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Dan Shay

Local artist debuts a “dreamy” collection


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Local artist, Christy Rae Emfinger, makes her debut with an exhibit of more than 100 paintings at Isabel Anderson Comer Museum and Arts Center as the featured artist for Feb. 2022.

“Art of a Dreamer” is a bold, highly pigmented journey to other worlds with curious landscapes and peculiar features, inhabited by angels, aliens, and other beings with large eyes and somber expressions.

“I’m a dreamer. I have a big imagination. I’m self taught, and basically intuitive. I don’t need to look at stuff to paint. Everything just comes from my imagination,” Emfinger said.
She finds inspiration in her dreams, which are “vivid and colorful.”

She is also inspired by nature. “I love to go to the woods. I go to the creeks, and I spend a lot of time outside, and sometimes when I come home, I might want to paint a tree,” she said.

Her style is expressionistic surrealism, and she is influenced by artists such as Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss

“Tim Burton is my favorite living artist. I found out recently that there is a style called German expressionism, and I looked it up, and I can see his style is influenced by that style.”

She started painting 23 years ago, and she found it was a way for her to express emotions, both hers and those of the families and patients she cared for as a hospice nurse.

“I saw a lot of somber faces, and fear, and grief and mourning, and I realized one day, after painting a lot of angels and other things with faces, that I subconsciously gave them all the same expression with big, sad eyes.”

“So, my art is my self-help, and I am the kind of person who is very introspective and introverted, and I need to care for my inner self. A lot of these painting have been therapy for me,” she said.

She enjoys experimenting with various types of paints, and she was thrilled to discover bottled inks and their opaque character. She isn’t afraid to try new techniques, or make changes to a work in progress.

“I once changed an entire painting after I changed the radio station I was listening to,” she said.

“Art of a Dreamer” is on exhibit until Feb. 28, 2022. A reception is planned for Emfinger on Feb. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Her paintings are priced from $50 to $400 and are available for purchase.

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