Chris (Christina) Willey has an MFA in Illustration from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, and a BFA in Drawing/Painting from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
Before becoming a full-time painter she was a professor of art at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri, for 22 years, and a full-time illustrator, painter and graphic designer for 13 years.
Chris has had numerous solo shows and conducted workshops in United States, France, and the Netherlands. Most recently, she taught a pastel workshop in France.
She has acquired signature status in the MidAmerica Pastel Society and the International Society of Acrylic Painters. Her work has been juried into 8 international exhibitions, 32 national exhibitions, and 40 regional exhibitions. She has been in 26 invitational shows (13 were solo shows). She is the recipient of over 25 awards, including Best of Show and Gold. Her art is held in a number of private and corporate collections in the U.S., Netherlands, and France.
Willey is an artist who paints from life. Her work always begins with direct observation, but the endpoint is about making a beautiful painting. She tries to distill the essence of what attracted her to the subject into her paintings, while allowing the paint, the design, and surface to have their own voice.