In the third grade, Kristine Brock sold her first painting to a classmate for 50 cents. Thus began her professional art career and she hasn’t looked back since.
Brock remembers having a passion for drawing at the age of 4. As a quiet child she used to draw during recess at school. Her work gained her some notoriety and a classmate asked her to draw a picture of his dog, which he bought from her with his spare change.
As is often the case, Brock would go on to pursue education in areas other than art. But eventually the draw was too strong and she began her art training at Raritan Valley College in New Jersey. She furthered her knowledge by taking classes with individual artists.
In her work, Brock is inspired by her love of earth and nature. She tends to do paintings of landscapes, birds and animals. Those skills she began working on in third grade are still being put to good use, as she is often commissioned to paint portraits of people’s pets.
“I like to use a lot of color and a lot of emotion,” Brock said. “I also enjoy trying different things like using water colors and pastel pencils together.”
Brock said right now her favorite media are pen and ink and water colors. She did say that different subjects often dictate how she approaches the painting. But regardless of what type of paint or style she uses, Brock’s work is going to be honest.
It is this honesty that Brock brings to her own studio, Harmony Studio in Brookline, where she teaches her craft. The studio opened six years ago, as a result of Brock’s kids’ getting older and her having a desire to get back to work.
“It is hard to sell paintings in this economy,” Brock said. “But I thought I could share my experiences and see if anyone would be interested in how I create.”
The school began to blossom through word of mouth. Besides teaching students as young as 4 and as old as 80 from her home studio, Brock works at A.C. Moore, where she has become sort of their fine arts expert. She leads Monday night programs and a Wednesday morning water color class.
“People seem to gravitate to me,” Brock said. “Teaching has helped me as an artist. Sometimes being an artist can be solitary, as you get buried within yourself. Sharing what you know puts you outside of yourself a bit.”
Brock said that teaching exposes her to other ways of looking at things. It also excites her, especially when a student likes her idea.
“I get more satisfaction watching their [her students] growth than with mine,” Brock said. “Art is therapy. When you look at it you come to a conclusion about how it makes you feel and the reasons for it. That is why I always try to work with honesty, beauty and truth, whether people like the work or not.”
Her work will be on display through Feb. 18 at the Hollis Social Library. Besides teaching, Brock said she has been working hard to make connections for herself both nationally and internationally. Locally she is a member of the Hollis Art Society and the Nashua Area Artists’ Association.