My Canvas

This page is dedicated to my creative process, which I invite all of you to participate in, add to, and enjoy. I find inspiration and ideas from many different areas and I am interesting in having a working page that will let me simply…be creative. This page is also a way for me to develop my artistic self in new ways and to consider choreography through various mediums. I think often about the type of artist and art I hope to create. Writing and storing experiences that inspire me is the best way I have found to determine my artistic self.

Hard Candy




Mr. & Mrs.

Frost Bite


Erasing Chalk


The Ohio

Shared Opposites

A Suggestion

Father Nature



Top View

…and they came whispering


Various Stages of Drowning

Power Play



I’ve been indulging my creative side while visiting Africa. It is so fun to find ways to choreograph a space, even when it isn’t dance. Here are a few photographs of local people and places.

Street vendor selling cookware in downtown Dakar

A sign that hangs just over the ocean front near the largest Mosque in Dakar. Wish I could speak French:)

Many locals carry heavy items with incredible balance and ease.

Some of the harsher realities of a developing country.

Down near the waterfront, visiting the local fishermen.

A regular religious meeting for Muslim women.

Despite an oppressive history and current economic crises, I can’t help but see the honesty in this message.

The impressive statue near the water edge in Dakar, Senegal.

Young boys begging for alms.

The large Mosque in Dakar, Senegal that faces the waterfront.

Local workers just outside the dance studio who wanted their picture taken.

The largest spider I’ve seen with my natural eyes. The smallest spider in the photo is about the size of a large wolf spider to give you some measurement of the size of the center spinder.

Some local housing in Wakam.

I ran into a monkey when browsing through a local art shop just off of Gor Beach.


Unfinished Tribute

Be righteous.


Worship nothing, honor everything.

Revere and protect what is small.

The universe is made of small things, of children.

Hear children.

Turn away from nothing.  Face the sun.

Evolve at any cost.

Hoard nothing. Share.

Above all, be precise

so you may name the world precisely.

Let the heart and the guts lead the brain

and the big feet will follow.

Laugh loudly and often.

The heart is both fist and blossom,

opening and closing, closing, opening.

each time gathering new bounty.

Laugh loudly,

and often. Be righteous

and radiate.

Worship nothing, honor everything.

Edited and shortened from “Unfinished Tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks”.


Ella Fitzgerald inspired me.  A sound score possibility for my MFA project. It’s 13 minutes and growing…check it out.



This page is dedicated to my creative process, which I invite all of you to participate in, add to, and enjoy. I find inspiration and ideas from many different areas and I am interesting in having a working page that will help me generate new ideas. This page is also a way for me to develop my artistic self in a deeper way. I have been thinking often about the type of artist and art I hope to create. Writing and storing experiences or works that inspire me is the best way I have found so far to determine my artistic self.



A new favorite visual artist of mine is George Tooker.  His themes of community and non-community are visually charged; he utilizes spatial design, the angularity or arch of line, and color to draw out themes.  I am most interested in his use of geometric space – how the facings, directions, levels reveal the unity of individuals or the disconnects among society.

Window vii


I am a very visual person. Patterns, color, texture naturally draw my eye. When I first started understanding abstraction I used various art forms for ideas and inspiration. Here are a few abstracted images of the same idea: flowers. Simple idea, but the possibilities of outcomes are endless.

joy20song1 franz-marc-xx-coloful-flowers-aka-abstract-forms-1913-1914-xx-san-diego-museum-of-art12 fireflower11 floralred12


Other forms of inspiration come from a few of my favorite writers. I am not stating I am well versed in literature, but these authors have helped me determine how to use my art. Each of them have used language as their tool of expression; their ideas and words have greatly influenced how I think and who I am. I am one who wants to find ways of touching humanity with my work, and their works have touched me – changed me – and have helped me to know how I want to use dance as a tool to affect others.

voltaire1Voltaire: During his time, his writings were modern, progressive. He took an active interest in his community and nation – discussing gender, social class, abuse, and intolerance. He boldly spoke out against such grievances in his society. Considering himself a lover of humanity ” One that is gifted with altruistic impoulses. One that rejoices in the joy of other human beings and suffers for their sorrows.”

cslewis1 C.S. Lewis: One of my favorite writers on religion, faith, and christianity. He has an uncanny ability to disect human intuition and behavior, getting to roots of why many of us do what we do. As an artist I feel he is able to identify and define many core values of humanity, with or without the lens of religion, and makes his audience aware of motivations of choice. His writing has altered the way I understand people, how he is able to share a message through character, plot line, imagery, and foreshadow. All of these tools are useful for me in my own work.

exupery1 Antonie de Saint Exupery: Author of “The Little Prince”. Again, similar to C.S. Lewis he is able share insights of humanity, love, and relationships through strong character development, abstract representation, and character interactions. My favorite passage is when the prince tells the story of his relationship with the fox. Before the fox will trust the prince he explains his experiences with other humans, he asks the young prince to be careful and make him feel safe. “if you tame me, then I will be different from all of the foxes in the world, and you will be different from all of the princes in the world. I will see the world and think of you, I will see your hair and think of the color of the wheat. Please tame me.” When the two must depart the fox cries in anguish at the loss of his prince. The prince is sorrowful “I should never have tamed you. Look at the hurt I’ve caused you.” The fox replies, ” I let you tame me. And it is all worth it. Because of the color of the wheat.”


Vicktor E. Frankl: Author of “Man’s Search for Meaning” He writes from personal experience as a prisoner in a concentration camp during WWII. From this perspective he learns about what man is when everything is stripped from him. What is a man with no titles, no identity, no possessions. And how do we learn how to survive and still find meaning and purpose when everything is taken from you. He carefully analyzes human motivations of the rawest form. His writings have helped me to focus in on my pure intent in my work. I think about identifying the deepest threads of my work and how those threads become manifest. Why do I move the way I do? What does it say about the individual? How can those patterns be altered, should they? He has helped me to reflect on the human condition in a very real and raw way.


3 thoughts on “My Canvas

  1. Kristen! The blog is looking great! I love the title of your choreography piece. It is very clever and packed with tons of stories waiting to be told.

  2. Wow, Kristen. I received your email from my parents and had this opportunity at the library with fast internet to view some of your works and read some of what you’ve written. I’m amazed at the thought you give and the interest you take in dance and music; I look forward to talking with you about it. Hope your trip is going well!

    • Caleb, thanks for your comment. At some point I’m planning a collaboration between you and I; it would be amazing to work with such an accomplished musician. It would be fun to figure out some ideas you want to work and see how they meld with dance. Also, you are so great at engineering, it might be interesting to figure out how to create music with various electronic materials. Hope you are doing well!

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