Kris Ekstrand is a painter and printmaker who lives in the Skagit Valley of northwest Washington and works out of her studio in Edison.
Her work has been featured in one-person shows at Skagit Valley College, Moses Lake Museum, Smith & Vallee Gallery (Edison), MUSEO (Langley), Robey King Gallery (Bainbridge)and juried shows at Art at the Port Focus Gallery (Anacortes), Schack Art Center (Everett), Cascadia College and other galleries throughout the Northwest.
This new work focuses on the lines drawn between land and water, past and present, memory and intuition: my territory. The “Visible Bones: Samish Flats Series” explores my emotional response to the landscape that I have lived within for most of my adult life: the brooding estuarine tidelands and farmland of the Skagit and Samish lowlands. The landscape here carries a powerful sense of time for me and reminds me daily that we are living in only a dot on a vast, ancient continuum. I owe the title of this series to writer and naturalist Jack Nisbet, whose books explore the human and natural history of the Northwest. His friendship and writing have deeply influenced how I identify with my “place” and informed my work in ways I cannot adequately express. The landscape paintings in this group explore the dynamic intersection of agricultural farmland and estuarine tidelands. The valley’s waterways – its threaded lines of rivers, ditches, drains and dikes – are the arteries that sustain living things, particularly recently cultivated ones. The acqua al mare – the routes of water to the sea –are complex. My painting has found inspiration in the writing of poet and farmer Jessica Gigot, who writes in her poem Tide Gates, “Opening, closing, regulating seawater. These rivers are not home to everyone. They only let in what they know.” Speaking of lines: for several years, I have collected birds’ nests found within this landscape and am keenly interested in the energy, centrifugal force and gravity of these objects: they are three-dimension drawings in real life. They represent shelter, refuge and loss: so fragile yet so strong. One line at a time.
AVAILABLE ARTWORKby Kris Ekstrand
Exhibits with Kris Ekstrand
Kris Ekstrand is presenting her delicately abstracted landscapes and a continuation of her vibrant and energetic portraits of bird nests. Created in her studio on the banks of the Edison Slough in the Skagit Valley. Ekstrand’s paintings walk a line between abstraction and representation, skillfully drifting between the two. Marceil DeLacy presents her hand-carved wooden sculptures, expertly carved and finely finished. Her work makes one contemplate the human connection to the animal world. In this exhibition DeLacy introduces surprising new subject matter.