SEACOASTERS IN THE WILD: Kirsten Merinda!
Kirsten Merinda is a talented mixed media artist who grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire. She showcases her beautiful paintings at local boutiques such as MINT, and shares two additional businesses with her husband Peter – TruthPaste and Cobabe.co. The couple share their time between California, Utah and New Hampshire. This week, we’re focusing on Kirsten’s artistic career and learning more about the woman behind the color!
When did you first start to love making art?
From the moment I could pick up a pencil!
What was the first medium you remember using?
Crayons! I used to always carry around a pink corduroy hat full of them. Since then, I have enjoyed working in a large variety of mediums — soapstone, clay, oil, and watercolor. Now I work primarily with a combination of mediums.
Tell us more about your journey in art and how you became a professional artist.
I was fortunate to have a nature-filled childhood that fostered my imagination from an early age. The home I grew up in was nestled among 80 acres of trees, lush gardens, and a lake, and we always had goats, sheep, and chickens running around. Through we were situated near the woods, we also lived close to the ocean, a constant source of inspiration for me.
I attended the Oyster River school district in Durham and had some incredible teachers. One teacher, in particular, encouraged our exploration, not because of what he asked of us, but because of what he didn’t ask. Thanks to his teaching philosophy, I was able to explore various mediums and styles with full freedom. This was liberating. The art studio was made available to us all day, every day, which I utilized as often as possible.
Many seacoasters know your coastal encaustic work. What has changed since you moved away from the seacoast?
Encaustic first caught my eye in 2013 and immediately spoke to me and I felt the desire to create galaxies and oceans. Now I combine the two, creating abstract large scale mixed media paintings.
How has your work since changed?
My style has evolved from years of playful exploration – the biggest difference other than the medium would be evolving from small to large scale. Each piece is a sacred symbol of home, named in Greek to honor the roots of my family that originated from Lesvos.
My personal style has evolved as I have transitioned through mediums and grown as an artist. My current technique is top secret actually, but I work mostly with acrylic paint. Blick has a line of matte acrylic that I am absolutely in love with!
What inspires your work?
Life. Everything that surrounds us inspires our individual creative expression
You were born and raised on the seacoast – what do you love most about this area?
THE OCEAN. There is something so special about the seacoast and I have so many wonderful memories from spending the majority of my life there.
I visit NH every summer to reconnect with the special spots and people. Next summer, my husband Peter and I will host wellness workshops through Cobabe.Co, bringing some West Coast magic and modalities to the East Coast. We can’t wait!
We can all follow your work on Instagram, but is there any way we can see it in person??
My hope is to bring my new paintings with me to New Hampshire this summer! Otherwise, previous artwork can be seen and purchased at Kitkitdizzi In Nevada City, CA, MINT Boutique in Portsmouth, NH or The Partnership Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT.
Photography by Christin Olive.