A Colorado native, Kristina studied art at the University of Colorado, Boulder, graduating with a BA in sociology. She went on to study art in the MFA program at San Diego State before eventually opting to focus on earning her education degree and K-12 teaching certificate, pursuing a career in education. She earned her master of education degree in integrating teaching through the arts from Lesley University, which combined her two passions, art and education. Working as an educator for 25 years in the Cherry Creek School District, Kristina brought art into her classroom daily, as she firmly believes that teaching through the arts deepens understanding and connections. For the past four years, Kristina has been actively painting and collaborating with artists and instructors at the Art Students League of Denver and Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado. She is now painting full time and has a studio in the RiNo Arts District at GRACe Studios.
Kristina’s paintings reflect her passion for abstract expressionism, both gestural and figurative. When she approaches a blank canvas, she often has a conceptual idea in her mind, but not a composition. She allows the creative process of gesture, paint and movement to guide her in a meditative flow. Color, shapes and figures begin to emerge. Often a narrative unfolds, or an idea she had been pondering comes through in a subtle but powerful way. There is no way to duplicate the process…each layer, each addition, each brush stroke, each deconstruction, each mark…they all work together to create something new; to represent a feeling, a joy, an injustice, an idea, a belief, a truth, a passion. When she paints, it is a spiritual, rhythmic, and intuitive dance.
Urban Abstraction 2017
Her series from 2017 reflects urban spaces in an abstract way. She’s focusing on the feelings, images and emotions of the urban experience rather than a literal interpretation. How does living in the urban world affect us? As a native of Colorado, she has seen tremendous change and growth in the city and state, and she wonders about both the positive and negative dynamics. How does this growth affect our sense of community? What about the very real issues of gentrification, economics, and homelessness? How do we cope with the chaos, noise, and sensory overload? Can we experience the vibrancy, energy, people, and diversity in positive ways? Ultimately, how can we find our peace and humanity in the urban environment?
Once Kristina began painting in her new studio at GRACe in June of this year, she was able to paint much larger pieces, something she had been craving. This first thing she did was staple gun a large piece of raw canvas to the wall. What emerged was the painting “Deeply Rooted,” (8′ X 4 1/2 ‘) which she worked on throughout the month of June. It was completely intuitive and represented a new energy, a new way of painting for her. Instead of using mixed media (fragments of painted papers and figure drawings) to inform her painting, she began with big, gestural movements and music. Eventually, a story began to emerge from the canvas, a story of humans, their history, and the destruction of the environment, particularly of animals and their habitats. She then completed the work, “Invocation of a Memory,” which again merges figures and shapes that merge into one another in a narrative way. She is asking: how are we connected, human to human, human to environment? What is our past, our history? How are our choices, our movements, our decisions effecting one another and our environment? Kristina is using intuitive painting to help her make sense of the universe, our place within it, and the role of interconnection.
You can learn more about Kristina and her work on her website at:
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