The Moment Arrives


A solo show at The Art House Gallery by contemporary painter Kristen Beaulieu, curated by Rebecca George.

EXTEMPORE is about the possibility of each moment. The works share a spontaneous quality meant to bring attention to lived experience in the present moment. EXTEMPORE contends that “the now” is far more than the chance to draw a line between past and future.

Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.


Artist Statement

As an artist, I am interested in how the mind perceives each moment. Accurate drawing is the ability to ignore what you think you see in favor of what you actually see. For me, abstract painting is a parallel process . . . only it is turned inward. I am trying to get past what I think I feel in favor of what I actually feel.  Thus, painting is a somewhat-fraught process of self-inventory. The feelings, moods, or attitudes emerge as I work.

Frankly, I am always surprised. Each mark on the canvas informs the next, pushing the painting along. Layer after layer of pigment is built up without expectation of an outcome, although the work is carefully observed at each stage. Finally — there is a moment of self-recognition when the painting is resolved. 

2020 was an exceptionally productive year for me in the studio. Working with both large- and small-scale formats, I explored loose organic shapes, gesture, spontaneous mark-making, glazing, intentional drips and leaving unfinished areas. EXTEMPORE also includes earlier works that share elements of this style.

About Kristen Beaulieu

Kristen is a self-taught artist who has greatly benefited from the instruction of many artist-teachers over the last 25 years, including those at The Art House, Evanston Art Center, Ox-Bow School of Art, The Philadelphia Academy of Art, and Hyde Park Art Center. She earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Sociology from the University of Chicago. 

EXTEMPORE is her first solo exhibition. Kristen also blogs about contemporary art at Lonely Ocean.