Spreading Christmas cheer . . . one window at a time

Relaxation is the key for this local painter of Christmas-themed windows

by: JASON CHANEY/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Jean Christine paints a Christmas window display for the Rebel’s Roost building in downtown Prineville.

When Prineville resident Jean Christine began painting windows for businesses during the holidays, she was looking for a way to raise some extra Christmas money.
   “I have always loved to make stuff,” she remembers, “and I looked at a window painting and I was like, ‘I wonder if I can do that?’”
   She put that curiosity to the test, offering to paint the windows for a Wagner’s supermarket in the south side of Bend.
   “It was a birthday cake – and I painted it four times,” she said. “So I wiped it off, put it back, wiped it off – I wouldn’t let it stay on unless I like it.”
   Now, after 22 years of painting windows, Christine has taught herself to relax and not try too hard.
   “I have to just paint,” she said, “as opposed to some of my colleague who do nice, clean, and straight lines and all of that. I’m kind of the opposite. I’m a creative type of graphic artist.”
   This year, Christine painted a snowman-laden winter scene on the windows of Subway, and a garland and gift box-inspired work of art for Parr Lumber. She has also dressed up the windows at The Roundup and Rebel’s Roost.
   Prineville Parr Lumber manager Travis Garner said they wanted someone local to paint their windows. This was the first time they had hired Christine, and she didn’t disappoint. “I think she did a great job,” he said “We recommended her to another company in town.”
   Subway co-owner Kim Forrester said they needed someone to repaint their windows after the first painting was partially washed away by rain. She was equally pleased with what Christine created.
   “It was really nice,” Forrester said. “We loved it.”
   For the most part, Christine paints windows during the holidays, noting that there is more of a demand for it that time of the year. She can complete up to four projects per day, but tries to pace herself so she can enjoy the Christmas season and celebrate the birth of Christ.
   After 22 years and multiple holiday-themed requests, Christine said she still finds ways to paint something new on each window project. She attributes that continued originality to her free-spirited approach to painting.
   “Even though I’ll paint the same picture on many windows, they always turn out different,” she said, “because I am creating as I go.”
   These days, Christine still enjoys the extra Christmas money her window painting jobs provide, but it has since taken on a new purpose.
   “This is my way of giving back joy to the community – the joy that I have been given,” she said.