brushes

Biography

I am fascinated by the landscapes of Northern California and the American West: The sky, the plains and slopes, the ocean where it meets the shore. Shifting textures and contrasts as the light changes through the day. The magic of what I call “in-between” times, the transitions at dawn or dusk, and when storms or fog rolls through.

It is not just the beauty of the landscape that intrigues me – it is also the meanings that I find there. The landscape has an emotional impact that I seek to express through my painting.

It may start with a misty morning in Marin County or a light-filled afternoon in Montana – but the surroundings are merely a point of departure. My works are realistic – sometimes titled with the locations that inspired them – but they are not “real” in a literal sense, not faithful reproductions of places observed. Rather, they are the landscape rendered down to its pure essence, the raw beauty distilled in order to convey my personal experience of it.

My art begins with an experience in nature, but each painting is ultimately the product of a careful studio practice. The images are composed with simplified forms, calm brushwork, and a constrained palette. Surfaces form as layers build – and on close inspection, the painting process itself may be apparent. In a sense, my work owes more to the example of the abstract expressionist masters than to the traditional schools of landscape painting associated with California and the West.

I grew up in Contra Costa County, riding horses in the watershed lands and finding - a true wonderland of the imagination. I have since matured as an artist, but my reaction to the landscape is unchanged. It is indeed a wonderland of the imagination. Yet its magic can be easily overlooked, unless you take the time to stop and open the senses.

My goal is, simply, to capture and express those features that I love most – all that which remains fleeting yet constant.

Curriculum Vitae
2015 SF Art Mrkt., Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, Ca

2014

"A Sense of Place" Group Exhibition, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
“Ranches and Rolling Hills:  Landscape Art Show ”, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Nicasio, CA
SF Art Mrkt., Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, Ca

2013 Solo Exhibition, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
Henry's Fork Foundation Auction, San Francisco, CA
Golden Retriever Foundation Art Auction, Wichita Falls, TX
“Ranches and Rolling Hills:  Landscape Art Show ”, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Nicasio, CA
“Mini Show” Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
2012 “Materials” Group Exhibition, Seager Gray Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
Henry's Fork Foundation Auction, Island Park, ID
“Mini Show” Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
Golden Retriever Foundation Art Auction, St. Louis, MO
“Ranches and Rolling Hills: Landscape Art Show,” Marin Agriculture Land Trust, Nicasio, CA
2011 "Miniatures," Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA
Fresno Art Commission Art Auction, Fresno, CA
"Mini Show" Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
Henry's Fork Foundation Auction, Island Park, ID
"Ranches and Rolling Hills: Landscape Art Show," Marin Agriculture Land Trust, Nicasio, CA
"Local Landscapes" 4-person exhibition, College of Marin, Kentfield, CA
2010 "Ranches and Rolling Hills: Landscape Art Show," Marin Agriculture Land Trust, Nicasio, CA
"Surface/Tension: h2o," Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA
Henry's Fork Foundation Auction, Island Park, ID
Solo Exhibition, 255 California St., San Francisco, CA
"Mini Show" Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
2009 "Ranches and Rolling Hills: Landscape Art Show," Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Nicasio, CA
"Tiny" Group Exhibition, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Fresno Art Commission Art Auction, Fresno, CA
Solo Exhibition, Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA
Henry's Fork Foundation Auction, San Francisco, CA
"Painting Large," Group Exhibition, San Marco Gallery, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA
"Mini Show" Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
2008 "Marinscapes" Group Exhibition, Larkspur, CA
"Mini Show" Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
Solo Exhibition, Mill Valley City Hall, Mill Valley, CA
"Art of Nature," Group Exhibition, Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA
Bolinas Museum Annual Art Auction & Fall Fandango, Bolinas, CA
Fresno Art Commission Art Auction, Fresno, CA
2007 Solo Exhibition, "The Shape of the Land," 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley, CA
"Mini Show" Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
"On the Strait Edge," Hilliard Architects, San Francisco, CA
Wild West Marin, Art Show and Sale, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, Olema, CA
"California Centered: the Environment," Merced County Arts, Merced, CA
2006 Solo Exhibition, Mill Valley Library, Mill Valley, CA
"Small Works Show," Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa, CA
Solo Exhibition, Rotunda Gallery, The Sequoias, San Francisco, CA
Toby's Feed Barn, Invitational Group Exhibition "Art on the Farm," Pt. Reyes, CA
2005 "Visual Cadence," Group Exhibition, Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
2004 Solo Exhibition, The Depot Bookstore and Café, Mill Valley, CA
2003 "Mini Show" Invitational Group Exhibition, Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
Artisans Gallery, National Juried Exhibition (Marian Parmenter, Juror), Mill Valley, CA
Falkirk Annual Juried Show, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
2002 "Scenes of Mill Valley," Artisan's Gallery, Mill Valley, CA (Honorable mention, Philip Lenarhes, Juror)
Falkirk Annual Juried Show, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
2001 "Operating Systems," Group Exhibition, Susan Cummins Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
"Small Works"(Kenneth Baker, juror), Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, Santa Rosa, CA
"Bay Area Landscapes" (Honorable Mention), Artisans Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
Falkirk Annual Juried Show, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
Honors and Affiliations
  Chair, ICB Artists Association Winter Open Studios (2011)
Juror, Milley Awards (Art), Mill Valley, CA (2010)
Chair, Mill Valley Arts Commission (2006)
Juror, Mill Valley Arts Commission (2004-2006)
Member, Mill Valley Arts Commission (2003-2006)
Juror, Artisans Gallery (New Member Selection), Mill Valley, CA (2001)
Artist member, Marin Agricultural Land Trust
Member, ICB Artists Association
Education
  California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA.
Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA.
College of Marin, Kentfield, CA. (Studied with Chester Arnold for 12 years)
Contact
  Studio 325
Industrial Center Building
480 Gate Five Road
Sausalito, CA 94965

(415) 987-3055
kristen@kristengarneau.com

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