A 9th generation artist, Christaphora Robeers hails from a long line of Flemish artists – including the likes of Jacob Jordaens, a prolific painter in the 1600s. With such a heritage, she was always expected to be an artist and began painting at 6 years old.
Rather than take a scholarship at VCU, Christaphora decided to continue her education through artist apprenticeships. During this time, Christaphora developed her unique artistic approach, learning from prolific artists along the way. “I learned to paint from personal experiences and remember everything in color.”
Having traveled quite a bit, Christaphora is continually inspired by the landscapes and places she has visited. When in a space she will take notes about the temperature, colors, and sounds. Then later she will reflect on her notes in order to further explore the relationship and feeling of a space. She believes that “as an artist, your job is to communicate your inspiration in a space onto the canvas.”
Ever exploring new vignettes for her paintings, Christaphora says “I have never experienced painter’s-block, actually I have a hard time putting on the brakes.” Though Christaphora paints very fast, she says it’s slow in closure because her oil and acrylic paintings have so many layers.
Christaphora found early on that art can be a lonely and isolated profession, which encouraged her to share this passion through teaching. She worked in the Virginia school systems for the Virginia Commission for the Arts for twenty years, in Artist-in-Residence programs. “Teaching is both rewarding and difficult, because you’re really just guiding people to interpret a space and find their own voice.”
Through her studies, and lessons passed down for eight generations, Christaphora maintains a few truths. “As you get older, you have a spiritual and creative responsibility to share this artistic passion with your peers.” Most importantly, she says, you must always keep exploring and be true to your own artistic voice.