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(Image: Kristine Cooper)
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Artist of the Week: Kristine Cooper

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What mediums do you work with?
Kristine Cooper: I have been a creator my whole life, creating chalk-covered sidewalks and coloring on everything in sight as a child. Later in life, I graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2016 with a fine arts degree and have been creating abstract paintings since. The mediums I work with are mainly acrylics on canvas. I love to add mixed media elements within the work to create variety and contrast. Some of the elements I include are charcoal, oil pastels, spray paint and yarns.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
My process begins with inspiration from nature, traveling and experiences. I then take my inspiration to the canvas capturing shapes, colors and textures that I've seen. The work goes through a process of adding in more paints and textures and then painting over it again until I get it just right. This back-and-forth creative process is meditative for me. I know the work is done when the eye wants to stay and travel across the canvas because it's interesting, and you can't help but look.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from.
My inspiration everywhere I look. Finding inspiration in the mundane is continuing to look at things in a new light. I enjoy challenging my mind to think of the spaces we are around as a new experience full of opportunity, which lends itself well to finding anything creative.

Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
I find my "beat" in creating work that bends reality with abstract shapes and vibrant colors. I enjoy creating abstract landscapes that capture the fun and beauty that can be found when you surround yourself in the outdoors. The outdoors is fascinating in itself because if you look closely, you will find abstract forms all around you. Nature is abstract.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
Of the works I've most recently made, I found that this piece I titled "Playground" to be most special to me. I created it reflecting on what it means to play as an adult and why it's important.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
The experiences that have left the biggest impressions on my work have been traveling anywhere near or far. I find when I disconnect from technology and get out of my normal day-to-day routine, my brain takes in all of the senses differently. This allows me to be my most creative.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
You can find my work on my website, cooperartandabode.com. I also update process videos and new work on Instagram, @cooperartandabode.

What is next for you? Anything you're working on right now that you're really excited about?
I am also creating and dreaming of what's next! Next on my easel will be a series reflection about COVID and how connected we really are as a society. It will be a unique color pallet with the contrast of muted colors and bright neons. I will also add within the work yarns that will add a 3-D element to the work and represent connection.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
I drink my coffee every day with a splash of oat milk!

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