Gautier-Downes’ muse is the ocean, stemming from her experience as a plein air painter in Santa Cruz, California. Gautier-Downes utilizes her skill as a seascape painter to capture the harsh reality of environmental catastrophes commonly exhibited in media photographs and videos. A common fear shared amongst her and other environmentally driven individuals is the impact of crude oil leakage on oceanic ecosystems. Her inspirational fear of living in a world where the tides run orange from crude oil transfusion is the basis for this ambition. Through her paintings of negative manmade environmental implications, Gautier-Downes hopes to inspire audiences in taking preemptive actions against potential hazards to our environment.
By painting the negative events caused by humans, she aims to inspire her audiences to take actions to prevent future hazardous contamination.
Kristen Gautier-Downes graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts and currently resides in Virginia. Her art has been exhibited in California, Arizona, Maryland, New York, Washington, Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, and Oregon.