Kristen Olson Stone grew up in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. with a sincere appreciation for art and music. The daughter of two classical musicians, she spent time learning to play piano, violin, viola, and classical guitar. Although she loved music, her real passion has always been that of drawing and painting. Inspired by her grandmother, also a painter, she attended art school at The University of Maryland in College Park, The Art Students League, NYC, The California Art Institute in Los Angeles, Otis Parsons, Los Angeles and Santa Monica College. Classically trained, she enjoyed painting people and portraits but her love of nature steered her towards the painterly style of impressionism studying the works of Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, and Joaquin Sorolla to name a few.
Artistic success came early for her, before attending art school, Kristen was accepted into her first art gallery in Annapolis, MD., where she sold her first painting within two weeks to a Senator and his wife. During her time in art school, she continued to expand her representation adding her work to galleries throughout California. Despite this success, she decided to move to the quiet serenity of the Big Island of Hawaii. Through the experience of living with its raw beauty and painting on location there, she was able to immerse herself in a whole new world of intense color and develop a close relationship with mother nature. Kristen was able to travel and paint on all of the main Hawaiian islands eventually having representation with galleries on every island. She also embarked on some commercial painting projects for Signature Designs, The Bess Press, Hawaiian Resources and Island Heritage. She moved to the windward side of Oahu where she continued to paint and teach.
After living in Hawaii for 21 years, she moved to Palo Alto, California, and then to Newport Coast. She had instant success there with both art sales and teaching opportunities. A sought after instructor, Kristen taught multiple art workshops throughout the Bay Area, Napa, Sacramento, and Carmel. She was one of only three artists represented by Gumps in San Francisco and became the artist in residence at The Tommy Bahama Home Store in Newport Beach. She was invited to be the lead plein air instructor alongside Robert Bateman at the prestigious SKB Foundation yearly workshop in Wyoming.
Kristen has recently had the wonderful experience of living in New Zealand for almost 3 years as an “expat” artist. Beyond all of the beautiful places she has lived, ”, she has traveled extensively, painting in Italy, London, Ukraine, Poland, Alaska, The Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Kristen’s artwork has been selected for juried exhibitions; she has received multiple awards.
Her paintings are lovingly collected and exhibited in private and corporate collections, five-star resorts and hotels, other luxury commercial spaces, high-end private homes throughout the world including the collection of President and Mrs. Obama and The New Zealand Parliament with The Honourable Simon Bridges.
Her originality and technique continue to evolve far from where she got her start on the east coast of the United States.
Constantly following her passion, Kristen's artistry and devotion to all things beautiful continues to emerge.
A meticulous artist, Kristen is an interdisciplinary artist working in a variety of painting mediums. She enjoys painting a wide variety of subjects, all are inspired by nature from beautiful locations around the world.
Kristen's style of painting is a contemporary blend of expressionism, realism and impressionism. When viewed from a close distance, her paintings appear to be a textured mosaic of beautiful color passages, like tiny abstract paintings within the larger work. When viewed from a further distance, the lines, colors and shapes come together to magically reveal a particular subject.