Meet the artist: Tennele Diane Kruse

Current Hometown: Burlington

Where can we see your work?

Work can be seen on The Creative Nest ND facebook page, many local vendor shows, including the Big One Art and Craft fair, and at The Foundry and Twisted Creek in Minot.

In what media do you work?

Freehand brush painted artwork and signing. Most on hand reclaimed Wood from donated barns and outbuildings around our local area.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as a laid back, primitive freehand style. No vinyl or computer printed stencils or fontwork are used. I like my work to reflect a bit of “me” and be a bit different than the rest.

Who would you say have been influences on your work?

My father’s work ethic has been a big influence on me. He taught me to work hard, take pride in your work, be yourself, blow off criticism and you can be successful in doing what you love. He also owned his own business while living in ND, and was considered a master of lawncare/landscaping trade.

Are there particular themes you like to explore in your work?

Highly inspired by nature, rustic, primitive and shabby chic style of artwork.

What do you most enjoy about the creative process?

The thing I enjoy the most about the creative process is the excitement you feel when you get a new idea, knowing you can do it, and the satisfaction of seeing it completed. Sometimes all it takes is a piece of wood with a well placed knot-hole, or certain weathered end, or color, or size and I can look at it and start to visualize what should be created on it.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Graduated from DLB in 2001 as artist of the year, and Minot State University in 2006 with a BS in Criminal Justice and Psychology minor.(My original plan was to be a police officer and work my way up to homicide investigation in another state if you can believe that!) I also won a two-year scholarship to Art Instruction Schools of MN, and completed the two years of college courses via correspondence from there before graduating high school.

I started The Creative Nest in 2012 by chance by painting on scrap wood left over from rebuilding our flooded home. Thought it would be something I would do as a fun hobby… but thanks to lots of support from friends and family, I have grown to 27 followers on Facebook. The Creative Nest is now a full time home-based business, with much credit due to help from my husband Gus. I don’t know too many husbands that would allow both of their garages to become packed with reclaimed wood and my “junk” treasures… much less have their kitchen table be a “studio” for five years and counting!

When I am not painting, I enjoy attending auction sales, picking, hunting/fishing/golfing and spending time with friends and my Husband and two sons… I am a huge fan or Harry Potter and enjoy supporting and promoting other local small businesses.