Kris Iltis paints her “turn your head” images to catch the eye. Dancing brush-marks take the viewer on an unfixed celebration of color and light.
“I want to push color and simplify image to celebrate my subject. When I look at a painting I’m more interested in the artist‘s journey than drafting skills.”
Kris can be found either “moving paint” in her Colorado studio, or “en plein air”, mountains, desert or by the sea. I work “en plein air” or in studio, primarily in oils but more recently I have been working with collage, cold wax and mixed media.
Alice and I fell down the rabbit hole. We landed where all the rules were different. Alice had to deal with the rabbit. I landed in what was to become a very difficult world of illness. And eventual, healing. Hours, days, months and years, to accept permanent changes in perspective and body. And gratitude. And the dream paintings. If only I could remember. Fevered paintings, brilliant compositions...
I had painted for many years, mostly in watercolor but this new world demanded change. I began to paint again. The paintings became a path to celebrate. A direct joyful, emotional response to color, light, place, air. And they had to be in oil. Rich, luxurious, moving oil.
My paintings have become a celebration. I invite you to look and experience them with me. If I can keep your eye and strike a chord of surprise and delight, we can celebrate together.
Growing up in Japan, I returned to the coast of California in my late teens. My mother collected Japanese wood block prints both ancient and contemporary. The influence of those earlier prints are universal from the “Japanonism” of the Impressionists to the flattened perspective in the art of today. And certainly to my eye.
Cezanne, Matisse, Bonnard, all the fauvists, and their colors also influenced my work and more recently, the work of California artist, Richard Diebenkorn has “taught” me to “look again”.
More about Kris
My university studies focused on the photographic techniques of Ansel Adams’ “Zone System”. The art of composition came thru the lens of my camera. My understanding of the effects of light and dark, came in the dark-room. And color is the icing on the cake.
While raising my family I studied painting at the Art Student’s League, Denver. Some of my early instructors included Mark Nelson, Quang Ho and Kevin Weckbach.
Moving to Indiana I worked as an arts educator for the Indianapolis Museum of Art and eventually started to teach painting. Returning to Colorado, I taught classes and workshops for the Art Student’s League, Denver, The Pace Center, Parker and the Curtis Center for the Art’s and Humanities in Greenwood Village among others. I also taught well attended workshops at the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM.
Shows and Awards
- Studio 42, Prism Workspace, Denver, CO, November 2019
- Cherry Creek Art Gallery, Pop-up show, Denver, CO May, 2019
- Show and presentation, “Kris Iltis at the Leisure Hour Art Club”, Oshkosh, WI,
- Faculty show, Art Student’s League, Denver, CO, April 2018
- Rendezvous Paint Out (invitational), Winter Park, Honorable mention, September
- Lone Tree Art Expo, Lone Tree, CO, October-November 2015
- Paint, two-woman show, Von Tornow Gallery, Denver, CO, October, 2014
- DIA Colorado Art, April 2008-January 2009
- Scapes, Art Student’s League, Fall 2006
- Paint Sculpt, Shoot, Evergreen, Honorable mention, Fall 2006
- Two Woman show, 45 Degrees Gallery, Arvada, CO Fall 2006
- Art and Soul, Art Student’s League, Denver, Winter, 2004