Kristy Vantrease was born in Ojai, California and is a third generation Ojai resident. She studied Fine Art at the University of Maryland and for the next ten years painted exclusively in oils both on canvas and masonite. After living and raising a family on the East Coast she returned to Ojai from Connecticut in 1995. The beautiful, tranquil and scenic Ojai Valley now provides the setting and the inspiration for many of her paintings. After her return to California she began painting in watercolors and became a signature member of the Gold Coast Watercolor Society. Kristy was very active in the organization, serving on the board of directors for six years and as president from 2005 – 2008.
Along with four local artists, Kristy launched “Ojai Open Studio” – an artistic forum with a mission to lend support, provide good humor, and facilitate peer critiques. The members, eventually known as “The Ojai Group”, exhibit together in shows, sponsor “Ojai Summer Evening Plein Air Sessions”, and have taught classes and workshops. In November 2009, The Ojai Group was invited to show over 100 paintings at the Ojai Art Center with an exhibit entitled “Ojai Ink”. Kristy and the group also taught “Ink Resist” workshops at the Ojai Art Center.
In the Spring of 2009 Kristy built a solo studio, and began painting mostly in oils. She loves to try different mediums and enjoys the “play” of experimenting with different methods, but her love of oil paintings keeps calling back her back. Most of her work is now done in oils with occasional work in acrylic and watercolors.
Kristy was the featured artist in August 2008 in the Ventura County Star “Artistic Touch”. She is a member of the Santa Barbara Art Association, Los Padres Art Association of Santa Barbara, and a founding member of The Ojai Group.