Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Rose Baker.
Kristina, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
As a child, I was quite the dreamer and enjoyed creating worlds for myself out of color and the emblematic language of paint. Everyday things and experiences became elevated through art and transformed into something remarkably magical. I’ve always been interested in seeking the sacred within the mundane, and creating has been a way for me to hold reverence for that.
I was lucky to have a tremendous amount of exposure to art at a very early age. I am a third-generation oil painter— both my mother and my grandmother were painters, and their openness and encouragement propelled me forward with no inhibitions about choosing a life that aligned with my artistic passion. By the time I was 11, I had my heart set on attending Rhode Island School of Design to pursue art as a career. Fifteen years later, I’ve graduated with a BFA from RISD and have since continued painting and creating my own work. After graduating, I spent some time traveling to different countries and living in different states, gathering inspiration before completing my first year-long artist residency in North Carolina in 2017. I moved back to California just over two years ago, and have been heavily immersed in my studio practice while also teaching after-school arts classes for at-risk and underprivileged youth.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My work is changing all the time. I would by no means say I have one set style or manner of painting. I generate a lot of ideas and strive to express them in the way that feels the most honest at the time. While I’m primarily an oil painter, I employ a variety of art-making methods and materials that best articulate my concepts and ideas. Alongside painting, I’ve worked in performance, installation, printmaking, glass, ceramics, and sculpture. These diverse practices have had a tremendous impact on the physicality, surface quality, and spatial relationships of my oil paintings.
I work very intuitively; I rarely know what a painting will look like when it is finished, and I allow the process to guide me. I often start with an initial image or idea, but it feels like a diving board— a way to begin, and access something deeper that is discovered along the way. I start with a great accumulation of marks and images, followed by a process of sacrifice, erasure, and simplification. In some ways, the resulting image becomes less important than the emotions, colors, sensations, and movements that are ultimately communicated.
My paintings have recently shifted from portraying abstracted landscapes exploring color theory to more figurative abstraction. My most recent body of work addresses questions I have surrounding vulnerability, intimacy, and acknowledging and confronting my defects of character. Through figurative painting, I attempt to represent moments of humility and surrender. The viewer becomes witness to figures on the precipice of something— they are coming up against challenges, surrendering to truth, grappling with fear or shame, or being engulfed by overwhelming emotions. They are on the edge of the realizations that will provide comfort and serenity, but have not fully arrived yet. The color palettes are pastel and dream-like, yet the subject matter is disconcerting, giving the sense that something is looming overhead. The paintings are dedicated to exploring the emotional capacity of color relationships and expressive mark-making in service to these ideas.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I have had to come to terms with being comfortable with uncertainty. Financial stress adversely affects the manner in which I produce work in my studio. I have tried to alleviate that by finding enough part-time work to supplement my income in a way that feels comfortable to me and still allows me ample time to paint.
My intuition tells me that as long as I am doing what I love, support will follow— and so far in my life, that has been remarkably and serendipitously true. Every time I have taken a big leap, it has paid off for me. This takes a lot of faith and trust in my path and going for every opportunity that comes my way— even if I feel it’s out of my reach at the time.
This being said, I am in a position where I have a lot of freedom. I don’t have tons of debt, or a family to support or the myriad of other circumstances that add additional pressure to a creative life. But ultimately, I see many people who find ways to make it work, utilizing and making the most out of every moment. Being an artist is often a selfish endeavor. It takes a commitment of time and space, and complete dedication to yourself and the process. I often ask myself, “If not now, when?”. It keeps me focused on the present moment and had guided me to make decisions to prioritize my creative life.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I’m always open to coordinating studio visits! I primarily sell my paintings to private collectors, accept commissions, and participate in pop-ups and events in Southern California where I sell original drawings, watercolors, paintings, prints, and more. In the past year, I participated in two art fairs, and often show my work in group exhibitions throughout the US. I’m currently working with several art consultants who collaborate with architects and designers to find placement for my paintings. I occasionally have my work on consignment in galleries in Orange County and Los Angeles. The best way to stay updated with my upcoming events and shows is to visit my website www.kristinarosebaker.com or stay posted on my Instagram— @krbakerart.
- Website: https://www.kristinarosebaker.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @krbakerart