Back when I moved to Park Slope in 2004, when 5th Avenue was nowhere near as cool as it it now, there was an itsy bitsy coffee shop that I used to patron, more for their baked goods than their coffee. I also loved that they had rotating exhibits of local artists on their walls – back then this wasn’t commonplace. This is the pre-Gorilla Coffee, pre-condos-in-Williamsburg, pre-iPhone, very prehistoric Brooklyn we’re talking about.
Anyway, way back then, on a regular weekday morning, as I was happily munching on a morning muffin, I fell in love with the paintings by Kristiana Pärn that were hanging on the wall. Her style was like nothing I had ever seen before. Her animals are adorable without being childish, her colors are beautiful – vibrant oranges and blues. At a holiday fair at the end of 2010, I got my first original, which is hanging in the kids’ room.
Estonian-born Kristiana has been living and working in Brooklyn since 2000, and has no plans to leave: “I like the mix of people from different places and backgrounds as well as its varied architecture and landscapes (everything from post-industrial areas and brownstone neighborhoods to the hills and open spaces of Prospect park). I’m also a fan of BAM, the Brooklyn Museum, and an almost countless list of cultural institutions. I’m glad I’ve found my home in Brooklyn.”
The paintings are acrylic on wood. Some are petite, like this sweet cherry blossom harvest:
I want this diptych set.
The creative process is really interesting. “Each piece starts with a bare wood panel, complete with random grain patterns and variations. This natural surface is then saturated with paint, both accentuating and obscuring these marks, in the process creating an atmosphere that is only partly my doing. Within, entire environments are created- trees, mountains, earth, light and air, as well as living creatures, both real and imagined. Often taking the form of the northern forests of my youth, these scenes are places of great play and whimsy, where woodland animals inhabit the waking and dreaming worlds.”
Kristiana’s lovely creations are also available as affordable prints ($20) and notecards ($18 for a set of 6) at her Etsy store.
Now you have one more reason to go out to the 8th Annual Renegade Craft Fair in Williamsburg! Kristiana will be there on June 23th and 24th.