Lauren Kindle (LK): How did you decide to become a painter? Describe your educational path and various experiences that have molded you as an artist.
Kristen Peyton (KP): I began painting at a very young age. My childhood babysitter first had the inclination that I would be an artist. She told my parents she had never seen another child color the way I did, focused and devoted. Soon, weeks of Art Camp and extracurricular art classes filled my childhood summers and school years.
I continued my engagement with painting and drawing through high school and into college, receiving a Bachelor of Arts, from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in May of 2012. William and Mary provided a comprehensive studio art education built upon an extensive foundations study, focused on drawing, painting, and print-making from observation. My William and Mary professors were engaged, passionate, and practicing artists, who greatly enriched and deepened my understanding of and confidence in the visual arts. I am grateful for their lasting influence and continued encouragement and support.
Although a dedicated painter from a young age and a student of art in college, I struggled after graduating to take charge of my own artistic development and find adequate time to paint. I spent the next three years working in non-art related fields, yet, with each profession I wrestled with dissatisfaction, discovering through trial and error that art was clamoring to become my life’s vocation. Thus, I began to intensify my focus. In the summer of 2015, I attended the Mount Gretna School of Art in central Pennsylvania. MGSoA taught me how to be the agent of my own development as an artist. The following fall, I moved to New Hampshire to pursue a Master of Fine Art in Painting at the University of New Hampshire. I graduated in May of 2017. After earning my MFA, I attended the Jerusalem Studio School’s Masterclass in Civita Castellana, Italy, where I met Lauren and formed a lasting friendship with her and other dedicated painters.
I currently live in Richmond, Virginia, and work as the Director and Curator of the Flippo Gallery at Randolph-Macon College and adjunct instructor of studio art at Randolph-Macon and William and Mary.