Christina Kionka

I was born in Detroit and grew up in the towns of Royal Oak and Troy. Always outside by choice, there were times I spent indoors drawing in imitation of my eldest sister whose drawings I admired. I eventually went off to college at Michigan Technological University to study for a BS in Forestry. By this time, I mostly drew trees, birds, plants and streams. 


Life took me to new places and cut into drawing time. By the time I was in my forties, I wanted to do more in art. I took a Community Education class in colored pencil drawing in Iron Moutain, MI, taught by Betsy Holster. For the next 20 years I used my skills to create detailed pictures of the natural world. I did enjoy my time on Isle Royale National Park as artist-in-residence.


Gradually, I noticed that colored pencil done in such a photo-realistic way was not filling the void in my heart. It is so labor-intensive and takes months to accomplish. I wanted something different and tried pastel abstracts.  After a bit, I tried collage using cast-off books from the library and old postcards from somewhere. I have been making these for about a year, and enjoy the process very much. There are no road maps for abstracts and I love the exploration.


I have had more than 25 jobs in my 70 years. I have dumped garbage, checked-in deer and waterfowl for the DNR, worked as an assistant librarian, a secretary, taught the Ojibwe Language and Culture and worked as a Reading Specialist. Now I am retired and free to play with paper, glue and old books. I live and play in Iron Mountain, MI, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Click on the image for more details about the artwork

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