Chanda Kraft, an Alexandria, MN visual artist, captures landscapes, florals, and wildlife in oil, watercolor, and drawing mediums. Her home studio overlooks Lake Carlos where she lives with her husband Philip and her two children. One of her earliest memories as an artist was as a child she had a favorite climbing tree where she would take her box of crayons up and draw pictures all over the bark of the tree as far as she could reach. Her family cultivated respect and appreciation for nature through numerous camping and Boundary Waters canoe trips. She is an advocate for sustainability and wilderness conservation. She holds degrees in graphic design, psychology, and Master’s of Arts in Teaching. She also enjoys teaching art workshops, outdoor activities with her family, fiber arts, and classical guitar.
A love for nature compels Chanda Kraft’s art. Exploring natural settings and creating art from those experiences are restorative practices that bring feelings of connection to the universe, reduce anxiety, and bring her immense joy. She works with oils, watercolor, or drawing mediums, and is inspired by the Dutch Golden Age, Hudson River School, and Naturalism art movements. Her work is a contribution to the growing collective of women’s wilderness experiences and brings awareness to conservation needs. Protecting the environment is crucial to preserve biodiversity, clean water and air, and undisturbed places for people to escape modern life’s demands now and for future generations.
ARTIST GRADE MATERIAL
I occasionally get questions about the materials I use. All of the materials I use to make art are of professional quality. Drawings are done on acid-free drawing paper by Strathmore and fixed with Winsor & Newton Spray Fixative. Watercolors are painted with DaVinci and/or American Journey watercolors on 140 lb acid-free paper. I stretch my own canvases for oil painting using cotton canvas that is sized with Utrecht acrylic sizing. I follow that with gesso. The oils I use are water-miscible, sometimes called water-soluble or water-mixable, Duo Aqua by Holbein. This allows me to clean up paint residue with soap and water and significantly reduce the use of solvents in my studio and en plein air. Oil paintings are varnished with Gamvar. These materials have been tested by their manufactures for lightfastness and quality. Using high quality art materials are a joy to work with for their pigment quality and workability. It is worth it to me to create work that will withstand the tests of time if it is properly cared for because of the time and effort I put into making a piece. I want it to be enjoyed for generations.
Most of my work comes with a custom frame. I use traditional styled wood framing materials in black and I use acrylic glazing for works done on paper. Because I make my own frames, I am able to keep those costs very low and the frame is included in the price. I do not claim to be a professional framer and these frames are not always perfect. They are ready to hang and suitable for display but I also include the frame as extra protection during shipping. If there is damage to the frame or glazing but the artwork is intact, I do not offer a refund. It is primarily there for me to display my work in a professional manner and to protect the artwork during transit. When you buy a piece of my art, you are welcome to either use the frame I have made, or have it custom framed to your personal tastes and decor.