Christina Grace Mastrangelo (b. 1983) grew up in Western Massachusetts. Always fascinated by figurative painting, her passion first ignited during a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum and was further cultivated in her adolescent years amidst travels to the Louvre and Vatican Museums. While pursuing her degree in Studio Art at James Madison University, Christina further developed her interests abroad, studying Humanism, Italian, and Art History at the British Institute in Florence, Italy. She painted and absorbed the abundance of art of the city in her spare time. Immediately following graduation she returned to Florence to attend the rigorous drawing and painting program at the Angel Academy of Art. In 2009, after three years of training, she graduated and returned to the U.S. where she has been pursing her painting career ever since.

Click here to view her CV.

Florence seriously molded Christina's artistic vision; at the atelier she learned the traditional processes of working from life, studied and mastered materials, explored art history from the artist's perspective, and pursued realistic painting and drawing of portraits, figures, and still lifes. The city and the culture of Europe enveloped her, something that continues to influence her aesthetic today. She works in a style called Classical Realism; one that represents nature realistically, often idealized, to achieve order, harmony, completeness, and beauty.

Christina has shown at The European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, the Villa Bardini in Florence, and has had two solo shows in Florence as well as one at the D'Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her most recent awards were from the Art Renewal Center, Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America, and the Salmagundi Club. She is currently represented by the Guild of Boston Artists in Boston and Williams Fine Art Dealers in Wenham, Massachusetts.

Christina also teaches at the Academy of Realist Art in Boston and the Cheney Homestead Arts Mill Studio in Connecticut during the summers. Additionally she uses Patreon as an online educational platform for those interested in learning about traditional process and technique.

All of the still-life paintings Christina does are painted from life; no photographs are used. Her entire body of work is done using traditional sight-size and comparative measurement methods- without gridding, tracing, projecting, or using any type of camera obscura. For more information about this method, see her still-life painting course description under the "Classes and Workshops" page or subscribe to her Patreon.

Christina currently spends her time painting, teaching, and traveling between Jacksonville, Florida, and Wilbraham, Massachusetts, with her husband, artist Nicholas McNally.

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I aim to represent nature in a realistic style, observing a preference for order, harmony, completeness, and beauty. There are many things I choose not to paint, and am very slow and selective in designing my work. Each piece is carefully drawn and painted with the intention of rendering just enough information to appear true to life, while sometimes stylizing or eliminating background elements to engage the imagination. I would like the viewer to become absorbed in the colors, calmness, message, and place, and to find sublimity worthy of pause and reflection.

I often choose to not have the material dominate the vision, using the utmost care to create soft, barely visible brushstrokes on the smoothest of linen, and taking time to slowly render my subjects, whether in oil paint or charcoal. I also don’t concentrate on the details of my subjects, consciously simplifying while staying true to what I see. In this way I hope for the viewer to connect with the subject first and the materials second, and for the viewer to notice that it's not the details that make the subject beautiful, but to notice rather the subject’s beauty as a whole.

I search for truth in studying the human figure, and over the past few years I have begun to connect the visual truths of anatomy, likeness, color, and form to the underlying themes we all deal with; our daily surroundings, spirituality, nature, connection, our reason for being, and the narrative between life and death. Aside from my environment and experiences, my inspiration comes from Renaissance portraiture, the Baroque period, Illustrators from the Golden Age, and the 19th century European naturalists.

My latest figure paintings, including “Know Not Thy Pending Fate” and "The Edge of the World", are visual contemplations on isolation, judgment, hope, sympathy, and connection. I make these paintings to clarify my experiences and illuminate universal themes that effect us all.

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