Christa Kieffer was born in Tubingen, Germany. She studied extensively throughout Europe before moving to the United States to attend the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. After she won first prize in the Society of Illustrators competition, Christa received a fellowship toward the completion of her Masters of Fine Arts degree and went on to teach a special class for gifted high school students.
After numerous commissions from various companies, including Simon and Schuster, Caspari, the Royal Mail of England, Digitek corporation, Portal Publication and the NFL, she decided to devote all of her efforts to easel painting.
Working primarily in oil on canvas Christa uses glazes to create a luminous quality and adds a feeling of depth to her images of La Belle Époque, “the beautiful era”. Drawing on her own European experiences she is exploring this romantic and exciting time, concentrating mostly on Paris, the city of light.
“I choose to paint this more gracious time when there seemed to be the perfect balance of excitement and leisure, movement and tranquility, small pleasures in the midst of architectural splendor. The streets and thoroughfares offered the joy of unexpected encounters, movement and variety to be viewed from an elegant sidewalk cafe or a stroll down the avenue. Here was the human spectacle in all its exuberance and yet the safety of community.
To me, the transition of light is especially appealing. I get great pleasure out of capturing the magical hour at dusk, “l’eur blue”, when thousands of electric lights mingled with the traditional gas lanterns and the light of the waning day, when the streets filled with crowds of strollers and carriages and omnibuses, and the anticipation of the coming night life was everywhere.”
Ms. Kieffer currently lives in a small community surrounded by Point Reyes National Seashore in California. She is co-founder of Gallery Route One in nearby Point Reyes Station. She travels to Paris frequently, rising in the early hours of dawn to walk the boulevards and photograph this magical city before it becomes partly invisible with tour buses and the roar of contemporary traffic.