Flagler Artists: A globe-trotting artist exhibits locally

Hailing from Morocco, the globe trotting Christine Broussard’s first trip to America took her to a Chinese restaurant. At the end of dinner, she opened a fortune cookie that read, “You will become president.” To this day, she keeps that fortune with her as motivation and seed for a personal mantra. “It is what you believe that makes you strong and powerful,” she says.
Christine started her business Atelier Venus in 2015, with the goal of finding clients to paint for. Atelier is French for “workshop” and Venus is a reference to the Roman goddess of beauty. In this title, Christine tries to honor the French side of her family and her father’s trade as a mechanic, while also suggesting to the potential customer that her artwork is nothing short of beautiful.
Christine’s art journey began when she was very young. Painting was something she shared with her father on his days off. This grew into a calling when she would visit family in France, and later when attended business school in Paris. Traveling opened new perspectives for Christine that continue to serve as a major inspiration for her pieces.
For ten years, she worked as an airline attendant for United Airlines. Traveling through Asia and through most of Central America, Christine took every chance to walk the local areas. Much of her inspiration came from the awe-inspiring historic sites — such as Machu Picchu — but also from the common and working-class people going about their day. And everywhere, she painted them.
“Painting is a way of life, and traveling is how I live that life,” she says. Experiencing different cultures, languages, and people is an inspiration for Christine. And inspiration is the primary focus. “There are other people in this world. Other birds, other architecture. I love it. I want to paint it.”
Painting is also her way of understanding what she is seeing better. It is not enough to breathe the same air and see them. Christine wants to feel what they feel, living this life so different from her own. Through painting her subjects, she learns more about who they are. It is this intentional empathy that brought her first clients.
The requests started small, around 2010. Christine continued this journey, focusing on iconography pieces. It is an art style, stemming from medieval art, she discovered during her travels and found it peaceful and meditative. It showcases subtle layers that bring the subject to life in the manner she is most interested in. With every passing day, she paints and develops her style to be more unique to her.
“Painting is like cooking for some people. I paint every day. When I can paint, I paint. When I do not feel it, I don’t paint. I do not paint for money, but for pleasure. Every day for me is a creative day.”
As she continues down this path, Christine takes part in classes and exhibits to expand both her artistic skills and social circle. She branches out from iconography to capture landscapes and seascapes, painting whatever comes to mind.
Progressing as an artist also meant Atelier Venus progressing towards a different purpose. It is less of a business, but more of a gathering of artists as friends. Despite all the travel she has done, and continues to do, she’s found a love in the smaller and more dynamic community in Florida. The friendliness and support from her peers here provide inspiration to improve and step out of her comfort zone. This pushes her towards a quiet goal she has for herself: to be as famous as Picasso.
“I am a practical woman. I like something, I do it. I want to continue to inspire others. I paint for me but want to affect other artists.”
Christine will host an Expressions Art Gallery on 19 July 2023, at the Grand Living Realty office at 2298 Colbert Lane, Palm Coast.