Kristin Quinn holds a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a bachelor’s degree from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa. Recent exhibitions include “Waterworks: Paintings from the North Coast”: Catich Gallery, Davenport, IA “Flyways”: Wantoot Gallery, Mineral Point WI, QC Arts, Rock Island, IL, DUMA Biennial, 2019. Quinn has taught painting and drawing at St. Ambrose since 1989. She lives in Davenport Iowa and enjoys birding and biking along the Mississippi flyway.
My painting process is energized and transformed by study of the natural world. Exploring new ecosystems in uncommon environments is valuable visual and conceptual research. Living along the Mississippi flyway gives front door access to observe bird migration patterns. I love the puzzle of “finding” a particular species of warbler, such tiny gems of birds. I study their songs, their characteristic behaviors and their distinct coloring and wait for their arrival and sadly, departure. For me the most important aspect of birding is the time spent outside by the river or in a grove of trees. I watch light change, see reflections on water, look for movement in the trees. My work is informed by this exploration of light, reflection, water and patterns.
In the past three years I have had the opportunity to travel north to the Great Lakes of Superior and Michigan, the Upper Peninsula, Northern Wisconsin and the north shore of Minnesota. The landscape was exotic to me with its many rivers, bogs, preserves, fens, falls and lakes. These diverse waterways have been a large source of inspiration for my most recent work. The driftless landscapes, endless floating other-worldly spaces, waterfalls with phosphorescent mists have entered my paintings and have become metaphors for our current pandemic era. The knotted, painted combinations force a continual shift of attention among the many levels. I compare this to a single moment in landscape and the competing levels of activity. It's the density of this kind of experience that continues to raise questions and excite me as a painter.