"I'm a person who doesn't like to draw lines; I prefer curves. That is why I like painting animals and portraitures," said Paulden artist Kristie Whaley, who moved here with her husband, Dennis, about 16 years ago.
Although she has had no formal training in art, Kristie admits she has been painting all her life because her mother is also an artist.
"My mother was always painting, so I feel I came by my talent by osmosis," she said, grinning. "The first thing I remember painting were horses on my closet doors when I was in third grade. I also used to do pictures on the underside of our dining room table."
Kristie prefers painting on masonite and wood instead of canvas. She loves doing murals and has done several in her own home.
"I consider every wall in my home a potential canvas, although I change my wall murals every so often, sometimes because of my mood and sometimes because of dissatisfaction," Kristie said.
When asked how Dennis liked all her murals Kristie has painted on not only walls but closet doors and stove vents, he answered, "I think her paintings look a lot better than she thinks they do. I really envy her talent."
Of course Kristie agrees that she is her worst critic regarding her artwork.
"I consider all my painting a learning experience and a challenge. But, I don't like to keep a lot of the things I paint because I'm too critical of my own work. I'll find fault with it, so it's better if they find new homes," she said.
Although Kristie uses a variety of reference materials to get ideas for subjects she wants to paint, she is an avid animal lover so she paints a lot of animal art. But, her favorite thing is painting portraits.
"I love doing portraits because it's an emotional outlet for me. You get into the character and the essence of that person," Kristie said.
Since Kristie enjoys doing murals, she has started painting them on very large pieces of masonite making them portable murals that can be moved. She has some of these portable murals on display at the Curves workout facility in Chino Valley, located on Highway 89.
Kristie also has a great love for gardening and nature which also shows up in her paintings.
"My art is a therapeutic outlet for me. I enjoy trying to recreate the things I love in nature in the most realistic way I can," she said. "When people like my work, I'm glad that they see what I was trying to illustrate in my art."