NEW GALLERY CELEBRATES CORONADO ARTIST’S WORKBy Joe Ditler Like a fine bottle of wine reaching its maturity, Tina Christiansen has opened her own art gallery after years of painting and developing a distinctive impressionistic style. Called the Tina Christiansen Art Gallery, the new addition to Coronado’s thriving artistic movement is located at 139 Orange Avenue, next to Boney’s Bayside Market. An accomplished artist and architect, it has been Christiansen’s dream to create a colony of artists fashioned after the impressionist painters who formed “the Colony” in La Jolla in the late 19th century. “I think inspiration comes both from within and learning from others,” said the artist. “There is real magic to be found in an art colony environment, and we are pleased to take the first step with the opening of this gallery.” This early ensemble of her Coronado Colony includes talented painter Janet McCarty and digital artist Oscar G. Medina, with guest artist Michael Walborn. Italian street scenes and the male figure inspire McCarty’s work. Medina creates digital art prints on canvas in powerful panoramas of up to 65 feet. Walborn’s landscape photographs are known around the world. Tina Christiansen’s own artwork exhibits a strong sense of color, composition and form. She explores light and how it travels through, and reflects from the water’s surface. Large luminescent canvases draw the viewer into a wave, under the water, or toss you onto a stormy sea. One of her popular themes is mermaids. “Growing up in Coronado, in a Navy family that loved to surf and fish, water made a deep impression on me at an early age,” said Tina. “I’ve studied water my entire life and you’ll see much of that reflected in my art.” One of the highlights of the gallery is the strong collection of artistic silk. Christiansen has developed an elaborate process for printing her art on silk based on an ancient Chinese method. In the gallery one can find sarongs, hip scarves, shawls, and even opera scarves for men, which are all quite chic. The potential for utilizing the artistic silk in interior design is endless. “Everyone loves the art on silk,” said the artist. “While I can’t share with you how it is done, I’m very proud of the finished product.” For Spring, and the Coronado Flower Show, she is painting a special floral and palm tree theme of new silk items. Tina Christiansen attended middle school and part of high school in Coronado (Class of ’72) before attending architectural school at the University of Florida. She worked for the City of San Diego as director of development from 1990-2004 and currently works as community development director for the City of Solana Beach. “The architect in me makes me want to leave something better than when I found it,” she said. “I’ve been very fortunate with my work in that regard, and I’m very excited about opening my gallery here in Coronado, my home.” Large windows allow natural light to filter into the gallery by day. Special lighting illuminates it by night so people can enjoy the art through the palatial windows while strolling the sidewalk. The gallery contains a working studio as well. Janet and Tina paint on site and offer semi-private watercolor and drawing classes. Christiansen held a soft opening for the gallery January 2 and will have a public opening January 30, 6-8 p.m. The Tina Christiansen Art Gallery is located at 139 Orange Avenue. The gallery is open noon-4 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday or by appointment. As the sign in the window says, “We’re open when we’re here, closed when we’re not.” For more information on the Tina Christiansen Art Gallery and to read more about her individual paintings visit
Tina Christiansen, owner of the new Coronado art gallery by the same name.
This South Seas sarong is but one of the many silk pieces of art created by local artist Tina Christiansen and showcased in her new gallery.
Called “Vortex,” this painting reflects the relentless might of Hurricane Katrina. Lights from the city can be seen helplessly trapped by the encroaching storm, including the eye of the hurricane something the artist had experienced in her youth.
The artist demonstrates the versatility of one of her silk wraps.
“First Wave” showcases the dramatic influence the ocean has had on artist Tina Christiansen. Much of her work finds inspiration from the water.
Joe Ditler is a professional writer, publicist and Coronado historian. Formerly a writer with the Los Angeles Times, he has been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and Europe. He also owns Part-Time PR (a subsidiary of Schooner or Later Promotions), specializing in helping Coronado businesses reach larger audiences with well-placed public relations throughout the greater San Diego County. He writes obituaries and living-obituaries under the cover "Coronado Storyteller." To find out more, write or call [email protected], or (619) 742-1034.
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