Thanks so much, Kristi, for taking the time to speak with us about your equestrian art!
Could you please tell us a little bit about your personal history that led you to your love for painting horses? How did you first fall in love with painting as a medium and horses as a subject?
I am a third generation equestrian and I couldn’t wait to turn 7 years old. That was the age that I was finally able to start riding horses. Growing up riding with my mom and grandparents were some of my most precious memories. Needless to say, horses became a huge part of my life. They were my sanctuary, therapists, best friends, and personal physical trainers. So it was only natural for them to pop up in every aspect of my life. Especially, as one of my favorite muses.
It seems a big part of the subjects that show up in my art has to do with something sentimental in my family. Birds often make a big appearance in paintings as well.
My parents took my sister and I bird watching in Point Pelee, Canada starting as babies. Spending long weekends on trails, early mornings in every type of weather, observing and appreciating the beauty and character of common and rare birds gave me an appreciation for the natural world very early in my life. As well as a fine sense of detail from learning how to identify birds by the smallest of features.
Where did you learn to paint? Do you have any formal training?
Growing up, I was the “horse obsessed artsy girl”. I was voted Most Artistic in high school and always identified with art as me. Coming out of high school, I swore I would never make it my job because I was afraid I would end up hating it. But I also had no idea what I wanted and decided not to go to college and spend a year just doing what I loved to let myself have a little more time to figure things out.
Then, I’d say divine intervention stepped in. Because I spent a few years painting and riding horses, they ended up melting into one another. People began requesting horse portraits from me and I realized being afraid of hating something I loved was silly. Now, 7 years later, I wouldn’t trade anything for the world.
So, I don’t have any formal training. I tried to learn from as many people as I could throughout the years though and just the constant obsession with it gave me the drive to experiment and practice any way I could.
What is your main inspiration for your work?
The main inspiration for my work is very Earth based. I love animals, wildlife, the inner workings of Mother Nature and in my work I strive to reconnect people to that beauty and the importance of it’s health and longevity. Which brought me to start investigating ways I could be more conscious in my painting. Back in December 2020, it led me straight to Natural Earth Paint and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I always felt guilty painting about such subjects and yet, still be using harsh chemicals and wasteful products.
When did you first decide to start working with natural pigments, and why?
I started using the Natural Earth Oil Paint products and they immediately felt intuitive to my style. The soft, lightness and yet vibrant feel the pigments gave me personally is so perfect. What I love is that this paint feels very versatile. Like it can really shift the way it looks by the unique hand of each artist. It has taken me a little time to adjust to mixing my own paints, and look forward to learning more as well. The process actually opened me up to taking more conscious time on even the smallest more “mundane” steps of creating art. Like gessoing and stretching canvases. It’s felt more like a dance. I’m excited to let this paint teach me how to connect with the earth and my art on a deeper level.
Tell us more about your upcoming gallery exhibition at WEC Ocala!
I am very excited to announce that I will have a 10 piece collection at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, FL. I have worked with WEC on several large projects over the years and I’m thrilled to have been included in this new gallery opening. The collection will be a soft introduction to my new journey with Natural Earth Paint. This collection is called, “The Muses”. It is a collection of horse and bird paintings and varies in a few different art styles and techniques. Stay tuned for a more official unveiling soon!
Where can our audience see or purchase more of your work?