Studio 8

Christine Swann

Pastel & Oil Paint

I have always known I would be an artist. My earliest memory is of drawing crooked smiley faces, putting the nose right between the eyes, and my mother telling me to “draw what you see” and gently pointing out that noses are below the level of the eyes. Then and there something clicked in my three-year-old mind, and I have been fascinated with the visual world ever since. This fascination has taken me on a diverse path in art: student, graphic designer, illustrator, muralist, teacher, and portrait painter with an emphasis on noses being in the right place.

My obsession is faces. Subtle nuances that set one child apart from another or wrinkles of life. I love sunlit hair and bare feet- the mommy in me always comes to the table and, despite all the detail, the graphic designer still lives and tries to bring a well-thought-out plan to every painting. Although I still rely on that first art lesson – “draw what you see” I now strive to see beyond a likeness into another soul, another outlook on this visual world, and then construct the narrative.


Christine Swann is obsessed with people and their stories. In another life, she was a graphic designer but has spent the past 28 years working on portraits in the pastel medium. Although she started out by painting her own children by bribing them with candy, she now works with models. Her “personality portraits” have been recognized in many international exhibitions including the Best of Show, “Prix de Pastel” at the IAPS Master Circle Exhibitions in 2015 and in 2020. A portrait also won Honorable Mention in the 2023 Artists Magazine Competition and Fifth Place in the Portrait Society of Americas Members Only Competition.  Her work has been included in Invitational Exhibitions in China, Italy and France. 

Southwest Art Magazine picked Christine as an “Artist To Watch” and she has been included in the Pastel Journals’ Pastel 100 international competition nine times. She is also published in the books, “How Did They Do That? -100 Ways To Paint People and Figures”, “Strokes of Genius” and the French publication, “40 Masters of Pastel.”

Christine is an Eminent Member of the Master Circle of IAPS and a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. She is currently teaching the workshop, “The Power of Pastel” to pastel groups around the country and writes a blog on art, pastel and motherhood at