Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Feature: Kristen Powers (Kae Pea)

"Garden of your mind" by Kristen Powers
Hi Everyone,

TGIF!!!  This back to school routine is kickin' me in the rear.  I'm one tired Mommy:)  I hope everyone that was affected by Isaac is doing well.  My in-laws live in Baton Rouge and my bro-in-law in New Orleans and they weathered the storm well.  We are getting remnants of it here in Arkansas but it just brought lots of rain which we were in desperate need of.

This week, I'm bringing you a mixed media artist.  Her work is whimsical, fun and colorful.  She's had her ups and downs with art licensing and is currently on her journey to a happy ending.  Please watch her you tube video linked below.  Not only is her work fantastic but she is really on top of her art marketing also and someone I'm looking to as an example.  To see more of her work and story please check out her links.

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

I got my start when I was five and I melted all of my moms oil pastels on the wall heater! All she said was that it was beautiful!
My journey so far has been a long and winding road. I have dabbled in a bit of all forms of arts and crafts. I lost my mojo for a while after I had a terrible experience with ‘lisencing’ my work. But, ultimately, the creative fire inside of me never died. And the more I tried to repress it, the hotter the flame burned! I went through a series of creative stops and starts and then at age forty, I decided to go back to school to get my degree in art. One of the best choices I have ever made.
"Aligning" by Kristen Powers
Where were you born?

 San Rafael, California….
(in Marin County and my youngest daughter is named Marin!)

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Hmmm I don’t really know…That is a tough one to answer since I have moved around my whole life (and I am in the middle of moving as I write this!!) I think I would love to just settle in somewhere where I can see the stars at night and have a cozy, artsy house with plenty of room for a garden and my art studio. But there are lots of places I would love to travel to…
"Deep" by Kristen Powers
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

I love to paint from my imagination, things that are full of color and exude happiness. Why? Because, I feel that it reveals my true inner spirit of hopefulness. It is my hope to bring a joyful feeling to others through my art. The world is full of enough darkness and sadness and ‘reality’.

Could you talk about your painting techniques?  

I have such an experimental mentality. I just want to try everything! My approach varies depending on what medium I am using and even what my subject matter is. I use lots of layers whether I am painting in watercolor or acrylic and when I paint in acrylic I am very generous with my gesso. Lots of times I use acrylic paint in a very washy watercolor way. I really enjoy intuitive painting and often I will paint without any sort of definitive thoughts or plans. I like to see what emerges after I create an abstracted background.

"Random Acts" by Kristen Power
Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

I paint with both acrylic and watercolor.  I guess I consider myself a mixed media artist since I am very prolific and very “all over the board”.
I have always said my favorite color is rainbow! I can’t help it. I just love bright colors!

Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I don’t have just one favorite but if I had to name one, I guess, I would have to say Matisse.
My biggest inspiration is definitely my mom (even though she is no longer with me, she still continues to inspire me).
My teacher, friend and mentor, Carol Carter, has also been a wonderful source of inspiration to me.

You have had some bad experience with art licensing, could you tell us your story?

Well, it is a long and sad story….but in a nutshell, someone took all of the rubber stamp designs  I created and never paid me  for the use of those designs. I know it sounds impossible but, unfortunately, it is not. Unless you are already really a big company (like Disney or Mary Engelbreit) there is not as much recourse as one would hope. Especially when you are dealing with someone in another state….for more of my story you can watch this short video because, after all, some things DO have a happy ending :)

What advice would you have for artists in regards to art licensing?

Follow your gut instinct. Always. It is a difficult road to navigate, surround yourself with good people. Ask lots of questions. Licensing is not for the faint of heart.
"Rising" by Kristen Powers
What have been some of your crowning achievements?

Graduating Magna Cum Laude and receiving my BFA at age forty five!
Getting noticed by one of my favorite artists and asked to teach along side of her!
Having a piece of my art hang in the home of another of my favorite artists.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

To teach an art retreat in a beautiful exotic location!
To write and get published, a book of illustrated poems, quotes and inspiring stories for kids and adults.
To have an art shop /studio/ gallery on Main Street in the new town I am moving to.
To take a family trip (and incorporate it with a show or workshop) to a different place every year for the next five years!
To have a successful on-line art and craft ‘channel’.
To have my rubber stamp business thriving and licensing other artists with their own line of stamps! (I know that is 6 but I can’t help it!)
"Time Brings Roses" by Kristen Powers
What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

Don’t compare yourself to others and never, ever give up.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

To not compare myself to others and to never ever give up!
"Up Do" by Kristen Powers


Chocolate or vanilla?

Your dream vacation spot?
Hilton Head Island

Book or movie?

Favorite author?
Dr. Seuss

Favorite movie?
Fried Green Tomatoes

Romance or comedy?

Favorite dessert?
Hot apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Night owl or morning person?
Morning Person

Kristen, thank you so much!!

I'll see everyone Monday with more of my Hopper series:)  Can't wait to share my Hemingway painting with you!



  1. What a beautiful selection of work - such a lovely colour palette too! :0)

  2. She does beautiful work!! I love her use of color.

  3. What a wonderful pick! I love her art. Thanks for introducing me to it!

  4. Love all of your beautiful artwork but especially like your "Garden of your Mind" - gorgeous color and wonderful bright shining spirit of yourself. Thank you for sharing this!