Although the paintings of Kristen Garneau begin with actual experiences in nature, she is influenced as much by Abstract Expressionist masters as she is by the more traditional landscape painters. She simplifies forms and reduces shapes, allowing her to explore more freely. She is interested in what she calls the “in between times” at dawn or dusk or when fog rolls in or a light rain diffuses or intensifies the light.
Garneau grew up in California’s Contra Costa County riding horses along the watershed lands that inpired a lifelong love of nature. In the 60’s she enrolled at the California College of Arts and Crafts, completing two years there. She feels that it was 20 years later, however, that she finally found her voice. She credits her mentor Chester Arnold with whom she studied over a 12 year period at the College of Marin with helping her develop her own style, softening colors and shapes and finding the subtle magic of particular times of day.