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Former Disney employee and accomplished artist for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kristin Yee brings a lot of professional experience and personal belief to each of her paintings. 

For Kristin, art is a key outlet for expressing her testimony of Jesus Christ. And with her exciting new calling as the Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, we look forward to seeing all the wonderful ways she shares her love for and knowledge of the Savior. 

To celebrate, we wanted to dedicate this blog to Kristin Yee and the creative–yet sacred–process behind her stunning artwork.

Kristin’s Style

Kristin has been drawing most of her life. Starting, as most of us do, with crayons and pencils, she soon moved on to watercolors. Then in college, she began to branch out to other mediums, such as acrylics and oil paints. 

In the end, watercolor and oils remains Kristin’s favorite methods for painting. She enjoys gouache in particular, especially in her children’s illustration work. It allows her to create colorful scenes full of fun and whimsy, rather like stepping into a dream. 

As for her more realistic religious paintings, such as what you might find here at Altus, Kristin prefers oil painting. In this medium, she is able to capture fleshtones and deeper character and emotions of the individual she is bringing to life on her canvas. 

And these details are important. Often, what Kristin seeks to do in her faith-based paintings is create a sense of realism and relatability. Rather than have a perfect, Photoshop-esque image of Christ, she tries to create something that feels human. Someone that carries traces of divinity, but still lives and breaths and experiences day-to-day life like the rest of us. As such, her paintings are characterized by a great amount of detail and texture.

However, Kristin says she was never out to “find a style”. The look of her artwork seemed to already be present, building and expanding as she grew her talents. 

Painting of Jesus walking along the seashore.

Abide With Me 'Tis Eventide by Kristin Yee

An Artist’s Inspiration

Kristin draws inspiration from many classical painters who have accomplished much in the way of timeless, seamless artwork. Among her favorites are Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, American portrait artist John Singer Sargent, and the realistic paintings of French intellectual William-Adolphe Bouguereau. 

Each of these artists focuses on painting people and telling stories, so it is no surprise that much of Kristin’s artwork runs in the same vein. In “And I Partook”, for example, there is a clear narrative unfolding. The Savior is not simply standing stoically, unphased by His path to the cross, as we may often picture Him. Rather, HIs hands are clasped and He contemplates His mission. His surroundings are dark and His expression somber, illustrating some of the quieter struggles that “partaking” might have entailed.

Sharing Her Faith

A lot more than paint and canvas goes into Kristin’s religious artwork. Kristin says that plenty of prayers, some time spent researching the stories of Christ, and keeping her heart open to the Spirit are vital ingredients in the recipe. Kristin does her best to create a physical space set apart for creating faith-based works. Such a space often feels like a smaller version of the temple. 

“This has to be a partnership,” Kristin says. “Otherwise, it won’t be Him. It won’t show His love.”

It is no wonder, then, that with so much spiritual preparation behind her religious paintings, they bring such deep inspiration to those who see them. Not only are they stunning in a professional craftsman sense, but they are imbued with heart, devotion, and faith. 

The artist herself is no exception to receiving spiritual insight from the process. One particular piece, “And I Partook”, taught Kristin about the nature of the Savior. At one point, near the completion of the painting, she made what appeared to be a devastating mistake. However, the next day she found that not only was she able to fix it, but the painting was even better for it. Without that mistake, there wouldn’t be some additional needed detail to complete the entire piece. 

So it is in our own lives. We may think that our mistakes mar us and taint our worth. But in Christ’s hands, they can become part of some of the most beautiful brushstrokes in the grand picture of our lives.

Painting of Jesus looking solumn against a dark background.

And I Partook by Kristin Yee

Looking Ahead

With her new calling as the Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, Kristin is going to have a lot on her plate! But the artist’s itch to create still runs strong and she hopes she gets a chance to continue to complete more paintings. 

But there are more than one ways to create and more than one ways to inspire hope and faith in others. And we are so excited to see where her journey takes her in doing both! We know her unique perspective as an artist will serve her well wherever she is called to serve, and we are honored to have her on the Altus Team.

If you want to explore more of her work, peruse her artist’s page. Or she is also featured in a few other blogs you might enjoy:

8 Ways to Fit Big Ideas Into Small Spaces

Easter Art: Gethsemane Pictures & Crucifixion Pictures

15+ Inspiring Jesus Prayer Images