My first life was as an International Flight Attendant, where I flew all over the world for 23 years. To help with the perpetual jet lag of my hectic lifestyle, I took my first calligraphy class in 1978, thinking I would learn how to "write pretty." (BTW as with most people, my personal handwriting is still done in a hurry.) After that first class my thirst was only piqued, and I threw myself into classes in brush lettering, bookmaking, paste paper, watercolor, color theory, stone carving, and fabric painting. This culminated into a certificate from U.C. Berkeley in graphic design. Little did I know that calligraphy would become my entrance into the world of art.

My life took a turn in 1992, when what turned out to be my last working flight crashed with a full load of 300 passengers and crew. (For the full story go to 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. This was my opportunity to re-evaluate where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do for the next chapter of my life.

Pondering my personal goals, I knew it took courage to pursue the most difficult of visions. Courage, Journeys and Listening to one's inner voice are recurring themes in my work. I work intuitively, in acrylic on canvas, and when I interpret the text — albeit illegible at times — it may become just a texture (AKA Jazz Writing) in the composition. This is where modern calligraphy differs from ancient scribes. The Biblical manuscripts required the monks to be slaves to the text. My paintings are typical of what is called “modern expressive calligraphy.”

Perfect lettering is not my goal. I use calligraphy in my art in the hope of evoking an emotional and cerebral response. Presently, I am painting abstractly and incorporating lettering, color, shape and form that excite the eye and elicit personal spiritual truths.


Exhibitions, Galleries and Events: Flower Farm Coffee House, HGA Boutique (Roseville, Ca), MacKenzie’s Gallery (Folsom, Ca), Old Town Gallery (Auburn, Ca), Motherlode National Art Exhibit (Placerville, 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, Palo Alto Medical Center, Pajaro Gallery (Santa Cruz), Granite Bay Library, Tower Theatre Gallery, 405 Gallery (Roseville), Ridley Gallery (Sierra College), The Arts Building Gallery (Auburn, Ca), Artists Collaborative Gallery (Sacramento, Ca), Our House Defines Art Gallery (Cameron Park, Ca), ArtWords Exhibits, Filoli Gardens (Woodside, Ca), Latitudes Restaurant Gallery (Auburn, Ca), Association of Calligraphic Arts (website), International Calligraphy Conferences, Sierra College Foundation Taste of Excellence, Blue Line Gallery Out of the Blue Show, Expressions Show, Maidu Community (Roseville, Ca), Autumn Art Studio Tours, Disappearing Landscapes Show (Auburn, Ca), Art Studio Trek 2007 -10, Art in the Garden Event (Roseville, Ca), 2008 Disappearing Landscapes Art Show, (Auburn, Ca), Quarry Ponds Market Hall, (Granite Bay, Ca), Artfuli Gallery (Roseville, Ca),



The Process, musings by Chris Foster.....

“Where do you find the words?” Chris is often asked this question about her paintings. She tells us she has, for 30 years, accumulated a computer database of writings, organized by subject matter.

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‘ve recently been doing what I call improvisational “Jazz Writing.” 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 my own 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.