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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Hide Park Series-Giraffe”Hide Park Series-Giraffe

    20"x20" acrylic on canvas

Kristeen Toeller

  • Art
I am an Art Professional

artist bio

Having grown up in Milwaukee, I chose to stay close to family and attended UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. It was there that I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus on Graphic Design. After graduating, I began to work with acrylic paints and participated in several group exhibits in the greater Milwaukee area. This began my shift to acrylic painting. I often create sketches for a new piece on my computer, which is a medium that I will always truly enjoy.

In addition to group exhibits at local galleries, I have shown my artwork at art fairs and markets throughout the Southeastern Wisconsin area. In 2009 I established a company under the name Lydibird Artworks to promote my artwork under a recognizable identity.

artist statement

The strongest motivation for me to create is seeing the enjoyment my artwork brings to people's faces. My style is contemporary and whimsical, drawing inspiration from bright colors. My work shows an influence of my formal training in Graphic Design.

I am focusing on two series currently. The first is "The Hide Park Series", which is a collection of stylized portraits of ostriches and giraffes. A number of these animals are very stoic in expression while the more recent pieces are a bit more playful and perhaps sarcastic. The backgrounds are patterns indicative of the corresponding animal's hide. Many times I work with complementary colors in these pieces.

The second series, "The Field Series", is my interpretation of Black Eyed Susans after their petals have fallen off. These images are very stylized and simple so I create texture in the background. I enjoy layering color and using a dry brush to cause a little resistance with the paint for the added texture. Every year that I paint these, I change the style a bit and play around with color and lighting.

I enjoy challenging myself by taking my concepts a step further to see what else I can create. As a result my work is always evolving.