a little perspective...
"I love Art History and always have. I love learning about the artists and how they lived, just as much as looking at the artwork. There are so many works that I appreciate which may never show in my work... Specific influences are Agnes Martin, Morris Louis, Degas, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Rothko... I also find a correlation with Gertrude Stein's writing. With her rhythms and use of repetition and difference. Being the 'Mother of Modernism' she has probably impacted all contemporary artist's lives beyond comprehension, I appreciate her commitment to supporting other artists, pushing them to new heights while exploring her own pursuits. I hope to also influence the world with such a positive impact.
I've always been fortunate to be surrounded by supportive, creative people. I've had the great fortune to work closely with artists like Jane DeDecker , Kathi Caricof, Mark Leichliter, Pat Howard, Lu Haskew, Cathy Goodale, Jim Biggers, Teresa Vito and Denny Haskew. I've known these artists since I was 15 years old and they have all become mentors to me. Their passion and actions tomake their passion known to the world have motivated me into that same direction. They have left the impression on me that hard work and putting your SELF into all things reaps rewards.
Growing up I remember taking everything visual in... I still do that today. Observations stick with me.... I have memories from very early on. Color and light particularly. I can remember the wallpaper from my nursery - blue with white clouds and orange birds, I recall the bright yellows and greens from being in the garden. I was very adventurous as a child, I'd ride my bike to nearby Glenmere Park and the bird sanctuary and spend lots of time with nature, climbing trees, looking under rocks for 'rolly pollies'. We used to take cross-country family trips and I would look out the
window and watch the ground blur by in bands of color reaching to the sky. My favorite method for travel remains cross-country driving.
I've lived in Northern Colorado all but 6 years of my life. I was born in Greeley November 30, 1976. Our family moved to Loveland when I was in High School. After graduating I went to school at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, MO and earned my BFA in painting. Out of college I lived in Santa Fe, NM for a couple years to manage one of the galleries my father and I own and operate. I've since moved back to Colorado, I enjoyed the other cities and visit them often but I love Colorado. I donate portions of my art sales to land preservation groups in hopes of maintaining some of the openness of natural grasses and farms of Northern Colorado that I grew up knowing.
In high school I was the only student to sign up for painting each semester, so the course was always dropped. I took every art class I could fit in, sometimes repeating subjects, from middle school and junior high through high school.... photography, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, and was president of the afterschool art clubs repeatedly. I sold ceramics at 'Arts Picnic' in Greeley when I was in 8th grade.
It wasn't until the summer of my junior year that I was able to take a painting class. I went to Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. It was a 2 month camp of painting, drawing and sculpture; it really allowed me to focus on art and build my portfolio for art school. It also showed me what an impact art was in my life and that this was definitely the direction for me. The same summer I also spent nearly a month working with sculptor Dee Clements helping build the armature structure from foam wafers for the Palm Desert Holocaust memorial, a seven-figure monument. That was a very intense project, but I learned a great deal.
I was accepted into every school I applied including the Chicago Art Institute, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York, but I chose the Kansas City Art Institute because it was a small (600 students) undergraduate school with a large campus and the largest scholarship. I really enjoyed my time there, the allowance to focus solely on art and related subjects was immeasurable and the professors became more than just that. My junior painting professor, Michael Walling encouraged me to try landscape painting, and my senior painting
professor, Ron Slowinski, pushed me to make my colors really speak to the viewer.
On breaks from school I would paint with the Schmid group. It's fun to work with artists like Jim Biggers, Cathy Goodale, Lu Haskew, Teresa Vito. I remember they were always down-to-earth and told things exactly how it was. Constructive criticism is very important for progression, even if you don't use the suggestions, it brings awareness of what the viewer is initially seeing and sometimes you are blind to it from working so close to it. Critiques at KCAI were equally helpful. Both from professors and students, nothing was personal, everyone was just trying to make a good painting great.
Following College I went to the Vermont Studio Center, a 2 month studio space in a gorgeous part of the nation. This was transition period for me into becoming a professional artist. In July 2005, I purchased my first house... a 1932 'English Arts and Crafts' home in downtown Loveland, CO. Two cats "Yuki-Onna and Ko no Hana" joined me and in-between painting and work at the gallery, I am making improvements on a desirable studio within.
My whole family is creative. I come from a long line of educators, nearly everyone including sibling, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins have dedicated a portion of their life to helping or educating others in some way. We have a lot of high standards (aesthetics included) which makes for a lot of perfectionists, but we're always hardworking and always strive to do more than required.
My parents have been art appreciators and collectors since before I was born. I grew up living with the artwork of Buffalo Kaplinski and Frank Howell... I used to love being in those paintings as a My mom was an interior designer when I was young.... at her office we'd page through wallpaper and fabric samples, never really growing tired of seeing all the patterns (though I'd act bored). Here I remember becoming aware of space with color and light at that time.
My dad was a lawyer then and always an avid gardener. Dad and I now own and operate Columbine Gallery in Loveland, CO together. He established the gallery along with the National Sculptors' Guild in 1992 and he personally places monumental sculpture across the nation. He is involved in site design, often the landscaping surrounding and almost always installs the artwork. We work well together with synchronicity. We also both love helping people learn to live with art. I put in long hours, then I put in hours early mornings and late nights to painting, but when it is your passion you put the hours in and enjoy the process.
My brother and sister are both teachers. enter coupon code TEACHERSrule for a special rate. Older brother, Tyler, is fantastic at math and sciences and can learn languages in amazing time enabling him to travel extensively. Because of his ability to actively pursue his aspirations he has been able to teach at length in Spain and Japan, currently living in Tokyo with his love, Shun. Younger sister, Dayna, is the dancer in the family, I used to drive her in high school to practice and quick sketch or photograph. She now teaches kindergarten with particular mastery of really seeing each individual student's needs and providing them the foundation they need for life. She is married to a fantastic caring and supportive man, Josh, who brings a smile to everyone he meets. They have a beautiful and fun family with the addition of 'Jay Thomas' April 25, 2008. He is most fantastic to watch grow. My siblings are great friends, and I find we all have an unusual talent to incorporate career with
In 2011, I married and became a step-mom to two terrific young men. Unfortunately the relationship did not work out, but the experiences and riches gained in those 4 years were immense and parenting has been among my most fulfilling moments. Another of the best parts of that time was adopting a Great Dane - Luna, she was huge and that's not counting her personality.
I started painting pet portraits when my father lost his dog "Sky". I painted the portrait for a Christmas gift, by Thanksgiving he had adopted two more dogs, so I painted them as well. Then deciding to make that the year's gift - I painted my sister's Westie, and other family member's pets. A few commissions later, I had produced over 100 portraits in the first 2 years. In an emptier house with just myself, Luna the Dane and my grumpy cat Hana; I continued to paint pet portraits and started the Happiness Is series. The series has allowed me to raise funds through contributing to auctions for Shelter and Wildlife Rescues in a broader way than my meager cash donations allow (which I also still do). This series has been my best means of helping animals find their people which is a great passion of mine. Prints are available of your favorite breed from past portraits. These portraits have been a real joy to create, and creates a very different creative outlet than the abstract landscapes do.
I lost #DaneLuna in 2019, and #HanaCat in 2020. But, have happily added a new rescue pup #SweetJujube, as sweet as the candy and good mostly. I am happily creating artwork, promoting other great artists, applauding my nephew as a #ProudAunt, and enjoying life in Northern Colorado." -Alyson Kinkade