the artist's story

Bio image compliments of artist Carl Grauer @

Kristen is a native Michigander, but has made her home in South Bend, IN. Although she is now in the land of the Irish, Kristen will always be a Wolverine. She received both her BFA and MFA from The University of Michigan. Therefore, Kristen now refers to herself as a Michagoosier!

Kristen lives with her rival husband, a born and raised Notre Dame fan now employed there. She is also raising two amazing, yet challenging children (but aren't they all?).

Her furry family consists of a bionic dog named Boo, and a crazy devil cat, Dottie.  She wouldn't trade any of them! Well, maybe for a day...

In addition to her commissioned art, Kristen currently teaches elementary art part-time. Working with kids and art equals a giant mess but also a giant reward! She's discovered that children have an uninhibited imagination that we as adults can learn from.

her work

Kristen does much of her work using a less known paint media called gouache. Gouache has been around for over 600 years. It resembles watercolor due to its ability to be re-wetted and has a matte finish. Gouache is also similar to acrylic and oil because of it's opaque nature. More recently Kristen has been working with watercolor as well, and has been experimenting with combining the two media.

Kristen has been focused on creating pet portraits over the last six years in addition to her part-time work teaching elementary art. More recently she has done some commissioned watercolors of  personal residence and historical sites. Kristen has also been getting back to her love for figure drawing and human portraiture. Some of her favorite painters include Andrew Wyeth, Ali Cavanaugh, and Toulouse Lautrec. Kristen's inspiration is her family and her love of nature and all shapes organic.


1997 - University of Michigan, BFA, Magna Cum Laude

2000 - University of Michigan, MFA Medical and Biological Illustration

2000 - 2003 - HealthAnswers Inc., medical illustrator

2003 - 2007 - Novelty Inc., product illustrator/designer

2017 - present - Prairie Vista Elementary, Art in the Studio Instructor

2003 - present - KEW Studios, medical illustration/pet portraits/ other commissions

Using Format