Guest Galería Abstract Artist Bio and Statement
I started making art at a very young age with just a pencil and literally any scrap of paper I could find. My parents couldn’t feed me enough paper before I’d fill them up and ask for more. I am grateful to have had such support. It’s what I’ve always done and they knew, as did I, that I would be serious in pursuing art as an adult. Being an artist is more a part of who I am than what I do.

Though I went to school for art education and learned a variety of new mediums, my current work, filled with a wide variety of mark making, still reflects my love for drawing. I’m in love with the materials: the smell, the texture, and how it feels in my hand as I move it around. Powdered graphite, jumbo graphite sticks, pumice gel, carbon, water soluble wax crayons, oil pigment sticks, and lumber crayons are just some of the things that I will incorporate into my abstract paintings.

"People need art in their houses. They don't need Bed Bath & Beyond dentist-office art. They need weird stuff."

– Ezra Croft, art show producer

My inspiration: the western desert terrain

Studio Tour - coming soon!

Artist Bio

Kristen is an award-winning abstract expressionism artist and certified art instructor in San Diego, California. She studied Art Education at Middle Tennessee State University because it seemed to be the most natural path: she loved art and she loved helping others. Currently, Kristen works out of her studio at Art on 30th, located in the North Park’s vibrant arts and culture district, and teaches abstract painting classes at their school. She is best known for using various white and cream hues and incorporating a wide variety of drawing materials in her abstract work, giving it a “fresh,” expressive, and gestural feeling.

Her work is currently on display at Ashton Gallery in San Diego, CA. Kristen’s abstracts have been selected and featured on the homepage of online galleries Saatchi, Artfinder, and Zatista as well as selected and featured in newsletters as part of various Editor/Staff Pick highlights, including "Ones to Watch 2020" on Artfinder. She has been juried into local San Diego exhibits, prestigious regional exhibits at the Athenaeum in La Jolla, CA, and national exhibits in Washington DC, San Diego, CA, and Port Angeles, WA.

Exhibit & Commentary Videos

Kate Ashton, owner of Ashton Gallery and art mentor at Art on 30th in San Diego, CA, gives commentary to "A Place In The Sun," which won first place in the "75 & Sunny" regional exhibit.

"The Power of Small Things" National Exhibit 2019 at the Port Angeles Fine Art Center. My artworks selected for this show are featured at the :42 minute mark.


  • Ashton Gallery

    San Diego, CA


  • HBAC Artist Alliance 

    Huntington Beach, CA

  • OMA Artist Alliance 

    Oceanside, CA

  • Jen Tough Gallery Artist Alliance 

    Santa Fe, NM


  • M.F.A. coursework in Media Design

Full Sail University

Aug 2016 - Jan 2017

  • B.S. in Art Education

    Middle Tennessee State University

    Aug 2000 - May 2007


  • Art on 30th


    Class + Workshop Instructor

    Resident Artist in Studio 2

    (Color Theory, Acrylics, Watercolor, Modern Calligraphy)

    Feb 2017 - Present 

  • The Art Stash

    Class Instructor

    (Color Theory, Acrylics, Watercolor, Modern Calligraphy, 4-Day Plein Air Retreat)

    Jan 2017 - Mar 2018


    Private Lesson Instructor

    (Drawing, Acrylics, Watercolor, Oils, Modern Calligraphy)

    Aug 2016 - May 2017

  • Inspire SD Studio

    Event Instructor


    Apr 2014 - Feb 2015

  • MilSpouse Group

    Art + Craft Coordinator

    Workshop Instructor

    (Bookbinding, Printmaking)

    Mar 2009 - Feb 2010

  • Paper Source

    Chicago, IL & Carlsbad, CA


    Workshop Instructor

    (Bookbinding, Paper Arts)

    Mar 2008 - Feb 2010

  • Smyrna High School

    Interim Instructor

    (ART 1 for 9th-12th)

    Aug 2007 - Dec 2007

  • The Art House

    Class + Workshop Instructor

    Resident Artist

    (Drawing, Acrylics, Oils)

    Aug 2004 - May 2006


  • “Staff Picks"

    September 2020

  • Handpicked to show at

    The Other Art Fair's 

    "Los Angeles Online Studios"

    April 2020

  • “Artist of the Month"

    March 2020

  • "Ones to Watch 2020"

    with artwork featured in page header

    January 2020

  • First Place

    “75 & Sunny”

    Juried Regional Show

    Ashton Gallery

    San Diego

    Jul - Aug 2019

  • Juror's Choice 

    “Double Trouble”

    Juried Regional Show

    Ashton Gallery

    San Diego

    Jun - Jul 2019

  • Featured in a staff-curated collection

    May 2019

  • Honorable Mention

    “Going Green” 

    Juried Regional Show

    Ashton Gallery

    San Diego

    Jul - Aug 2018

  • First Place Winner for Tennessee House of Representatives (District #70) with 1 Year Exhibit in the Washington D.C. Lincoln Tunnel

    National Artist Competition

    1997 - 1998

Solo Exhibits

  • "Pedals for the People"

    Ashton Gallery, San Diego, CA

    Sept 2019

Group Exhibits

  • "Quarantine Aquamarine"

    Juried Regional Show

    Ashton Gallery

    San Diego, CA

    Aug - Sep 2020

  • "The Many Faces of Red"

    Juried Regional Show

    Ashton Gallery

    San Diego, CA

    Jan - Feb 2020

  • “Centered on the Center Annual Exhibition”

    Annual Regional Show

    Huntington Beach Art Center

    Huntington Beach, CA

    Jan - Feb 2020

  • "The Power of Small Things”

    Juried National Show

    Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

    Port Angeles, WA

    Aug - Sep 2019

  • “28th Annual Juried Exhibition”

    Juried Regional Show

    Athenaeum Art Center

    La Jolla, CA

    Jul - Aug 2019

  • "Creamiscle" 

    Juried Regional Show

    Ashton Gallery

    San Diego, CA

    Jan - Feb 2020


Sharing my creative process…

one month at a time.

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