SHS graduate flaunts her skills through art, a children’s book | News, Sports, Jobs


Artist Christine Whitacre shows off a copy of the all-new “Color My World. A Gnome Adventure. She wrote and illustrated the children’s book which is available from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Christine Whitacre grew up as the middle child in a clan of 16 children.

“It was a bit like being in limbo back then,” the artist-author laughed off his very big family days in Salem.

“Growing up when there are so many kids, we didn’t have much. But we always had pencils, crayons and coloring books. That’s what children do: color and doodle.

Creativity and imagination born and then nurtured as a young girl reappeared in her later years.

She is a successful artist and last month one of the highlights of her career was the release of “Color my world. A gnome adventure.

A well-received work is called “Cost of Freedom”. It is dedicated to all veterans. The work carries a copyright and reprints are given to veterans.

Produced by Covenant Books, a Christian publisher, the children’s book was written and illustrated by Whitacre.

The whimsical work features the favorite characters of his passion: the gnomes. Three adventurous old forest dads set out to color their world after finding crayons on the forest floor. They do not speak openly but communicate through their actions – magical characters with a lesson for the young.

The children are invited to work on different colors at the end of the tale. Then they color their own gnomes and sign their piece. The book has been well received and is available at Barnes & Noble and online via Amazon.

Christine – known as “Tiny” lifelong friends — was the daughter of the late Bill and Audrey Galchick. Although he took care of such a busy family with so many children, Bill was renowned in Columbiana and Mahoning counties for his work as a coach. He not only honed youth baseball skills but also taught values. One of the ball diamonds at Waterworth Memorial Park in Salem is named in his honor.

Christine graduated from Salem High School in 1976. She has held various jobs in the area. Then she became medical assistant to Dr. David Corallo in Beloit. She retired in 2016.

A winter landscape illuminated by a full moon.

She has two daughters, Lisa Weingart and Lora Vaughn. Lora is a nurse at Salem Regional Medical Center.

Through an online connection, Christine met Don Whitacre. “He invited me for a cup of coffee and we met”, she says.

Turns out he graduated from Salem High in 1974.

“I didn’t even know him in high school” she says.

Don is retired from the US Air Force and a railroad engineer.

Gnomes are central figures in many of Christine Whitacre’s works.

The couple live just across the border from Pennsylvania in Chippewa. They have been married for six years.

Christine said that “after life got in the way”, she seriously began to pursue a love of art.

“I started with acrylic and really liked it,” she says.

She looked at this favorite of artistic culture, Bob Ross.

“I thought maybe I could do that.” She was right.

Gnomes are central figures in many of Christine Whitacre’s works.

She started painting, in acrylics and watercolors. A well-received work is called “The cost of freedom.” It is dedicated to all veterans. His father was a WWII veteran and several brothers also served our country.

“This work has been very well received” she said proudly. so popular that “The Cost of Freedom” carries a copyright. Glossy copies are distributed free to veterans.

She is very fond of gnomes. Yes, those dwarf and goblin earth spirits of European folklore are more than, well, lawn ornaments for Christine. They are the subjects of many of his paintings.

So why gnomes?

“I always thought they were pretty little things” she offered. “I like to put them doing things with action.”

Gnomes are central figures in many of Christine Whitacre’s works.

Children are so special to her. This notion is reflected in his work. Even his gnomes are adorable. They do not speak. Instead, they show their love through their actions. Often in humorous situations.

“They show kindness to animals, the earth and children,” she says of the characters in her book. “I wanted to do it for the kids. Life lessons for toddlers.

“Children should grow up being kind and learning things like love and respect. I learned from my parents. We didn’t have much but they put a roof over our heads, food on the table and God in our lives. My parents were humble and my daughters are the same.

Christine often offers her works, especially to veterans.

“I feel like I received a gift” she says. “To charge for a lot of work would be outrageous.”

A portion of self-publishing revenue “Color my world. A Gnome Adventure” will benefit a charity in Salem.

A first order of the book already sold out.

“I did my homework on the editor,” she says. “I did my research. They tell you what they want and don’t want. They were the best suited to what I was looking for.

She has offers to illustrate for others the composition of books. His plans are to write and illustrate more books. She is a former recipient of the Golden Poetry Award.

“I don’t need to punch a clock and I love what I do,” Christine said. “I love to paint. If something doesn’t sell, that’s fine with me. If so, then that’s fine with me too.

His message for young people with artistic aspirations: “To all the kids who have a passion for reading and learning, I say go for it. Bring color and life to the world. Make it yours!”

She can be contacted at: [email protected]

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