December 2021 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Kristin Griffis
By Kelly Hunter
Living in Ridgeland, SC, with her husband and five children, Kristin Griffis describes her art as “Pop/Folk with a touch of naïveté.” She’s lived in the Lowcountry most of her life, having been born and raised on Hilton Head Island. While Kristin’s been painting since preschool, the time she spent on the West Coast was a major influence on the subject matter and style of her work today.
Kristin explained, “When I was living in San Francisco, I was dating a singer-songwriter. He had a lot of friends in the music business, most are with national touring acts. When he wasn’t playing, we would go see friends on tour. I loved studying the atmosphere of the different venues. I began studying instruments at the vintage guitar shops. It was an exciting adventure for me. I met lots of interesting people and still keep in touch with many of them. I really missed the Lowcountry so I moved back after a few years. I draw from my musical experiences and that can be seen in my artwork.”
This month’s cover art, Jingle Bell Rock, “was inspired by one of my female musician friends in Los Angeles. I love the acoustic guitar because of its curves and really wanted to paint a Christmas painting with a female musician. I was brainstorming how to incorporate a Christmas tree and everything fell into place.” Musical and visual art worlds also converge on the cover of Jazz pianist Martin Lesch’s CD Journey Into Jazz, which features Kristin’s painting Piano Man. As Kristin says, “My musical instrument is a paintbrush.”
Musicians aren’t the only ones who appreciate Kristin’s “essence of” paintings. General Mills subsidiary Immaculate Baking purchased two of her paintings and licensed them for use on the packaging of two of their products. The originals are in the company’s Folk Art museum. While she is inspired by musicians, there are a few painters who have influenced her work, including Vincent Van Gogh and Peter Max.
Kristin’s whimsical work is featured in The Market at Jasper’s, Nashville, TN; Zen Den, Port Royal, SC; La Petite Gallerie, Bluffton, SC; and Art League Gallery, Hilton Head Island, SC. Merchandise based on Jingle Bell Rock and some of Kristin’s other works can be found on www.kristingriffis.com. Follow Kristin on Instagram: @kristingriffisartistT