Growing up in Kansas, running through the wide-open spaces of cattle fields blanketed in flowing wild grasses, instilled in MacFarlane an appreciation of nature. While listening to the whistling chorus of crickets cutting through the summer breeze, she would often pause to release the seeds of a dandelion, notice the shimmering light through the dancing leaves of the treetops and feel the fluidity of the cool stream water rushing through her fingertips. These experiences provided her with the freedom and opportunity to dream, explore and nurture her creativity—much like the process of her painting today. MacFarlane’s strong illustrative skills, honed from a young age, loosely depict her subject matter in her multi-layered botanical paintings.
“Daily walks throughout the fields and trials of Colorado finds me imagining nature taking on human like qualities. Just like the instincts of a person surviving in unlikely circumstances, weeds and other wild botanicals reveal their tenacity to live in dire circumstances. Some of our deepest human desires are reflected in nature: to love unconditionally like the passionflower; to trust like the solid qualities of wood; to find hope in the flowing wishes of dandelion seeds; to connect like the dancing fields of grasses, and to be seen like the tiniest beautiful blooming weeds. My acrylic botanical paintings and my recent feminine silhouettes, often represent a message or story reflecting my life, my philosophy on life or a snapshot of life itself. Adding symbolism and recognition to otherwise overlooked parts of nature intrigues me. Although the subject matter that I paint is often made up of the ordinary, it certainly challenges me to find deeper meaning in plant life reflecting the human spirit.” – Christa MacFarlane