Chris Foster’s first life was as an International Flight Attendant, where she flew all over the world for 23 years. Her first calligraphy class in 1978 was to help deal with her hectic lifestyle and the ever-present jet-lag. Instead, calligraphy became her entrance into the world of art. She thought she would learn how to “write pretty.” However, after that first class her thirst was only piqued, and she threw herself into classes in brush lettering, bookmaking, paste paper, watercolor, color theory, stone carving, and fabric painting, which culminated in a Certificate from U.C.Berkeley in Graphic Design.

Her life took a turn in 1992, when what turned out to be her last working flight crashed with a full load of 300 passengers and crew. (Reference: The aircraft was quickly engulfed in flames. “It occurred to me that my universe was telling me it was time to move onto something new,” Chris recalls. This was an opportunity to reevaluate where she wanted to go and what she wanted to do next. Chris further explains that “Perfect lettering is not my goal. I use calligraphy in my art in the hope of evoking a response in the viewer that hits home about who they are and what they want to accomplish in their lives.”

Pondering personal goals, Chris feels it takes courage to pursue the most difficult of visions. Courage, Journeys and Listening to ones’ inner voice are recurring themes in her work. She works intuitively, in acrylic on canvas, and when she interprets the text — albeit illegible at times — it may become just a texture. This is where modern calligraphy differs from that done by ancient scribes. The Biblical manuscripts required the monks to be slaves to the text. Chris’ paintings are typical of what is called “modern expressive calligraphy.”

Chris further explains that perfect lettering is not her goal. “I use calligraphy in my Art in hope of evoking a response in the viewers that touches a deep place in their soul.”

Presently, Chris is painting abstractly and incorporating very little lettering. Calligraphy has been her entry in to the world of painting but the journey continues with more intuitive painting.




Art, to me, is about ‘emotion.’ We are all emotional beings. The Art that I love, is the Art that touches me in some way. There has to be a connection.

Sometimes the idea or words come first, and then the image that follows is my interpretation of those words. Other times, I just paint what appeals to me and find my own words to accompany the visual. The stage of finding the right words may require weeks of meditation before I find the right fit.

I start the work with an idea but no thumbnail plan of the finished drawing. One mark is put down, and then the second mark (or stroke or word) is a reaction to the first, and the piece continues to unfold. This is a very spontaneous way of working and the results cannot be predicted, as it’s best to work in the moment. The viewer may find misspellings, no punctuation, or illegible passages. Of course, the artist’s knowledge of good composition and design are crucial to the success of the painting. Unexpected things will appear. This method of working requires a setting aside of my ego. “Going with the Flow” isn’t as easy as it sounds, nor is silencing ones mental critic. Quite often, failure is part of the process.

My calligraphic paintings aren’t just about reading words. They draw the viewer in to ponder meanings and explore their own personal feelings about the ideas expressed.

Now, I have reached a stage where my focus is on the painting sans words. This is even more of a challenge. It so much fun to see where the painting leads when working intuitively. My joy in life is painting.


Xanadu Gallery, On-line (Scottsdale, Az), Old Town Gallery (Auburn, Ca), Sun City Fine Arts Exhibits (Roseville, Ca), High Mountain Well Being Center (Sacramento, Ca), Sacramento Fine Art Center (Carmichael, Ca), WASH, Go With the Flow (Carmichael, Ca), Blue Line Gallery Out of the Blue Show (Roseville, Ca), Expressions Show Maidu Community (Roseville, Ca), Autumn Art Studio Tours - eight years (Placer County, Ca), Lincoln Fine Art Gallery: AAST Preview Show (Lincoln, Ca), Art Studio Trek 2007­-2012, Art in the Garden Event (Roseville, Ca), Disappearing Landscapes Art Show-2008, (Auburn, Ca), Quarry Ponds Market Hall (Granite Bay, Ca), Artfuli Gallery (Roseville, Ca), - Online, Eisley Nursery (Auburn, Ca), Bushnell Nursery (Granite Bay, Ca), Reading Room ArtWalk (Auburn, Ca), Flower Farm Coffee House (Loomis, Ca), HGA Boutique (Roseville, Ca), MacKenzie’s Gallery (Folsom, Ca), Motherlode National Art Exhibit (Placerville, Ca), North Tahoe Arts, Vistas and Visions - two person show, (Tahoe, Ca), The Written Word Remains Exhibit (Lake Oswego, Oregon), Word for Word Juried Exhibit, Troy-Hayner Cultural Center (Troy, Ohio), Kalligraphia Shows, San Francisco Public Library, multiple years (San Francisco, Ca), Palo Alto Medical Center (Palo Alto, Ca), Pajaro Gallery (Santa Cruz, Ca), Granite Bay Library, Tower Theatre Gallery, 405 Gallery (Roseville, Ca), Ridley Gallery/Sierra College (Rocklin, Ca), The Arts Building Gallery (Auburn, Ca), Artists Collaborative Gallery (Sacramento, Ca), Our House Defines Art Gallery (Cameron Park, Ca), ArtWords Exhibit, Filoli Gardens (Woodside, Ca), Latitudes Restaurant Gallery (Auburn, Ca), Association of Calligraphic Arts (website), International Calligraphy Conferences throughout the US and Canada, Sierra College Foundation Taste of Excellence (Rocklin, Ca), Featured in Letter Arts Review Publication (Vol 26, #3) and Art Studio Trek Publication 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1479318629