I started making art at a very young age with just a pencil and literally any scrap of paper I could find. My parents couldn’t feed me enough paper before I’d fill them up and ask for more. I am grateful to have had such support. It’s what I’ve always done and they knew, as did I, that I would be serious in pursuing art as an adult. Being an artist is more a part of who I am than what I do. I know I’ll never retire, art demands too much of me to let me stop.
Though I went to school for art education and learned a variety of new mediums, my current work, filled with a wide variety of mark making materials, still reflects my love for drawing. I’m in love with the materials: the smell, the texture, and how it feels in my hand as I move it around. Powdered graphite, jumbo graphite sticks, pumice gel, carbon, water soluble wax crayons, oil pigment sticks, and lumber crayons are just some of the materials that I will incorporate into my paintings.
"The Power of Small Things" National Exhibit 2019 at the Port Angeles Fine Art Center. Artwork featured at the :42 minute mark.
Kate Ashton, owner of Ashton Gallery and art mentor at Art on 30th in San Diego, CA, gives commentary to "A Place In The Sun."
Kristen is an award-winning abstract expressionism artist and certified art instructor in San Diego, California. She studied Art Education at Middle Tennessee State University because it seemed to be the most natural path: she loved art and she loved helping others. Currently, Kristen works out of her studio at Art on 30th, located in the North Park’s vibrant arts and culture district, and teaches abstract painting classes at their school. She is best known for using various white and cream hues and incorporating a wide variety of drawing materials in her abstract work, giving it a “fresh,” expressive, and gestural feeling.
Her work is on display at Kelsey Michaels Fine Art in Laguna Beach, CA and Ashton Gallery in San Diego, CA. Kristen’s abstracts have been selected and featured on the homepage of online galleries Saatchi, Artfinder, and Zatista as well as selected and featured in newsletters as part of various Editor/Staff Pick highlights. She has been juried into local San Diego shows, prestigious regional exhibits at the Athenaeum in La Jolla, CA, and national shows in Washington DC, San Diego, CA, and Port Angeles, WA.
Exhibiting Artist & Awards
Art on 30th in San Diego CA, Resident Artist: Jan 2017 - Current
Kelsey Michaels Fine Art in Laguna Beach CA, Exhibiting Artist: Oct 2019 - Current
Port Angeles Fine Arts Center in Port Angeles, WA, “The Power of Small Things” National Show: Aug - Sep 2019
Ashton Gallery in San Diego CA, “75 & Sunny” Juried Show: Jul - Aug 2019 (1st Place)
Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla CA, “28th Annual Juried Exhibition”: Jul - Aug 2019
Ashton Gallery in San Diego CA, “Double Trouble” Juried Show: Jun - Jul 2019 (Juror’s Choice)
Ashton Gallery in San Diego CA, "Going Green" Juried Show: Jul - Aug 2018 (Honorable Mention)
Ashton Gallery in San Diego CA, "Creamsicle" Juried Show: Jun - Jul 2018
Nainsook Gallery in La Mesa CA, invitation only group show exhibitor: Sep - Oct 2017
The Art Stash in La Mesa CA, invitation only art festival exhibitor: May 2017
The Art House in Murfreesboro TN, Resident Artist: Aug 2004 - May 2006
Tennessee House of Representatives (District #70) Artist Competition with 1 Year Exhibit in the Lincoln Tunnel: 1997-1998
Art on 30th: Feb 2017 - Present
(Art 101, Color 101, Introduction to Abstracts, Paint 6-in-6, Modern Calligraphy)
The Art Stash: Jan 2017 - Mar 2018
(Beginning Watercolor, Beginning Acrylics, Texture Toolbox, Color Clinic, 4-Day Plein Air Retreat, Modern Calligraphy)
TakeLessons.com Instructor: Aug 2016 - May 2017
(Drawing, Watercolor, Oils, Acrylics, Calligraphy)
Inspire SD Studio: Apr 2014 - Feb 2015
MilSpouse Meetup.com Group: Mar 2009 - Feb 2010
Paper Source (Chicago, IL & Carlsbad, CA): Mar 2008 - Feb 2010
Smyrna High School: Aug 2007 - Dec 2007
The Art House: Aug 2004 - May 2006
(Drawing, Acrylics, Oils)
M.F.A. in Media Design (coursework)
Full Sail University
Aug 2016 - Jan 2017
B.S. in Art Education
Middle Tennessee State University
Aug 2000 - May 2007