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Kris Burningham, accidental artist, finds joy in painting



Everyone has a gift. Some gifts are discovered early, others may not be discovered for many years. For Kristine Burningham, it wasn’t until her four children were nearly on their own when she stopped one day and said, “Well, what now? What do I like to do? Who am I?”

Kris had always liked to draw but didn’t know much about using color. She decided to enroll in an art class taught by Melody Williams. “There are six or seven of us who go to class each week. It is like therapy for me. We enjoy each other and share our lives with each other.”

Burningham has found a medium to express her love of life. She finds inspiration in poems and scriptures and memorizes them. She will recall the scripture or poem as she brings the impressions to her canvas. “It is in front of me while I paint. I try and put myself into the painting in some way.”

One of Kristine Burningham's paintings

When Kris and her husband, Jeff, moved to Lehi they undertook the task of renovating the old Lehi Relief Society Building on Main Street. Realizing this was not the best location to raise her family, they moved to Eagle Point in north Lehi and then back to the home where Jeff was raised on the “bench” in Lehi. “I feel like we have come full circle,”

Kris became friends with Nina Schumann and Nina talked her into helping with an annual event called “Pageant of the Arts.” In the “Pageant,” artists recreate great works of art using living people within the recreated scenes. Kris painted one of the paintings and loved this experience.

Kris’s children, Jake, Aliese, Jesi, and Brad are all very supportive of their Mom’s passion. Recently, Kris and Jesi toured the Baltic Sea and visited Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia, and Estonia. “We visited the Hermitage, the second largest art museum in the world. We saw famous works of art by Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli, Rembrandt, and more. I truly believe that acquiring knowledge is the best way to enlarge one’s repertoire of ideas.”

Kris memorized a Carol Lynn Pearson poem, On Nest Building, when she was in high school. The poem still inspires her. Her art has embellished her life much like the message in this poem, she concludes, “I have now put color in my life.”