Sedona’s James Ratliff Gallery Exhibits Christine DeSpain Schroeder’s Interpretive Art

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Sedona, AZ – The James Ratliff Gallery at Hillside Sedona is proud to announce its new exhibit, featuring the acrylic interpretive abstract art of multimedia artist Christine DeSpain Schroeder.

Abstract art is defined as the type of art that emphasizes the use of non-representational forms to create meaning and reality – that it does not necessarily represent objects in the physical environment, such as the sun, trees or people.

The famous abstract artist Arshile Gorkey said that the art of abstraction “allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes”.

DeSpain’s abstract interpretive paintings encapsulate this definition perfectly, as she follows in the footsteps of Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon.

Each of his abstract paintings takes the viewer on a deep subjective journey, as his art elicits in the conscious and subconscious mind a unique experience for the viewer alone.

Colorful, whimsical, moving and flowing, her works breathe as if alive, stirring up emotions and stirring memories long thought forgotten.

For DeSpain, entering the world of abstract art was a godsend, as her impaired eyesight reached a point where she could no longer create art in the realm of traditional painting or sculpture, as she did. had done before.

She had thought she should give up her passion and her world had darkened, until she met gallerist James Ratliff, who redirected her artistic path to the realm of abstract art.

Ratliff had heard of DeSpain’s dilemma and after meeting her, he suggested that she try a new approach to her art.

“I knew she felt depressed,” he said. “I suggested he try abstract acrylic painting, which allows the artist to create art by pouring paint onto a canvas. I explained the casting process to him. She said she would try. It clicked.

He went to her house and saw the small abstract paintings she had experimented with before. He realized his potential. He suggested that she work on much larger canvases, like 38×46 inches, and that set her creative wheels in motion.

“I gave her a little challenge and she took it on,” he said. “And I’m hard to impress.”

For DeSpain, Ratliff’s encouragement and guidance rekindled his passion for art and gave him new hope.

“He’s my mentor,” she said. “He taught me so much. I’m so grateful. Some paint to live. I live to paint. I was brought back to life, thanks to him.

She was so energized by Ratliff that art once again became an essential part of her daily experience.

“I woke up at 1:30 a.m. one night after waking up from a dream,” she said. “I went into my studio and started pouring and before I knew it the sun was up.”

She said that in creating her abstract compositions she uses natural forces and the natural flow and grace of Mother Nature, using the natural processes of wind, flow, gravity and erosion, to create summaries of the geography of Sedona in which she lives.

She said the result is that the viewer is drawn into the canvas, which is a living landscape reminiscent of viewing a canyon from above or flying above the waves.

She said she allows the paint to move naturally across the canvas and uses wind and flow as her brush.

“One of my favorite hobbies is watching the paint dry on my canvas,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye.

Over the centuries, some of the world’s most beloved artists were hit by adversity, like Vincent van Gogh, Emily Dickinson and Beethoven, but went on to create the great works we admire today.

For DeSpain, overcoming his sight loss and finding a new way to express himself has instilled a new passion and purpose in his life.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” DeSpain said. “Thank you, James Ratliff, for teaching me how.”

For Ratliff, hosting his exhibition is both a pleasure and an honor.

“Christine is a wonderful artist,” he said. “We are grateful and proud to exhibit his interpretive abstract art in acrylics.”

For the past 50+ years as a gallery owner in Arizona, including more than 30 in Sedona, James Ratliff’s name has been synonymous with fine art.

James Ratliff has years of experience selling the art of many now famous artists such as Calder, O’Keefe, Gorman, Zuniga, Tamayo and Scholder to name a few. He will not settle for inferior or mass-produced works. He is always looking for the art lover as well as the artist.

The James Ratliff Gallery is located at 671 SR 179, Suites 1 & 2, Sedona Arizona 86336.

Phone # 928-282-1404.



To learn more about DeSpain’s multimedia art creations, visit

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