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ARTIST TALK | 7 questions for Kristine Kutepova

Kristine Kutepova is a Latvia based contemporary painter. Her artworks are very intuitive, she creates large-format wonderlands and colorful sceneries. In the interview she talks about her way of becoming an artist, new artworks and environment.


What are you currently working on?


At the moment I am working on my new theme: gardening.

My working environment is my home, my balcony and garden. I start from the seed, capture moments and see where it goes and grows. I try to document the process, pay attention and take notes of how the garden is coming along. Within this process lies a lot of inspiration and it feels like one big meditation. The work flow is planned for one year from February to February and I paint when the garden is slowly calming down. To me this is truly working within a cycle of nature and environment.



Before you studied painting at the Art Academy of Latvia you also studied Engineering, Communications and Management at Riga Technical University and at Bulduri Horticultural Secondary School. When did you decide to become an artist?


When I was a small child, I noticed that I like to do something alone and also repeatedly. I could get lost for hours in nature, exploring many different things. So my inner child always knew that I want to do something that is serious, takes time but also is playful.


So I worked in floral design but it didn’t feel quite right or enough for me. Shortly after that, I designed handbags for 5 years. There were tons of ribbons and laces, designing and producing one bag a week. It still felt like I wanted to create even more on a different artistic level. So finally and my husband encouraged me very much to dig deeper I enrolled in Art Academy and after some preparation courses started at the Textile department. There was a lot of technology and new techniques which felt very rich and powerful.

I met my teacher and mentor and after that I transferred to the painting department in my third year of my Bachelors. This was terrifying and exciting at the same time because I transferred quite late but I knew that this is the direction where I needed to go.

Luckily, I won an award which allowed me to travel and I got a regular salary each month. This finally felt like I was on my right way. When you are on your true path, the doors are always opening. If the universe allows you to do it, don’t worry and go for it.


This time around I went to visit three different places: The Eremitage, where I saw Matisse and Van Gogh was very surprised by how much it inspired me to see their works in real life.

The second place was the Tate where I saw David Hockney. I was especially inspired by the way he uses colors and his certain way of looking at things. The third one was the Venice Biennale where I saw Damian Hirst, Treasures of the sea. All this made me realize that you can do art without any limits (money, ideas, there are no rules, and you can play as you want).



Your artworks seem spontaneous and intuitive. With what do you start? A thought, images or a sketch?


Actually, all of these tools together. I love to think about ideas; I love to search for themes and then suddenly comes the way to make it work. I need spontaneity, because it surprises me. But I also like a realistic approach. The Gardening theme is also mixed with other things. For example, it all starts with a seed, fertilized soil, things grow and then at some point I have tomatoes called Purple Boy, Fat birds, Yellow birds, Dark galaxy, Elmas blue… So, there are definitely mixed realities in play.

I like to raise global questions and examine phenomena like “is it real or not real? Or is it only my imagination?” Art is a good tool to ask these questions and it opens up conversation.



You mainly paint larger formats. When is a painting finished for you?


This is a really hard question. Sometimes I just know that it is finished and that’s it. The stories and emotions are told. When works stay with me longer, I could continue painting after some time. The thing is that after some time you start to look differently at it and sometimes it matches with current emotions and feelings that I continue painting. but not all and not always.



Tell us about your studio and working environment.


I need to work where I life, I can’t separate this. My apartment is my studio and my studio is my apartment. I definitely need my tools, paint, working material, painting and of course my family around me. While my husband plays a guitar solo, I start to paint. Music is a very great inspiration.


This allows me to be spontaneous and I really like to do some scenography in my apartment, which is happening right now at my garden.

Interacting with the environment I live in is very important for me. It gives you a lot of options and changes and you won’t be really stuck. And of course, the last couple of years have shown us how important it really is to make your environment/home as good as you can.





If you could travel back in time, where would you like to go?


The first thing I thought of was going back to the start, the burst of the universe, the moment our reality was born. I am curious how it all happened, the first „sparkle“. Maybe everything started at the same time: I suppose there were humans, dinosaurs, plants…



Do you have a recurring dream?


No, not really. I don’t see or remember my dreams often, but I think they absorb a lot of problems or things that are going on in your life. Most interesting is when you have dreams with a clue. Then you can discuss it with your friends and try to figure out about what it is. The moment before you get into dreams is quite inspiring and sometimes the greatest ideas get to you, which can be a great tool for artists.

Artist portrait



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