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Meet Kirsten Van Mourick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kirsten Van Mourick.

Kirsten, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Since I was a child I have found inspiration in the beauty of people. I would study my mother’s perfect skin and her delicate oval nails, and my father’s kind brown eyes. There was something I wanted to extract, to release before I knew what to name it. I sensed that the faces and skin that stretched over their bones emitted something luminous. That human flesh contained something incalculably valuable because what it wrapped around was soul. Swaddled potential, glowing and desperate to escape through any thinning…eager to be known.

Painting has always been the avenue by which I have been able to most clearly translate this passion. My body of work is made up of life-sized, representational portraits; real moments with real people engaged in the community and in rest. Often using vivid jewel tones and precious metals, they are icons meant to celebrate the holiness in the mundane. I paint them with the audacious hope that one viewer might find refreshment on a dusty road. I pray that they are massage for weary feet; that they are hospitality and a warm meal. A reminder that even in a world that is smoky with sorrow, there is Goodness and hope.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I am incredibly lucky to have been encouraged relentlessly by faithful and loving parents as a child, and supported by my incredible family today. I would say that the most challenging season of painting has been in my graduate school years. On my journey to earning my MFA I struggled mightily on a conceptual level…what I was attempting to communicate seemed too simple and idealistic.

Perhaps self-imposed, I felt pressure to offer up the ‘dark and moody,’ but that was not my story. I have found that when we try to tell a story that is not our own, we fool no one…it is just a dead thing that moves not and moves no one. Since then, I have endeavored to create work that speaks of beauty and love but is honest and free of saccharine. It is a battle that I think I will always be engaged in…finding the balance between effervescent transparency and depthless simplicity.

Tell us more about your art.
I work from my studio at home, which I balance with being a mother to my eternally enthusiastic (and energetic) sons, six and three. My work is typically split between customized portrait commissions and my personal painting, which I submit to group shows, galleries, and churches. I love communicating with clients on specific projects…I can customize everything from content to color palette, and really enjoy the endless ideas that others bring to the easel.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have been so steadfastly supported by countless family, friends and mentors that it overwhelms me to think about it. My husband is my biggest cheerleader, and I literally could not imagine a scenario in which I would have been able to be where I am now without him.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 949-212-2864
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @vanmostudio
  • Twitter: @vanmostudio

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