(Kristen@kristenmargiotta.com) IG@kristenmargiotta

Kristen Margiotta is an oil painter and illustrator based in Delaware. She received a BFA from the University of Delaware in 2005 in Visual Communications/ Illustration. Since then, she’s been exhibiting, illustrating books, and is an active participant in her local art community.

Kristen’s love of the old masters, history, music, and childhood interests have shaped and inspired her works today. But on a deeper level, she’s inspired by life experience and relationships amongst people. She is trained in the tradition of oil painting, both direct and indirect methods, and combines traditional painting techniques with contemporary and imaginary imagery, influenced by the Baroque and other old master work.

My paintings first begin as rough sketches, building the ideas through drawing first. I’ve created  an imaginary world, the Other World, filled with nemeses, dark shadows, and sweet, large eyes characters. Most of my works come from the same place, and the story keeps expanding. Many times people ask me if my character Cherry is me. And she is. Don’t take it all so literally though, I just use my own visual language to tell the tale. Themes such as fear and loneliness pervade my work. But I hope there is a sense of strenth and determination that comes through. I think we can all relate to that.

In recent years my work is evolving and perhaps returning to earlier imagery focusing on symbolism.  I’ve also returned to portrait painting, something I’ve greatly missed over the years. 

My hope is that people will feel something when viewing any of my work. Maybe it’s escapism or it helps them in some way. A collector had said it brings them joy seeing my work everyday. That’s a special thing. People’s reactions are always intriguing, it means something different to everyone. ” That’s how I feel, or did during a very specific time”…”thats ME.” Or they get very excited, that childlike response of seeing something new. That’s the best. I’m often told how people can feel the drama unfolding, like they’re being pulled into the painting. I hope to push this further and work on a much larger scale in the future.

Shadows… I am constantly exploring shadows in my work. Are they real, imagined, or something tangible? They are fun and challenging to paint and something I’ve explored since college, and possibly prior.

I don’t think we ever know why we create, or have the need to; for answers maybe, or contribution to something bigger than just ourselves. I’ve always enjoyed the challenges of painting and drawing and each new project presents a different set of challenges.

Margiotta has exhibited her work regionally and throughout the U.S. for over 13 years, and has been represented by the Pop Gallery in Santa Fe, NM since 2009. Her work is found in the homes of private collectors all over the country. Margiotta has received awards, acknowledgements, and recognition as well as online features and interviews. She is a 2017 recipient of an Individual Artist Opportunity Grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts.

Margiotta has illustrated several picture books, including Better Haunted Homes and Gardens, with Imaginary Books / Raw Dog Screaming Press. She is the illustrator of the Gustav Gloom book series through Grosset & Dunlap / Penguin Random House. The books are found nationally and in many foreign countries. Additional international licensing is currently underway.

Margiotta has also been an instructor of art for youth, teens and adults, and also at the college level since 2004. She currently teaches private art
lessons and classes at Center for the Creative Arts, Yorklyn, DE. She is highly sought after as an instructor and has the largest number of active private lesson students in the visual arts, in the area.

Kristen also hosts The Oddball Art Hall (Fb: @oddballarthall) with her friend and colleague Pat Higgins every 3rd Friday at Oddity Bar, Wilmington DE. This unique event, in its 3rd year, the only kind in the area, combines artists selling original work, live drawing/painting from a model, and DJ spinning vinyl records. Free event ages 21+.


Photos above courtesy of Joe Hoddinott.