Hi – my name is Kristine Tague and this is my art website. I love to paint florals, animals, landscapes, and magical & whimsical art. I paint in oils and acrylics, and I like to paint outdoors in watercolor and ink for practice. I doodle and love to make up little stories of the characters that I draw. When I need a break, I love to hike and take artsy photos that remind me of paintings or pluck around on my guitar or ukulele while singing. I’m an amateur naturalist and wildflower gardener with an interest in all the creatures of nature, and I love sharing that knowledge with kids. I’m married to Nick who I met a long time ago in Chicago while playing 16″ softball for a Catholic Softball league. We currently reside in North Texas with our two boys, two rescue dogs, and a fish.
How it Started
I’ve always been an artist and infinitely curious – from the moment I picked up a crayon and drew on my parent’s apartment walls it became apparent that I needed to redirect my interests. Elementary school career days were easy, clutching my dad’s old oil palette and a worn brush, wearing a black turtleneck and red beret as my “artist” costume. However, sitting still and going over the same subjects day to day was not. I doodled in all the margins, was creative with assignments, read books under my desk, lost homework all over the place, and aced all my tests anyway.
My path found me taking oil painting lessons at 10 years old with my parent’s friend Krystyna Sobolewski. I remember the first class she had me draw an apple after showing me how she did it. I showed my paintings at my local library and entered all the competitions that I heard about thru my school. I remember how happy I was when I received a Scholastic Art Award for my painting of a fire. By the time I was in my senior year of high school, I’d managed my schedule to only leave the art room to take a Spanish class.
I was lucky enough to study fine arts at various schools in the Chicago area (Columbia College Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Palette and Chisel Academy). I am proud that I eventually made it thru and graduated with a Film degree from Columbia College in Chicago (with a concentration in Computer Animation). I even learned a lot of fun things post-graduation by working on independent films and building sets for theatre productions.
These days I work as a technical illustrator/graphic designer at an airline and I paint and illustrate on nights and weekends. Most of the time my husband and I are wrangling our two boys and dogs which takes up a lot of time and energy, but Art always finds a way.
I joined the SCBWI in 2013, while still living in the Midwest. I even braved attending “The Wild Wild Midwest” conference where I met many lovely people.
Like me, they loved the art of telling a good story, and even better, they loved telling stories that you could laugh and learn from. Science, history, tall tales, and books with dinosaurs that wore hats – that silliness was all allowed and (gasp!) encouraged. My heart grew with joy – I can draw and it doesn’t have to look a certain way or follow rules to be enjoyed? Why yes I want to do this, I want to illustrate children’s books.
I started attending local SCBWI events in Texas. It was great learning from all the authors and speakers they brought in. I eventually got so involved that in 2016 they asked me to become the North Texas Illustrator Coordinator, a role which I was honored (and slightly terrified considering I had my first son freshly toddling around at the time) to take on. It was tough but also a great experience!
I encourage all those interested in writing or illustrating books for children and young adults to connect with their local chapter of the SCBWI for the camaraderie, learning opportunities, and connections to the publishing industry. North Texas SCBWI
Painting Outdoors – en Plein Air
There’s something wonderful about going out into the wide world and just observing everything that is going on about you and documenting it – via ink and paint, or brush and canvas. If you’ve never had the fun of joining a group of Urban Sketchers or en Plein Air painters, you might want to look up your closest group. What a great way to see how others approach a subject under the limits of what they can carry and their perspective of the scene. Painting outside is done boldly, as lighting and clouds must be quickly captured in a few strokes and globs of paint to capture the impression. I am a member of the McKinney en Plein Air Society.