We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristine Kainer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristine, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
As a child, I was always drawing–on the floor, on my bed, in the car, on planes, at the beach. I had hopes of becoming a cartoonist or architect. My parents clearly preferred the second choice and encouraged me to pursue that dream. Alas, after college, I made a couple of questionable decisions. Architecture fell by the wayside. A few years later, after several uninspiring jobs, I returned to school, earned a Master’s degree, and became a math teacher in the northern Virginia area. Meanwhile, drawing continued to be a creative outlet. When an opportunity arose to buy the Kainer homestead in rural Schulenburg, Texas, my husband and I decided to leave our careers in the DC area and moved our little family to the old farm. Since Texas does not offer reciprocity for teaching certifications and the pay at private schools was pitiful, I taught myself how to paint, first with watercolors, then acrylics, and finally with oils. I’ve never looked back.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I grew up in a military family. Every two years, we moved along the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to Maine. As a result, I became enamored with the Atlantic Ocean and the foods found within the different coastal regions. My art reflects this lure of the sea. Whether in seascapes or still life paintings of shells or food, my love for the coast is evident (not an easy feat while living 2.5 hours away!) What truly thrills me is that so many people around the world find solace in the sea as I do. My paintings are in 42 states and 13 countries spanning 5 continents. I feel more connected to the world than ever before and it is always a thrill when someone who owns my art contacts me years later to tell me how much they still enjoy my work. Though I work in a solitary environment, the world is truly my oyster!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Other than getting a taste of rural life on my little farm, I would definitely haul a friend to Galveston. We would get fresh seafood from the pier (either Sampson and Son’s or Katie’s Seafood Market) and, while waiting, watch the pelicans steal some treats from their wharves, then drive home–preferable to a rented beachfront cottage to prepare our feast and eat it on the beach as the stars twinkle overhead. Of course, the restaurants, shops, and galleries along the historic downtown Strand beckon, as does a deep sea fishing excursion, some kayaking, beachcombing, and Moody Gardens. A performance at the Grand 1894 Opera House would be a wonderful way to spend a balmy evening on the Gulf. Obviously, we would need to make a couple of stops in Houston on the way back to Schulenburg. A trip to NASA is always a delight, followed by a meal at Lopez Mexican Restaurant. As an artist, a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts is a must. Additionally, the Arts District is THE place to go to support and be inspired by my fellow colleagues.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
I am a professional artist thanks to the love and support of my husband and daughter. We’ve had to make financial sacrifices in order to allow me to fulfill my dreams; however, my job has allowed us to occasionally travel to exhibitions, meet some fascinating people, and most importantly, be able to watch my daughter grow into a remarkable young lady (she is now a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York).
Other: Recent interview by the Oyster Ninja https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSwGENbFKxE