A little bit about me...

I am a portrait artist and surface designer based in Durham, North Carolina. My portraiture focuses on creating paintings and drawings of women, derived from the imagination, and set against flat color or patterned backgrounds. The scale of my work ranges from the somewhat small to the very tiny, and incorporates both realism and graphic elements.


I find that inevitably a story is assigned to each individual face by the viewer. I may provide a single first name or sometimes even just a string of words weaving throughout the background as the only hint into each woman's life, along with her expression. Nothing additional is offered, allowing the viewer to form his or her own ideas about who each woman is, where she has been, what she is thinking.


I grew up in Stoughton, Massachusetts, where as a young girl I began drawing faces on lined notebook paper with magic marker. I made literally hundreds of these drawings -- they held my attention for hours -- and this subject still occupies me today. I've graduated to oil paint and wood panels, but my purpose remains essentially unchanged -- to create and capture a beauty and mystery inherent in each face, that I hope will compel the viewer to conjure up his or her own understanding of each woman, just as I used to spend hours making up stories about each and every magic marker drawing I'd done.

My design work focuses on geometric abstraction and playing with scale and color. After a decade as a surface designer for women's equestrian apparel, I am concentrating on designing for textiles, apparel and home goods.


I graduated from Boston University in 2001 with a BFA in Painting, and in 2002 moved to Los Angeles, where I found myself influenced by the abundance of street art and murals, and of course the city's vibrant creative energy. In 2020 I moved to beautiful Durham, North Carolina, where I live with my husband, John, and our two dogs, Georgia and Penny.

© 2021 by Kristyn Dors

Contact me at kristyndors@yahoo.com