Christina Skaggs simultaneously grew up between the alternate universes of Queens and the rural tip of Long Island, where she cultivated an appreciation of opposites: one having good delis, and the other, old bones left buried in sand dunes. Before moving to the Big Island of Hawaii, she did camera work and set design for Hollywood films, Emmy nominated network television and special events, and was an award winning display director on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. While in Los Angeles, Skaggs had the opportunity to study privately with the late master painter, Gilbert Batty, who had apprenticed with his father and grandfather, painting and gilding in the great halls of London at the turn of the 20th
“I left a lucrative Hollywood career in the arts midstream in order to strip away the inessential and discover the process in which to paint what I could only encounter in my own mind,” says Skaggs. “The next ten years were spent between leading the Hawaii Island Humane Society into the new millennium, building on a strong sense of empathy for those who cannot speak for themselves, and living in the quiet of an island rainforest, uncovering the only thing I was ever meant for…the door that opened to the rest of my life”.
Most recently, Skaggs was commissioned to do a 10’ x 4’ painting for a Central Park West apartment in NYC. The artist’s work can also be found on Maui at The Ritz Carlton Kapalua and in the Presidential Suite at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea; on Hawai’i Island at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and Hilo Bay Cafe; on Oahu at Kaiser Medical Center, in the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and at Café In-yō and the penthouse suites at Trump International Hotel & Tower; and on Kauai at The Marriott Resort, among other stunning locations world wide.
Skaggs has lived in upslope Hilo, Hawai’i for the last twenty five years with her husband a jazz musician – band leader, as well with a big dog, a Siamese cat, two wild turkey’s and a variety of feral chickens in colorations that may never cease to inspire, all who enjoy the occasional cold watermelon.
“Much of my influence comes from carvings, weavings, and the cultural gravity embedded in all ancient cultures. I have been beach combing all my life, sifting sand for colors and patterns that mine the heart. I have a unique method of building up a surface in innumerable layers with glazes I mix myself. My process is complex, unforgiving, and temperature sensitive–a private puzzle with a million ways to go wrong. I find myself constantly inventing new techniques in the quest for unattainable perfection, a province known solely to God.”
“The ancient symbols referenced in my work are embedded in our DNA and this is why we see them as evocative and beautiful,” says Skaggs. “They are a silent prayer to the interconnectedness of all living things. I have carried these fragments in distant memories since childhood, and now they ascend to the surface and manifest in colors and textures”.