It is commonly said that art is the freedom of expression, regardless of medium, trained skills or if anyone ever gets to see it. But when someone does see art, or buys art, what does that express about them? Painter, artist and entrepreneur Kristine Provenza, our cover painting artist in this issue off Universal Mana Magazine, is creating works that aren’t just for viewing, and some of her newest pieces are revealing her client’s own deepest expressions.
Originally from Vancouver Island, Canada, Kristine has been painting for more than 30 years, beginning her professional career at the early age of 14 where she was paid for her portrait work; by age 19 she had her first solo show. Like many young artists she encountered the challenge of choosing a more secure career, in her case to become a lawyer, or pursuing her passion. Choosing the path of becoming a professional artist, she received her own training in the Gulf Islands with the Federation of Canadian Artists. She found this to be more beneficial to her creative education, learning directly from artists she loved rather than learning more formally in a classroom.
At age 25 she left Canada for Hawaii where she discovered a land, a people and a culture full of sincere inspiration. Here she has become a well-known artist for her portrayal of the Hawaiian people and culture, creating works that display their contemporary situation. What Kristine is trying to portray most is not merely of the person or the subject itself. Rather, she has come to understand Hawaiians strong connection with the land, that they do not see themselves separate from it; in her art pieces she makes no clear visual distinction between land and the person.
Her style has come to be known as “Wailele”, meaning waterfall in Hawaiian, being that her paintings flows together like the running of water. It is important to Kristine how her work is perceived by local people: she does her best to properly depict important themes of Hawaiian culture such as spirituality, traditions and even their strong sensuality. Some of her most cherished moments of her artistic career have come when hula dancers and kumu hulas purchase and commend her work.
Creating connections or a feeling with her works is what Kristine strongly strives to create as an artist, painting subjects that move people, painting from heart, mind and soul. She believes that “art is personal” that it is much more than “matching the couch.” She often works 80-hour weeks, in her gallery or with a paint brush, and is continuously finding the balance between business and passion. But that balance means that passion and integrity will always win out over painting just monetarily beneficial pieces.
Her newest work pushes for an even deeper connection with her clients. These pieces incorporate the affirmations, mantras and manifestations that we desire in our lives with beautiful, abstract color and movement. Works are typically custom to the individual, where the client fills out a manifestation questionnaire and what they want to express in their own life, and then Kristine portrays it on canvas for them. Every time that person sees the painting, they are reminded of what they desire and are trying to make clear within their lives – thus the painting meeting more than just the viewer’s eyes.
Kristine’s artwork is featured on cover as well as the paired image to the cover story to set the tone of each Universal Mana Magazine issue.