I guess you could say that Italy didn’t inspire me to paint; rather, it gave me a reason to paint.
HLB: Why does large-scale painting appeal to you? KL: Painting large is expression with im-
pact. If you do a small painting of an ocean, it can be quite lovely and cherished by one person at a time, but if you take the same painting and blow it up, it becomes a conversation. It transports you because it’s larger than yourself. It gets people talking, good and bad, and has a presence. Painting large is also a challenge because you have to take into account location, environment, architecture, sunlight and the personalities of those who’ll be viewing it, which I love.
Ebb and Flow
HLB: What advice would you give to your younger self? KL: Relax and look for opportunities to create everywhere. I started my business and wanted to be the best I could, as fast as I could. During the last 10 years, I’ve had a lot of people tell me I wasn’t doing the right things, or that I wouldn’t be successful because not many artists are. I would tell my younger self that there’s no hurry and that if you surround yourself by those who inspire you, then you’ll lead an inspired life—and that’s a success in its own right.
HLB: What worries you? KL: I worry about what everyone else
s a girl, Kristina Letson—Style’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards “Favorite Artist”—knew she was passionate about art, but didn’t quite understand how to explore it. It wasn’t until she returned from studying abroad in Italy that she opened her commissioned art business, Bel Murales. Specializing in murals, fine art and pet portraits, Letson’s bold, colorful work is featured at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, inside numerous Beach Hut Deli locations and at Golfland Sunsplash.
HLB: How did your time spent in Italy inspire you? KL: I found the culture to be focused on art
help but soak that up and proudly participate. Sitting in the piazzas, walking through the ancient streets and visiting the small shops—art and beauty all around—inspired me to want that in my life permanently. The frescos and paintings made me realize that if I could produce art that impacted people—not just in a gallery, but in their homes, businesses and on the streets where they lived—then I could help them experience the beauty I found when living abroad.
seems to worry about—my job becoming obsolete. A lot of people order murals online or buy large pieces from Ikea, which is great, but I hope that there’s always a need for original work and a desire to support artists in the community.
HLB: What’s on your horizon? KL: I recently had my first child, so finding a way to grow my business and create art while being the best mother and wife I can be. My business is going to look different now, which could be the best thing ever.
January 13-March 2 – Watercolor Workshop at BLA. Every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon, learn basic skills and watercolor techniques, including how to apply watercolor, color theory, and the properties of this medium to create your own beautiful painting. bluelinearts.org
and the beauty of life. As a visitor, you can’t January 2016 - stylergbr.com 23