put a strain on relationships and your bank account. I sometimes fear that all the effort is for nothing but then I remember the joy that it brings and living without that, is unimaginable. Life would be unbearably dull without art.
7. If you could go back and change anything about your passion journey, what would that be?
Letting go of the fear much earlier. I would have not played it so safe and been more indulgent of my curiosity.
8. What is one of your favorite inspirational quotes?
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein.
9. Having two boys, what advice do you give them on the importance of following their innermost dreams?
I often tell them being happy if far more valuable than being rich or successful. I have told them the parable of the fisherman.
The fisherman would spend the mornings fishing then spend the afternoon relaxing and enjoying his life. He sent his son off to school for business. When his son returned he asked his father why he didn’t spend the whole day catching fish. And his father asked him “Why should I work the whole day?” The son replied “So you can earn more money.” The father replied “What would I do with more money?” “Buy more boats and hire people to catch more fish and make even more money!” the son replied. Again his father said “But what would I do with all that money?” The son answered “You could relax and enjoy life and not worry about money!” the father smiled and said “I’m already doing that.”
Happiness and quality of life are so much more valuable than money.
10. What has your proudest moment been to date?
My work was selected in a juried art show by my art hero, Dorothea Rockburne. I was told that she stared at my work for a long time in the gallery. Even though I didn’t get to meet her, it felt wonderful to know that she looked at my work as I had many times looked at hers.
Christine’s art has proudly been exhibited throughout the US.
Photo credit: Duane Romanell
Please comment below and let us know what YOUR passion is AND please follow Happiness Depends for a little more happiness in your life.