Kirsten Benfield was born in 1965 in Auckland, New Zealand. When she was four years old her parents embarked on a three year global overland journey. Kirsten's strongest memories of the trip were the many colors she saw in the various countries that they visited.
When she returned to Auckland she began to observe and communicate through art. Photography was an early passion that taught her about focus and composition.
At the age of 26, Kirsten moved to New York, and moved to the Hamptons.. She found thenorth east and the seasonal changes very inspiring. She was particularly attracted to the ocean and bays.
She got a job in a local restaurant and settled into working, and in her spare time observed the regional woods and waterways.
She enrolled in watercolor classes at Guild Hall with Miriam Dugenis, and took her camera everywhere. She began to develop her own path of creativity.
She hosted several solo studio shows in the early 2000's.
In 2012 at the suggestion of a local artist, Kirsten started taking classes atGolden Eagle, a local art supplies store that hosted art classes.
Kirsten attended weekly art classes in oil and watercolor. The first year she studied with Janet Jennings and Barbara Thomas. She also took plain air classes with Barbara Thomas through Parrish Art Museum.
Working with color charts in oil painting class effected greatly how she approached both her watercolor and oil paintings and gave her a new and clearer sense of her work
In 2015 Kirsten attended an Eastern/ Western inspired Calligraphy Workshop hosted by Kazuaki Tanahashi and Monica Dengo in Venice, Italy. This experience has firmly left an impression on Kirsten's work.
Recently Kirsten moved to Springs in East Hampton. Her work is shown locally. She works primarily in oil, water colors and, occasionally, printmaking.
Her work includes landscapes, abstracts and transfers. The subjects include figures, wild life, sea life and still life.