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Kris Larson was born and grew up in the relentless winds of Livingston. As a little girl in small town Montana, she was determined to be an artist. She was not deterred when the wind scattered her drawings all over the backyard, over the fence, and down the streets of Livingston. Creating art was then and is still the greatest passion in her life.
After high school Kris’s Marine/football star/math teacher dad encouraged her to be traditional and get a degree in civil engineering. She compromised and got a degree in geography. It combined math and art, and allowed for a lifelong pursuit of art and color theory.
Until about 5 years ago Kris had mostly focused on acrylic and oil painting. But one day she stumbled into an encaustics class. That class sparked a new passion and an even greater level of creativity. The medium allows a unique building up of layers, carving, collage, media transfer, and use of opaque and transparent colors. It ultimately leads to a beautiful richness of texture and depth.
I am particularly intrigued by color and texture. When I was younger and worked in other mediums, I was much more compelled to make realistic-looking pieces. I am embracing the abstract now. I don’t want to tell you what you see. I want to hear what you see and think about when you look at an abstract piece.
When I begin to work on an encaustic, I always have a plan. But often my plan takes a turn that I did not anticipate. I absolutely love the process of layers and layers and layers of color and medium. From my classical art training, I like to make sure that a piece will work from 50 ft away. But I personally love to stand one inch away and stare at the complexity of all the layers and all the colors peeking through.
I once worked with a woman who had a deck of cards, something like a tarot deck. I would go to her office and pick “my fortune” several times a week. I picked the same card so many times that she finally had it copied and framed for me: Your Purpose Is Joy.
Even when we have very difficult conversations, about something like the loss of bees or the war in Ukraine, the idea of bees and the background and strength of Ukrainians is joyful. I would love to imagine that I could help foster a bit of joy in this world with some fantastic color and texture!