Skip to main content

Style Magazine

Caught on Canvas

Dec 30, 2009 09:55AM ● By Wendy Sipple

Photo by Dante Fontana

From the time she was a child, Christina Floy Petersen loved capturing special moments on canvas.

“One of my first paintings was of a picture taken of my father in his civilian clothes right after Word War II,” she says. “I just enjoyed painting that moment so much.”

Ever since, painting special people or places from old photos and memories has been the cornerstone of her work. They aren’t just her memories either; soon after she reproduced a vacation photo into a work on canvas. Petersen realized other people might want to immortalize their own special moments the same way. Enter her Web site,, which now includes a whole section of testimonials about how she has helped others preserve their own special memories. As she says on her Web page, the idea is to give people something to hang in their home so that every time they pass by it, they can revisit that particular special moment.

Of course, her work goes beyond just what she or someone else has captured on film. Every day she sees inspiration in the happy and loving moments happening all around her. “The other day I saw a grandfather pushing a stroller with his granddaughter in it, and you could just see the little girl’s hat peeking out,” she says. “It was a beautiful moment, but so fleeting. That’s what I’m trying to capture; it’s not just about the details of a person or place, but a kind of universal moment everyone can relate to,” continues Petersen. Her works are a combination of oils and mixed media, and Petersen will be the first to admit they’re all a little bit on the “sweet side.”

“Some say when art gets more sophisticated it gets darker,” she says. “But when any of us look back on past memories, we only remember the good parts. There’s already enough ugliness in the world; I’d much rather paint kids sitting on a boulder, happy and smiling.” To that end, one thing she hopes everyone sees in her work is its sincerity. She’s not interested in creating something that gets reproduced in print form and sells thousands of copies. For her, the passion is creating something unique and special. As someone who grew up in a home filled with original paintings, drawings and sculptures, she’s a firm believer that everyone should own original art. Indeed, you never know what you’ll fall in love with, and every work of art in every home has a story about how it got there.

“On any Second Saturday tour you can find original works for as low as $50,” Petersen says. “Original art is everywhere, and it doesn’t take a fortune to add something special and captivating to your home.”

For more information or to view Petersen’s art, visit