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I am fascinated by the barely seen, the almost there.  What is hidden in the shadows and exposed by the light. My belief is that the ordinary can be transcendent, when light and shadows work their effect. Figures, interiors, and landscapes can become vehicles for subtlety and mystery. 


Southern roots contribute a sense of quietness. I try for simplicity, looking for the essence of a moment. Rural life has especially influenced my work. Here, far from the glare of city lights, dusk and dawn will linger. This allows me to see the contrast of natural versus artificial light, and the emotional qualities of light. Country darkness filters a slow creation of silhouettes and muted colors. I am fascinated by the soft, illegible images produced. My goal is to create such moments of intrigue.


Technically, I work on a thin print paper,  and I rub layer after layer of color onto it with my fingers and hands. No brushes or tools are used, and no pre-drawing is underneath, so there is a freedom as I work directly on the paper with my fingertips, and an image emerges. The effect is what I prefer, soft and ill-defined. It represents what I find compelling, that which is slightly unclear and not completely accessible.



Cynthia Kresse received her Master of Arts in Medical Illustration from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. She earned her APN, RNP, BSN degrees from the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences.

Teaching & Residencies

Cynthia Kresse taught Life Drawing at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. At the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, she has taught Life Drawing, Anatomy for Artists and Pastel Techniques. She was chosen for artist’s residencies at the Vermont Studio Center,  October 2010 and 2014.  There she worked with visiting artists such as Christopher Brown, Pablo Helguera, Heidi Fasnacht, and Jim Bohary.


As an Advance Practice Nurse Practitioner, Kresse sees patients at the non-profit, all-volunteer ECHO clinic, which provides free medical care to low-income people in Northwest Arkansas. As a part of a volunteer medical team, she has traveled to San Marcos, Honduras to provide medical care. She is now retired as a medical provider from Eureka Family Medical Center.


Multiple inclusions in the Delta Exhibition (2001, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2020), a juried regional exhibit, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR.

Award winner in these national APS juried exhibits "Reflections in Pastel"  Honorable Mention Nov 2013, Arkansas Artist Award Nov. 2017, and Honorable Mention Nov. 2019, Butler Center, Little Rock, AR

Awarded First Place “APS Juried Exhibition” Cox Creative Gallery, Little Rock, AR 2017

Award Winner at the national juried event, " National Pastel" Honorable Mention Nov. 2014, Garden District Gallery, New Orleans, LA

She was selected to be in Arkansas’s “Forty Women Over Forty”, Legacy Gallery, Hot Springs, AR

Her work was selected for  “Prints, Drawings and Photographs”, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR

Chosen for the  “National Biennial Exhibition” , Arts and Science, Pine Bluff, AR

Winner, "Foster-Harris Award" Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Little Rock, Arkansas

Her work earned Second Place in the “Originals! National Museum of Women in the Arts” Exhibit.


“Self-Portraits” Brews Gallery, Eureka Springs, AR 2020

“Seven Artists” Boswell Mourot Gallery Little Rock, AR 2018

‘’Vox Femina” curated regional exhibit, Art Center of the Ozarks, Springdale, AR 2018

"Akin" Boswell Mourot Gallery, Little Rock, Arkansas June 2016

"Chicken Houses"  Norberta Philbrook Gallery, Eureka Springs, Arkansas May 2015

"Palliation, Views From the Car" Eureka Fine Art Gallery, Eureka Springs, Arkansas May, 2014

"Red"  Artworks 25, 25th anniversary show, Little Rock, Arkansas, October 25- Nov.10, 2013

"Nature"  The Space, Eureka Springs, Arkansas  May 1-31, 2012

"Portraits and the Moon"  J.A. Nelson Gallery, Eureka Springs, Arkansas Nov 4 - Dec 31, 2011

"Pinnacle Hills Promenade Art Festival"  Invitational show- Sept. 8 and 9, 2009 in Rogers, Arkansas

"Pastels and Infrared Light"  Remy Fine Arts,  Fort Smith, Arkansas March 6, 2008

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