Krista Roche

From a very early age Krista Ann Roche has felt a deep connection to the natural world. While growing up in the Chicago area she spent much of her free time exploring the Chicago Forest Preserves, natural lands winding their way through the suburbs. As a child she always knew she wanted to become an artist, as her role models were artists in her own family. At LSU she was able to further her studio education and in 1992 was awarded a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Drawing and Painting. During this time she was accepted into prestigious national juried exhibits. After graduation she pursued her art, searching for direction in this very different natural environment. She continued working in landscape, but at the same time her attention was drawn to the bird life of Louisiana. While delivering a painting to an exhibit in Jennings she was amazed by the sight of thousands of Snow Geese in a winter rice field. After this experience she and her husband enrolled in LSU Union birdwatching classes taught by ornithologists from the LSU Natural History Museum, and they opened up a new world to the artist. Shortly afterwards a semester-long course in Chinese painting at LSU with artist Wan Ding inspired her to begin painting birds using the very expressive Chinese approach to nature. She combined observations in the field with her painting background, and discovered that birds could be a portal into imagination and creativity. As Mississippi artist Walter Anderson expressed it, “Birds are holes in heaven through which man may pass.” Her most recent works are color compositions in acrylic and collage. In these small gem-like works she makes use of her collection of fine Japanese papers to add color, complexity, and pattern to her bird paintings. Although she now travels the world to see birds, her work continues to focus mostly on the amazing birds close to home in Baton Rouge and throughout the southeastern U.S.
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